Sunday, August 2, 2015

Armadillo Blues

Our yard is under armadillo attack.
These funny looking little dinosaurs have grubbed around a bit during the past few years, but they didn't do too much damage, so we were willing to share our plot of land. There's a nice southwestern weirdness about them, and it's always fun to see the local wildlife.
But now things have gotten out of hand.

It's not just that they throw dirt all over the place, and toss stones about, and destroy my twig edgings.

They dig deep holes around the plants, tearing up the roots.

That leaves the poor plants exposed for five or more days until we can leave the city and return to the lake.  In this heat the plants die pretty quickly with their roots uncovered.

This little evergreen and the camellia behind it are deeply distressed.
I tucked the ajuga back in and most of them look like they will make it, but all the annuals died.

Here is a lovely patch of purple mazus before...

...and here is the same spot after an armadillo had lunch on what ever grubs and worms were living underneath the plants.

Apparently armadillos were once much larger (yikes!). 
The small version is trouble enough.

They ignore being shouted at, and are not afraid of the dog.
They do have a strong aversion to being sprayed with the hose and can run pretty fast!
But we are going to put up an armadillo fence - more on that project later.

I did finish planting prostrate rosemary along the front curve of the driveway garden. 

The Black Diamond crepe myrtle continue to be excellent performers!

The millettia reticulata is in bloom for the first time. This is it's third summer. Sometimes called evergreen wisteria, it is not related to real wisteria (Wisteria senensis).

And the desert willow trees are in bloom with their lovely orchid-like flowers.

Here is one of the passion flower vines looking just as it should - completely devoured!
Brilliant orange caterpillars are still foraging on it, while the butterflies have moved on to the butterfly bush nearby.

Happy gardening, friends!