Call me Mrs. McGregor

When I lived in the big city, I had a wonderful garden. I could plant anything, and as long as I was diligent about slug control, whatever I planted still looked good several months later.

Now that I live in La Conner, I love my new garden even more. My garden is full of lovely, lush perennials, the occasional tomato plant, boxes of basil and a wide variety of gorgeous Hostas. I really love my La Conner garden.

I also love this time of year when the bunnies scurry across the yards, making everything that is gardeny and green look just a little more lovely. And today – gasp, swoon and significant baby-talk – there was a doe and a little spotted FAWN (a.k.a. Bambi) just off the road. A fawn, perhaps 3 weeks old. All legs and ears and great big brown eyes.  

Oh my gosh! How adorable! How wonderful! How amazingly … amazing! Right along the road is this darling little bundle of spots and soft, downy nose – nervously wondering what lesson Mrs. Doe (I’m sure that’s her name…) – a.k.a. Mom – is trying to teach.

For a moment I completely lost my head. I was caught up in baby-animalitis. I could not stop cooing over this darling little bundle of joy. How lucky we are, here in La Conner, to have little baby fawns right in our yards!

And then it hit me. Mrs. Doe is surly teaching baby Bambi what wonderfully delicious treats await just down the street at my house. In my garden.

The garden with the lovely lush perennials, the occasional tomato plant and the gorgeous Hostas. The garden – belonging to the gardener (a.k.a. Me), who has read every garden book and gleaned every piece of garden advice on what plants to plant that deer do not like. Gone are the gorgeous David Austin Roses – Mrs. Doe nibbled off every single piece of leaf or petal, leaving us with thorny brown sticks. Gone are the tulips in the spring and the sweet peas in summer. And still … Mrs. Doe lazily wanders through my yard many times a week taking a bite of this plant and that plant – sometimes taking the whole plant – sort of like I might do at a Sunday potluck.

Gone are the carrots and the lettuce and the green beans and the marigolds; they are the favorite feast of the bunnies that wiggle their cute little nose at me, wave with one ear, then scamper off with a mouthful of my garden.   

I am in such a quandary. As I said, I love my garden. And – truth be told, I love the fact that in La Conner, the deer and bunnies are so tame that they follow you as you take your garbage can out in the evening – thinking that perhaps you’ll toss them your leftover rose-petal stew or a handful of newly harvested baby carrots. Those big brown eyes and wiggly noses get me every time.

If I were married to Mr. McGregor, this would be so much easier. He’d build a fence, put up a scarecrow and spend his evenings doing reconnaissance around the perimeter. As I am not, and my husband is just as ga-ga about the fawns and bunnies as I am, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will slowly learn what tastes bad but grows well and then fill my yard to the brim with those plants.

In the meantime, I’ll be on the lookout for Bambi and his pal Thumper, because … honestly … who can resist those big brown eyes and soft downy coats? Certainly not me.

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