Getting the Garden Critters
By now all your annuals have been planted, vegetables are sprouting, tomatoes plants are growing beautifully and the rabbits are waiting. It seems every year we gardeners are at war with the rabbits who find our flowers to be a delicate salad. I’ve waged battles with the rabbits and deer for years with little success. Every hardware or big-box store carries product after product guaranteed keep the rabbits away; yet, I have never had great success. Apparently, rotten eggs and cayenne pepper are not deterrents to rabbits. I have used no fewer than five different products meant to deter rabbits and have failed with all of them. Last year was the final straw when all the Gazanias we planted near our mailbox by the street were eaten down to the nubs. The spray failed. Now, I’ll share few things that have worked. Spoiler alert: you may find some of what follows be distasteful, but I apologize for nothing when it comes to battling the critters.
If you have a dog or cat—or both, like us—then you have ready-made deterrents right there before you. I particularly like using the cat, but not by putting him on a leash and placing him in the garden; rather, when I brush him I take his hair and create little packets with pieces of pantyhose. Sometimes I hang them around the garden and other times I simply place them around the tomato or pepper plants. These hair packets work, but I sometimes wonder if after a rain or when I water the garden if perhaps they become less effective; still, worth a try.
Last year, when we were fighting the rabbits with our Gazanias, my wife’s friend told her putting plastic forks near the plants with the tines sticking up was a good deterrent. So, we went to Dollar Tree, bought a box of plastic cutlery—clear not white—and put the forks all around the plants. Did they work? Yes. Did I like seeing these plastic forks sticking up all over the garden area? Absolutely not! Putting plastic cutlery in my garden was the silliest thing I’ve ever done. Perhaps you have an area not often visited by you or friends that may be a place to try forks.
My third surefire way to keep the critters out of the garden is the dicey one. I have hunter friends and I have seen in their garage among their gear, bottles of animal urine. It seems when they spread this around it attracts whatever animals they’re after. My dog certainly does the same thing whenever we take a walk. He stops, takes a sniff and then leaves a deposit behind. I’m sometimes amazed the dog has that much urine to spread around the neighborhood! Nonetheless, watching all of this led me to the obvious: spread urine around the garden. No, I don’t follow the dog out with a cup underneath him as he pees, but I will say I have collected human urine to use in the garden. I realize at this point I may have lost many of my readers by my admission. Though I truly care about such a loss, the fact is human urine works well to keep critters away. It works so well, even some raccoons in the lower part of my yard left once they got a sniff of human urine. Now, how you might go about collecting it to use is up to you; I refuse to go into any details about what I do.
Finally, if you’re still reading and are not totally offended by the previous paragraph, I have a new idea that I brought back from our recent trip to North Carolina. While walking about my friend’s part of town, I noticed little round spike-covered balls underneath many of the trees, I took a quick picture and did a Google search under seed pods and quickly learned they were from the sweetgum tree. Now sweetgum trees don’t grow in our area but they do grow down around zone six and warmer—from about the middle of Missouri and south. I showed some to my grandchildren from Lake Ozark, and they knew right away what these balls were. They called them “cherry bombs” and often erroneously stepped on them with their feet and screamed out in pain. Well, Christine and I brought back three bags of these and ringed our Gazanias. They’re not particularly ugly and somewhat blend into the soil. What is most important is they work and I know this because I’ve seen the rabbits running around the front yard and not a one has successfully nibbled on any of the 36 plants in the area.
So, what I’m suggesting natural deterrents you don’t have to buy in the store work. Be it cat hair or forks or urine or seedpods, one of these should end up being effective in just about any garden situation we might create. I wish you the best of luck in deterring those rabbits and I’m looking forward to our trip see our grandchildren in Missouri in a few weeks where I intend to bring back a few boxes of sweetgum cherry bombs.
How Long Should Dog Spend Alone
“Bed Post” Doll
The pink, red and green stripes probably represent a blanket wrapped around this wooden folk art doll.
The 20-inch-doll sold for $1,600 at a Theriault’s doll auction in Maryland.
Dolls have been favored toys for centuries. Long before there were manufactured china, metal or plastic-headed dolls, there were wooden, rag and even dried-apple heads. And often, where there was no available doll material, folk-art dolls were made with leather and beads, silk stockings, felt, carved stone and fur, knit socks, clothes pins, wishbones, corn cobs, acorns and pinecones —even old broomsticks.
A 2016 doll auction sold a German carved wooden folk-art doll, made in about 1850 from a hollow wooden tube and other wood pieces, for $1,600. It is 20 inches tall and is decorated with a painted geometric design. There are no arms or legs, but the paint suggests a bunting blanket used on babies. The auction catalog called it the “bed post doll” because the head looked like the top of a bed post and was, perhaps, made from a recycled bedpost. The original painted finish, age, size and originality all added to the value.
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I’d like to know something about F. Winkles & Co. pottery. Is it old or valuable?
F. Winkle & Co. made earthenware at the Colonial Pottery in Stoke, Staffordshire, England, from 1890 to 1931. Ridgways took over F. Winkle & Co. in 1931. The Colonial Pottery became Whieldon Sanitary Potteries Ltd., later a subsidiary of Doulton Co. The factory was torn down in about 2000. Pottery by F. Winkle & Co. is selling for low prices. Dinner plates sell for $10-$25, bread and butter plates for $9, a fruit dish for $15. Serving dishes sell for higher prices.
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We have an old cast-iron stove that reads “Wooddale Belknap Hdw. & Mfg. Co. Louisville, KY” on the front. It belongs to my mom and we want to sell it, but we need to know an asking range.
Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co. was established in 1840 by William Burke Belknap. Belknap made stoves, hot plates, dutch ovens, skillets and waffle irons. The company name became Belknap, Inc., in 1968. It closed in 1985. Some stoves with the same mark as yours sell for $250-$300.
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Store sign, Ice Cream 5 Cents, ice cream-cone shaped, impressed lettering, copper, c. 1920, 14 x 6 inches, $160.
Charm bracelet, Bakelite, three hot dogs on buns, 4 footballs, 4 beer bottles, chain, 7 inches, $370.
Toy sand shovel, Mickey and Minnie on beach, Disneyana, tin lithograph, wood handle, Ohio Art, 1930s, 6 x 7 x 21 inches, $595.
Needlework, embroidered silk textile, classical scene with servant pouring water, c. 1810, 21 x 17 inches, $800.
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Tip: If possible, hang an oil painting on an inside wall away from direct sunlight.
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What are the Benefits