Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wildlife Welcome...

Carpenter Bees are even welcome!
On the whole, I am a generous wildlife gardener. I am willing and even eager to share my garden with the wildlife that visits and lives in this garden.
a peahen straggler was welcomed
I've even opened my door to a wanderer or, too.
Cute only works for a little while!
But right now, I am thoroughly fed up with the resident chipmunks! My friends, they've crossed the line and made peaceful coexistence difficult.

They ate every one of my Tommies.


I kid you not. Every last one of the corms is gone.

They were so lovely last spring and I was so sure that these squirrel proof, but, not chipmunk proof,  crocus would finally make my Tommies On A Hillside dream come true!

It's time to order spring blooming bulbs and I refuse to let  the wildlife in my garden keep me from my dream! They're impossible to evict, but, I can make it darn hard for them to eat the bulbs after they bloom.  I shall take a page from my friend Frances of Fairegarden fame.  She has had pretty good success planting those especially tempting bulbs in sunken wire and rock!

Wish me luck!

Critters be warned...you're going to have to look harder for your food!
One, two, three, four, I declare chipmunk war.


Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone." She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. We saw one of your resident tommie munching chipmunks when touring your garden. I wish you the best of luck protecting your new bulbs.

  2. Confounded critters! Here's to success using the Fairegarden method!

  3. Oh those vandals, eating your Tommies! I hope the wire method works for you, dear Gail. The boxes I made of hardware cloth, with the edges *sewn* with thin wire might do the trick. I have a similar problem with voles in the Daylily Hill. Crocus are Katharine Hodgkins iris are particularly attractive to those devils! Good luck and thanks for the linkage, my friend.

  4. How heartbreaking! Frances won't stop 'til the problem is solved, so I'll bet her remedy, or one soon to come, works. Chipmunks, you have met your match! So glad you made those wonderful photos of the Tommies. I kept going back and looking at them. Good luck!

  5. Oh, how sad! Your hill of crocus was so pretty. I understand your loss - I am currently in war with our voles...

  6. They're E-vil....E-VIL!! You'd think that if something was squirrel-proof, it would also be chipmunk proof. Maybe I should blame chipmunks for the attacks on my Tommies. Chipmunks just look so darned cute, though.

    1. They are evil! Sorry that they are showing their face and true nature in your garden, too.

  7. Oh dear!! We have chipmunks, though only have seen one fleeing from the yard. We have tunnels in the area where I saw Alvin, was blaming voles for missing plants but it might be Alvin and friends. (they are kind of cute though)

  8. I know, tell me about it! I'm waging that war, too. Always in the past it was the bunnies that were the bane of my existence, but the chippers are the real enemies this year--digging in my lawn and my potted plants. Nothing would stop them except spiky wires around the edges of the plants, and I wouldn't be surprised if they find a way over that, too. Good luck!

  9. They are all cute until they start eating my plants. Between the chipmunks and the voles I am having a real hard time peacefully coexisting with nature. They seem to have happily multiplied over the past year feasting on my plants and seeds. We now plant everything with wire otherwise we are just throwing money away with every plant purchase. Best of luck finding a happy solution. By the way that is a great shot of the chipmunk on the feeder.

  10. You should get a mean cat too, and don't feed it much.

  11. Oh, my -- I had no idea that chipmunks would like crocus bulbs. I had a vague notion that they were protected by some nasty secondary compounds... but I had a mama squirrel who ate an entire patch of the most bitter radicchio you could imagine (I'd left it as a summer experiment), so, tastes vary...

    I personally have grown to dislike woodchucks (a formerly cute herbivore). They're eating machines, and way too capable of mowing down quantities of cilantro, squash, and whatever else that's not a solanaceous crop or a member of the onion family!

  12. Squirrels are my biggest headache in my garden, they always seem to know just when to eat a newly emerging bud or dig up a newly planted bulb. Last year they took all the fresh new fronds off a clump of ferns, this year they were digging up and eating the bluebells, so i know exactly what you think of the chipmunks! Im going to borrow your rhyme, 1, 2, 3, 4, I declare squirrel war... works just as well :)

  13. I agree on getting a cat, they really do help, we have two and they do keep a lot of the smaller critters away.

    Gaz: Alternative Eden

  14. I remember when the squirrels would destroy everything I put out. To this day I still can’t have begonias. They seem to be a major munchies food for the vermin in my garden. :0(

  15. Your Peahen Posts still make me giggle. I was thinking of that recently when I was weeding near my little peahen ornament. Now, a chipmunk. I often ask, What is a Gardener/Animal lover to do? The price one pays for living with wildlife. I hate to say we don’t have a chipmunk issue in my gardens for fear of a jinx. So I will not say that. It looks like Frances has come to the rescue though. Our main evil varmints are the Voles!

  16. My cats and especially my dog deter the chipmunks around here although I do try to save a chipmunk when they catch one. Previously, chipmunks had eaten all my lillies when my then group of dogs and cats were too old to hunt them. Hope you find a solution for you pests!

  17. I don't mind sharing either - but I do mean share, not give all. After all, I have about 20 acres of delicious fields. Why do the rabbits need my lettuce and Brussels sprouts and all?

  18. Some o.k. All is not. Sounds like it's time for a terrier. I plant my tulips a foot deep - but with your clay soil, the idea would be enough to drive you straight to drink. Good luck with the chicken wire - know a few folks who've used it here with good results.

  19. I hope this works for you..I know how awful it can be...for me it is voles and deer eating me out of house and home...I won't tell you how cute I think they are but oh they are devils as my Irish ancestors would say

  20. Oh so not fair! Hope the chicken wire works. I am glad that we dont have those pesky critters here in Wales!
    Although, sadly, the slugs have got overcome our resident frog and toad population and devastated the dahlias this year! :(

  21. I'm sorry those little cutie pies have been so hungry. I hope you're able to employ Frances' method with success. You have to admit, chipmunks are darn cute though. :)

  22. Oh, man! I get frustrated with the rabbits. Like you, I wouldn't mind sharing, but the wildlife doesn't reciprocate. This morning, I planted some beets, carrots, and beans across the street, where the rabbits keep eating everything. They will probably eat these, too, but I am hoping by now they can find other things to eat. If I am really going to have a successful veggie garden there, the guy who owns the place needs to let us either limb up or cut down the walnut tree, and then, we need to put some fencing around to keep the rabbits out.

    I hope your barriers work so the chipmunks can't get to your bulbs.

  23. How annoying to get everything eaten!

    My neighbour puts a chicken wire mesh on the ground over bulbs to prevent this, and seems to work for him.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson