Ouch! I Think I Overdid It

Ouch, ouch, ouch! My body aches all over ― everything hurts. I think I overdid it working in the rock gardens for almost 8 hours over 2 back-to-back days. I feel it today, after being on my hands and knees, crawling in and around rocks. The weather is predicted to turn bad this weekend and, before the snow flies, I finally got in some perennials and transplanted at least 100 irises for next spring.

Iris rock garden

Iris Rock Garden Photo by Jim Ruppel © 2013

It’s challenging to grow things in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 8,500’ with a shorter growing season and where the nights are cool ― not to mention the critters. If it’s not deer munching above ground, the voles will getcha underneath. 

A couple of weeks ago, our local 9 KUSA News ran a story on fall planting. They mentioned how hardy a plant called “Autumn Joy” is and that you can’t “kill it”. It remains to be seen for the ones we planted, along with the so-called deer-resistant Sumac bush.

Rock garden

Rock Garden Photo by Jim Ruppel © 2013

Last night, deer got into the garden and stripped the Sumac bush (photo above ― top middle) and nibbled on the Autumn Joy plants (photo bottom).

rock garden - 7

There no longer are any flowers left on them, all part of the joy co-habiting with wildlife in the mountains.

No complaints here, though. It’s a trade-off to see them roaming around our yards and living with them.


Fawns Photo © by Jim Ruppel

Doe with fawns

Mom and Babies Photo © by Jim Ruppel

A buck and doe

A Buck and His Doe Photo © by Jim Ruppel


Buck Photo © by Jim Ruppel

Now, I’m moving onto to a sumptuous dinner tonight from hubby ― roast pork, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies ― YUM . . . ow – ow – ow.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013-2014 Pat Ruppel

20 thoughts on “Ouch! I Think I Overdid It

    • Thank you, Patricia. I feel 100% better today. I’m not gimping around as much. The garden looks good other than what the deer ate. Will have to wait for Spring to see what survives. 🙂

    • It is a challenge, Cheryl. You know I thought they didn’t like marigolds but they munch on those too. I’ll have to remember your advice to try plants with fuzzy leaves. Thank you! 🙂

  1. Pat, the photos are lovely. You live in such a beautiful environment. I can relate to the “overdoing it”…we get so caught up in the task at hand that we forget our bodies are getting older…our minds just haven’t caught up yet!

    • Thank you, Bev, I’m glad you liked it. You’re so right about that in getting caught up with the task at hand. It’s exactly what I did and paid for it. Yep, this body is getting older and doesn’t have the zip it used to but it’s been good to me. I was able to bounce back after a day – whew!

  2. Oh Pat, I loved this post. I adore deer (even though I know they can ruin a garden) but as you say, it is the price you are happy to pay for living in such a beautiful part of the world! Your irises will be beautiful in the spring. You are way ahead of me. Our garden is getting to the point of needing some serious ‘winterising’, ie, cutting back in readiness for winter, and I need to plant my spring bulbs. I’ve decided to go with nothing but tete-a-tete narcissus daffodils this year. There is always so much to do with a garden isn’t there? I loved your photos, especially of the mummy deer with her nursing babies, so cute!!! You lovely dinner with your husband was the perfect end to your very physical day, and I do hope that your back has since recovered!

    • Hi Sherri – thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the post, photos and for your feedback. I always love to hear what other people do in other parts of the world. I hope you’re right about my irises next spring. I’ve done this before with not much luck but got special instructions this year from my neighbor. Seems I’m either planting them too deep or they don’t have enough soil. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the voles will leave them alone. That’s why I can’t plant any daffodils or tulips. They have a banquet with them and only munch a little on irises. It sounds like in your part of the world, you don’t have much trouble with critters like this. I’ll bet your garden is beautiful.

      We can’t get too mad at the deer — I forgot to put some chicken wire around for protection but thought they were deer resistant. We just learn to work with them and live together in harmony.

      The dinner was great and went a long way in making it a perfect day. The body bounced back the next day and I’m doing great! Thanks for asking and caring. 🙂

      • So glad you are doing better and made a rapid recovery! We don’t have critters the same as you but we do get things nibbled and eaten. Slugs, snails, weevils and earrwigs have eaten their way through my daffodils big time in the spring and my roses are riddled with greenfly. I did post some photos of my garden in the spring, if you look under my ‘Garden Snippets’ category should you like to see them when you have some spare time – ha!
        You live in such a gorgeous place. I know it is dificult with the gardening but you can enjoy the wonderful wildlife and as you say, live together in harmony!
        Thanks again Pat for all your wonderful support of my blog and for your lovely comments today. I’m so glad that I met you!
        Have a lovely day 🙂

        • Loved the photos on your site, Sherri, of the butterflies and Buddleia in ‘Garden Snippets’. The colors are so vivid and greens are so lush. It must be heaven planting in rich soil like that and, oh, the roses! They’re so beautiful!

          I had a dozen rose bushes when we lived in town along with tulips, grape hyacinths, lilacs and a pink, flowering crab-apple tree. In the spring, they each took turns in displaying their colors — I loved it. But, it’s a different story at this altitude. I haven’t been able to grow any roses. But, you’re right in that every place has its special beauty and right now it’s breathtaking in the Rocky Mountains, especially in the Fall with the golden Aspens. 🙂

          • So glad you enjoyed the photos Pat! Your garden in town sounds divine. Where I lived on the central coast of California, close to the sea it was very desert like so I couldn’t grow roses very well but ice plant was everywhere! Although lilacs and lavendar grew well there. When we moved more inland, it being so hot and dry, my roses thrived, and I grew the biggest zucchini and tomatoes ever! However, I did miss my ‘English country garden’ and having moved so much and having to leave my gardens behind, it is so wonderful to at last have my very own garden where I can grow my favourites like roses, buddleia and lavendar.
            I have never been to the Rocky Mountains and I can only imagine the wild beauty there. Big sky country. You are very blessed to live where you live, I am closing my eyes right now and pretending that I am looking at the beautiul golden Aspens.
            Have a lovely weekend Pat 🙂 x

          • It’s was so good to read your words, Sherri. Having lived in this Rocky Mountain climate a good portion of my life, at least the adult part where I became interested in gardens and flowers, I can only imagine what would grow with good, rich dirt. I had some of it in town at a lower elevation (still at a mile-high elevation) when I grew roses and lilacs. Every place has its difficulties with climate restraints — just a matter of working with what you got. It must be heaven to work in a garden like you talk about.

            I have some photos we took on a photo shoot with my husband of the golden aspens last week. I’ll have to get them out there for you to see and add them to my Facebook so you can take a look. They were not as bright and vivid this year, as usual, in the place we usually go because of the late rains but you’ll get an idea. Let me know if you want me to let you know, when I post them. 🙂

          • I would love to see your golden aspen photos Pat, so yes, please do let me know! I look forward to it 🙂

          • I will, Sherri. I took more today across the way from our house in a field. I’m working on processing these photos and I’ll let you know. 🙂

  3. I wouldn’t even bother with the planting Pat since the deer and other wildlife will probably make a mess of it anyway if the weather doesn’t. I agree, just living where you do would be enough for me. Enjoying nature, how nice is that. I live in the heart of the city so anytime I see deer I just get so excited. They are so beautiful.

    Hope you’re feeling better and are more rested now.

    Enjoy your week and don’t over do it.


    • Hi Adrienne – there are some years I don’t bother like you suggest and just let nature do its thing and love it. But, this year I don’t know what got into me. I got this burst of energy and didn’t know when to stop. I usually just have flowers in pots on the deck where the deer won’t venture and there are some things in the rock gardens they won’t eat like lavender, irises and some ground cover. It’s all trial and error.

      Living in the city is a different world. I once met someone on the internet who had a vegetable garden on her patio in a downtown apartment in Tel Aviv (http://www.fransorin.com/rooftop-vegetable-garden/). How incredible is that with the elements she has to work with? She was successful at it too. But living in the city you don’t have much opportunity to see wildlife. I can see why you’d get excited in seeing a deer. They are beautiful and I never tire of it.

      I’m feeling great and bounced back the next day. Thank you for asking, Adrienne — that was nice of you. I think I’ll be hanging most of the yard work up until next year. When the snow starts to fly, maybe I’ll get another burst of energy to tackle some of the things I’ve been needing to do inside.

      Take care and have a great week too! Hope you’ll come back again soon. 🙂

    • Thank you, Susan. Yes, it is tranquil. I forget that sometimes and it’s nice when I remember.

      We only have one squirrel that plays cat and mouse with our dog. He doesn’t come up to the house, though. I guess they can be pretty damaging to a garden too. I never thought of that.

      I don’t think we have any plants squirrels like to dig up and I sometimes wonder what this one feeds on. It’s not like we have hardwood trees like back east where they can harvest nuts. Maybe, he feeds on the pinecones. Do you have hardwood trees in California?

      I loved that you stopped by and left your thoughts. Take care and hope you have a great week! 🙂

  4. Wow Pat! You wore me out just talking about it. You need to get yourself back to your computer and start writing! Of course from the sound of it, it sounds like the weather will likely be helping you out very soon. Take it easy and rest up! ~Kathy

    • Thanks, Kathy. You’re right in getting back to my computer and start writing again. I’m working on that. Meanwhile, I’m rejuvenating and getting inspiration by way of feeling the sunshine again and the good-earth energy breaking free of cabin fever and isolation. 🙂

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