One of my favorite books is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read it every year. It's a wonderful story (except for the ending, where suddenly the heroine of the story gets lost and the focus completely turns on one of the secondary characters. Ahem!).
In the book, a little girl, her friend (Dicken) with apparently magical relationships with animals, and the girl's cousin transform a badly neglected garden. Dicken's animal friends are sweet, cute, and THEY DON'T EAT ALL THE PLANTS.
Unfortunately, the animals around my neighborhood, do.
This past winter was mild. I had tried growing Brussels sprouts in containers to keep the groundhogs from eating them. It worked, but they plants did not thrive. In early September, I put the strongest plant in the garden to see if it would grow. It didn't. But it did survive the winter. And then it took off like crazy!
Oh, what a thing of beauty. We had a spate of warm temps last week and it shot up at least 12 inches.
And then Mr. Groundhog found it and ate EVERY SINGLE LEAF in about an hour. We had planted out peas about 4 p.m. An hour later Mr. G snuck into the garden and decimated the poor plant. We set the haveahart trap out to try and catch him, but why should he return? He's already eaten what he wanted, and apparently cabbage isn't as satisfying a dish as sprouts leaves.
Every year I'm heartbroken when all my veggies (and flowers) are attacked and eaten by critters. Every year I hope it's going to be different. It never is.
When you've got the gardening gene (and my parents were marvelous gardeners), it's something you do, but man is it heartbreaking at times.
Do you find gardening heartbreaking, too?