I'm just sayin'

Hates a Strong Word…

on July 20, 2012

When I was a growing up my mom had instructed us that there were certain words we were not supposed to use; her rule. The word at the top of the list was hate. My mom always said it was such a strong word, surely there’s another word you can use instead of hate. For example, “No thank you. I really don’t care for foie gras.”  “I loathe people who don’t know how to merge on to a freeway.” “I detest loud-talkers.”  Over the years, I have noticed when people use the word hate in conversation they usually spit out the word hate. They put a little more spin on the word, use a little more energy that could have been spent elsewhere. If you try substituting  hate synonyms it’s kind of difficult to put as much lip-curling, nose-turning-up action on them. “I HATE green beans.” But when you say “I detest green beans.” the word is mighty enough to just say it with the same tone. Though adding a shrug of the shoulders along with the delivery adds the final punch without the venom.  Try it. “I detest green beans.” See. You don’t have to use so much energy on things not worth getting your panties in a bunch for.

With all that said, I’d like to say, I am detesting & loathing a certain gopher in my backyard. A few weeks ago a gopher snake visited our yard and I thought I had seen a decline in gopher population around the home front. There may have been a decline, but there is at least one gopher still out there wreaking havoc on what few plants are left. Some of the plants/trees were established on this property fifty-years ago, such as the orange, lemon and grapefruit trees. There are well established Bird of Paradise plants and rose bushes. Underneath the umbrella of the large Navel Orange tree grows a small, camellia bush. I kept the bush when we first moved here because I thought of it as part of this old house Mr. Caruso built with love for his wife. It never got very big because it was shaded by the orange tree, but every year it bloomed with an abundance of beautiful red camellias. It has survived 11 years. My guess is the bush is at least twenty years old. Well, about two weeks or so ago I soaked the orange tree that hovers over the camellia bush. Apparently the softened ground beckoned the gopher or gophers to come dig in the one area they had not infested. Yep, the lonely ol’ faithful camellia bush was targeted. The gopher,s I had resigned to live with, double-crossed me. The little b*&%*#^$.   I saw gopher activity near the bush but figured it had left it alone for the entire 11 years I have lived here. Why would they start now? Did they leave it alone? Noooo.  Once you notice the gophers are in the vicinity there’s not a lot you can do. They do the damage rather quickly.

One thing I have done over the years to live with the gophers is some container gardening.  Tomatoes and squash grow in wine barrels. Mint and sage in pots. And I have a planter box that’s not easy to run a drip system to. So I use what I like to call, “poor man’s drip system.” I use wine bottles filled with water, turned upside down in the soil next to the plant. I soak the soil in the planter to be sure it is really wet and then jam the full wine bottles in next to the plant. Obviously filled with water. You don’t want to waste good wine on the plants. And as the soil drys out, the water from the bottle is sucked down into the soil a little at a time. It works. It kept my herbs; Thai basil, Greek oregano and jalapenos alive for 10 days while I was not at home. If you have a huge garden this system can work for you, too. You just have to drink more wine.

One way to fool a gopher!

Funeral for camellia bush to be held this Saturday. Dress casual.
Bring shovels and arsenic.


4 responses to “Hates a Strong Word…

  1. Noele says:

    I know how you feel!! I had a deer problem that destroyed my hostas and was working on my roses and black eyed susans that I thought they didnt like. I gave full permission for the boys to use their airsoft guns. I know this will piss off some people out there but deal with it. I live on a BIG island that they can find some other home! Poof beautiful hostas gone to stalks in my garden. (25 of ’em) Not even an air horn scared them off! Oh and btw I love the decor in the flower box.

    • VirgoVoice says:

      Yes, I love to add some ‘decor’ to my garden. The Spanish inspired ceramic birdhouse fits right in next to the jalapenos! You can try mixing a combo of water and chili powder to spray around the plants to help ward off deer. Also, supposedly, a bar of soap, (smells like humans) helps deter them. And hair. I had people come into the barber shop for hair cuttings to put around plants to ward off deer. Some say it works.

  2. Karen Simon says:

    I love your wine bottle idea. I’m going to use that when I go away on vacation! Sorry about your camellia bush!

    • VirgoVoice says:

      Drinking wine comes to the rescue again. I have to admit on QVC ( I think) they have sold this pretty glass bulbs with long stems – serves the same purpose, but comes without wine. I thought, “Hey, kill two birds with one stone” (not literally) a little wine and water my plants.” yes, and boo-hoo on the bush.

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