I’m always of two minds when I begin to rake out my perennial beds in the spring.

On the one hand, getting the matted leaves off the beds is good. It helps the soil warm and makes it easier for the plants to green up.

On the other hand, I feel like I’m  putting up a neon sign: “ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET.”photo

No doubt, I’m being ridiculous.

Rabbits and deer are quite capable of looking beneath dead oak leaves for tender green growth.  They do it every day.

And yet . . .

I put deer-off on the tulips and the tender shoots of day lilies. I keep an eye on my little plot, and shoo away deer and rabbits when I see them.

The truth is that there is only so much you can do.  That’s the hardest lesson I’ve learned over fifteen years of perennial gardening.

So I’ll clean out my perennial beds and take fierce delight in what’s springing to life.

And I’ll also fret about the jaws of death waiting in the wings.

Because I’m a gardener and that’s what we do.

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