For the past few months something has been rooting in the soil of one of my loquat trees which are planted in giant terra cotta pots. I placed chunks of spiky driftwood in the planter, thinking this might discourage the perpetrator. This morning, to my horror, I see that a critter has stripped chunks of bark from the trunk of the loquat, and then proceeded to gnaw on the inner pith! WTF!!!! I thought I had left this random wildlife predation behind. Gardening in Rollingwood meant dealing with deer, foxes, armadillos, and snakes. I don’t remember any problems with animal destruction when I gardened at my other former home in the Zilker ‘hood. What animal is so desperate that they would eat bark? There is plenty of fresh water in the birdbath. My neighbors apparently leave abundant petfood out for any takers. The grackles are so surfeited they regularly leave abandoned bits of kibble marinating in the birdbath. And don’t raccoons have all the delicacies they could possibly need in any convenient dumpster? Squirrels? Aren’t they coming off the largest acorn crop in the past ten years? I put pipewrap on the trunk of the loquat for the time being. It looks hideous and I am not happy. I may have to go all Elmer Fudd on this varmint and twap the wascally wabbit.
After 10 years gardening on solid rock in Rollingwood, I moved into a 40's cottage in the North Loop area spring 2007. The little postage stamp yard is black clay and no one had ever dug a single flower bed. After visiting Key West a few years ago, I came back inspired by the little frame cottages, white painted railings, and rustling palm leaves. So the plan is: desert tropical cottage garden.