CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Berkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Gardeners vs wildlife - pigeons, squirrels and cats causing chaos

PUBLISHED: 11:51 06 March 2015

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

Gardeners face a lot of invaders, from pigeons gorging on young plants to squirrels digging up crocuses. But it’s those sneaky felines that get Naomi’s claws out

Gardening can be tough sometimes. You get droughts, you get floods, you get slugs. And then there are other pests – pigeons for example, not to mention squirrels and the greater spotted domestic moggy.

In my garden I have given up growing peas that are not right next to the house as the pigeons shred them (‘They watch like vultures!’ said a chap at the allotment – he’s not wrong!), and those crocuses that should be poking up about now? Probably squirrels. Or flooding, depending on how the last couple of months have gone. But my main bugbear is the neighbourhood cats that persist in leaving little calling cards about the place.

I am (ahem) known for my calm demeanour and relaxed view on life, but these feline fiends have caused some rage and vexation in the Slade household. There has been waving of fists, muttered imprecations, cursing, and less than veiled threats of investing in hand-catapults, cannons or mangonels.

But one gardener’s menace is a neighbour’s fluffy darling and the only realistic mediaeval solution would be to hire small children with crow-scarers to patrol the perimeter. And labour laws have changed since then too.

So what to do? I have no burning desire to get a cat of my own; it is a bit too ‘set a thief to catch a thief’ for comfort, and on a practical basis might backfire, as it were. And before you say it, I am not a dog person.

A quick internet trawl suggests planting rue – brilliant, apparently, if you have a hot, dry site. (I don’t). Another top tip is to leave orange and lemon peel scattered around, as they allegedly don’t like citrus. But the resulting effect, of the compost heap having gone for a walk, is not a good look.

So I am going with the tried and tested. I will stick inconvenient twiggy things into the borders to get in their way. I will endeavour to keep the grass short and tidy. I have also sent off for a product called Hot Exit from www.suttons.co.uk – the name appeals to me in a rock ‘n’ roll sort of way and the rain-proof chilli pepper formulation should be of sufficient irritation that the cats will leave my garden alone.

I hope so because it is all the heavy artillery I have. And if all else fails, I think the best remedy will be to spend more time in the garden myself.

***

READ ON

UK retail website dedicated to upcycling - The UK’s first retail website dedicated to the trend of upcycling, championed by celebrities including Kirstie Allsopp, Kevin McCloud and Livia Firth, has been launched.

How to make the most of your garden room - A cosy escape outdoors, perhaps a gym, studio or office – there is so much choice when you make good use of garden space or existing outbuildings.

Shortlist announced for Britain’s Vote National Bird Campaign - After months of voting, the shortlist for Britain’s Vote National Bird Campaign has been announced. The public now have six weeks to choose which British bird will be crowned Britain’s National Bird.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Berkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Berkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Berkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Monday, August 13, 2018

If you’re heading to one of the UK’s many festivals this summer, the chances are you’ll be having a sneaky peak in local estate agents’ windows to see how much it would cost to live there all year round.

Read more
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Wokingham furniture designer recalls the moment he decided to tell his wife – and mother of their two young children – that his commuting days were coming to an end

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more
Friday, May 25, 2018

Sue Broughton is looking forward to her second spring as the Head Gardener at Englefield Gardens, which are open to visitors every Monday and are available for weddings and corporate events. She tells Fran McElhone what it takes to maintain the 400-year-old garden

Read more
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Five A Day project provides a welcome boost for healthy eating and those who lovingly grow the produce and flowers

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Add colour to your garden now with the top flowers of March and this season will be all the brighter

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Houseplants are a hot interior trend at the moment and can completely transform a room - but they have their downsides! Gardener and broadcaster Toby Buckland delivers his expert advice

Read more
Monday, November 13, 2017

The story of an extraordinary chair which relies on the ingenuity and skills of people across our counties, Sue Bromley discovers

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Berkshire Life weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Property Search