Whilst you'll know I've got foxcubs and that they've nearly destroyed my garden this year, you don't know that I turned the main strawberry patch into Fort Knox months ago (mainly to stop Ivor cat doing his business near food). I used some window grilles a neighbour decided they didn't need on their house any more - not sure why as his next door neighbour has been burgled a couple of times this year. Still, I'm not complaining, they aren't pretty but they are effective. They're heavy enough to lean against the brick border & wall and for Ivor cat and the foxes to be baffled by them, but open enough to allow the fruit to grow & ripen. That tall thing on the left is a poppy that just grew and it's pretty and on the end, so I let it. A bit Heath Robinson, but very effective.
Just before I went away to Northumberland in early June, I decided to add some salads to the lone occupants of my veg patch (celery and spinach). And I carefully laid out the 6 canes and tied them to make 1 foot square patches (do you know about Square Foot Gardening - it's great for the single girl who wants a bit of variety in her veg patch), and picked peasticks and dead branches to lay over the top and did a criss-cross of canes around the edge to discourage Ivor cat's business, and also deter the foxcubs.
Yeah right! I got back to find all the ground mashed up, the branches broken, the seedlings tossed all over the place. So I built another Fort Knox with some canes, trellis and plastic netting. Slight technical hitch though, I can't get in to weed it or eat the salads.
As you can see, it's looking a bit sad, and the lawn has really suffered from the bad winter and the recent lack of rain, oh yeah and the pesky foxcubs wearing it out! I need to change the barriers so I can get access...
I also have alpine strawberries (those tiny really fragrant ones) in a big half barrel on the patio mulched in straw. All I've done to protect these is put those foot long green peasticks at all angles so no sane animal will try and jump up. Or so I thought, I was in the kitchen on Thursday morning and what did I see? This...
Yes, it's blurry but can you see the cheeky foxcub bottom sticking out from the plants, silhouetted against the green compost bin? Honestly! and it didn't look at all repentant when I knocked on the window.
I'm not sure it's going to work, but it's all I've got time to do at present with what's available at home. It's not pretty - none of my Fort Knox's are pretty, but I'm hoping they're effective!
And after all that, I only managed to get about 10 ripe Alpine Strawberries instead of the half pound I was hoping for. I am somewhat out of love with the rawness of mother nature right now!