Three Strikes, You’re Out

About 20+ years ago one of my neighbours had planted several small rhodos outside his fence next to the road. On my way home from work, I noticed one of the small plants lying on the side of the road, where deer had pulled it out of the ground. The deer problem was bad around here. If you wanted to grow anything, you had to have a fence around it.

Since the frontage was out of the neighbours’ line of vision, and they might not know their pIant was uprooted, I stopped, picked up the rhodo, and brought it to their door.

“The deer must have pulled out your rhodo. Thought you might want to  replant it.”

“Oh, thanks. Yeah, those darned deer. Just set it over there,” the neighbour said, and pointed to a shady spot near the door.

A few days later, another of the rhodos was pulled out and the scenario was repeated (I stopped, delivered the poor plant so it could be saved).

This time I was met with a sigh as they took the plant from my hand.

The third time I passed by and saw a rhodo uprooted, I stopped and knocked on the door. The neighbour’s adult son answered.

“Sorry, but the deer keep pulling out your rhodos. They don’t seem to like eating them but they don’t know that until after they pull on the leaves and uproot the plant.” I handed over the foot-high shrub.

The son took the plant from me. “Thanks,” he muttered, and flung it into the shrubbery a few feet from the house.

I noticed that the two or three rhodos left on the neighbours’ frontage were drying up and dying. I had tried three times to save the ones that had been uprooted, but when I saw that they didn’t really care about them, I changed my attitude.

“Okay,” I thought. “Three strikes, and  you’re out.”

The fourth time I drove by and saw rhodos in trouble, there were two of them lying on the ground, several feet from where they had been planted, looking limp and near death’s door.

I took them home, stuck them in the ground, and gave them a drink of water.

Today, the neighbour has no rhodos on his frontage, but in the photo below, you can see the two I rescued. They have been happy for over 20 years.

 

41 thoughts on “Three Strikes, You’re Out

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I had no idea it would get so big. I’m glad I saved it, as it would not have survived in the place where it was, even if the deer had not pulled it out. Too hot and dry there. Nice that we are rhodo twins.

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  1. Sonja Forrester

    I think the rhodos planned it all that way. 🙂 They saw how happy all the other plants were in your garden and wanted to move in. Very clever tactic indeed. Ha ha ha. Beautiful plant!

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  2. Ursula

    The same rhodo is in my garden and has as many blooms as yours on it. But the blooms won´t develop any farther. I think it was too hot for a while and too dry. I gave it about 30 litres of water during this week despite of our watershortage. Makes me so sad. Nice to see yours in all its beauty. At least I could look at a wonderful blooming rhodo and especially if its in your garden. Well done with saving the uprooted little poor- and neglected plants!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      This picture is actually of two rhodos (both from the same rescue) planted side by side, but they got so big they look like one. I had no idea they would get so big but they get a good watering every fourth day from our drinking water tank cleanout, and they love it.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      At first I put a small fence around my orchard and garden area but soon I had to get a fence around the whole property because our area has become the neighbourhood dog walk and very few people are responsible enough to put their dogs on a leash. Their dogs were tearing through my herb garden and getting into confrontations with my own dogs who don’t leave the property. But with so many other dogs around now (running loose), we’ve had to fence our one-acre lot and things are much better, keeping deer and other dogs out.

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      1. Lori

        Oh geez. Loose dogs here are a no-no. Not that I haven’t seen them, but it’s rare. They’d likely be snatched up by animal services if it happened often. Thanks for answering, Anneli.

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        1. wordsfromanneli Post author

          Our area is getting very “built up” but we are (so far) still out of the city limits and so the dog bylaws are relaxed. They say your dog should be under control at all times. And they always are, until they aren’t and then it’s too late. I find it really annoying to see such irresponsible people who think they have perfect control of their dog and then when it tears through someone’s yard they look at you like you’re not a nice neighbour if you suggest that they should have the dog on a leash. Within the city limits it’s a different story. People tend to obey the leash law more often.

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