Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, September 8, 2017


Heh. I bet that blog title got your attention.

Yes, indeed, I am writing about poop. As if heat and smoke weren't enough, I am having a plague of poop.

Cat poop, dog poop, raccoon poop. A lovely trifecta.


This dusty dry area where I cleared annuals that had gone to seed and then fried in the heat and drought has now become the local cat box for every cat within a ten-mile radius of my house. I have plans to plant this area up pretty thickly with perennials, which I hope will eventually deter them. I've resigned myself to finding cat poop in the garden, I don't know if there's much more I can do about it.

Also, look at my little pineapple guava, there on the left. So far it has survived our summer from hell. Yippee! Now if it can just make it through winter.


There is a dog in the neighborhood that is allowed to run free, and although I've never seen it happen, I think it might be pooping at the end of my driveway.  Although I have to wonder, it's always in the same spot, in the river rock parking area along the street, which makes me wonder if it's just someone walking their dog who can't be bothered to pick it up. Because, wouldn't a dog running around leave it everywhere?

It's always in that area on the left, which is over-run right now with weeds, but actually contains river rock, and at the moment, although you can't see it in the picture, at least 5 mounds of dog poop.

If the river rock were cleared of weeds it would look more like this, which I was weeding until our recent heat and smoke wave. You can probably see where I stopped.

So, what do I do about the dog? Put up a sign? "My garden is not your dog's toilet. Please pick up after it." Nigel says I should fill the gravel up with Opuntia and Agaves.

Before our recent heat and smoke wave hit, I was also working on redoing the area pictured below. I took out a twinberry honeysuckle that had become hopelessly overgrown, and in the process got a brainwave.

The area is right at the end of the raised beds that are going to become my cutting garden next year, so wouldn't it be a perfect spot for a bench? Underneath the Douglas firs, right by the colorful bottle tree. I could put some gravel down there and line it right up with the raised bed. Picture perfect.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, it looks like the raccoons have been using that area right under the trunk of the Douglas firs as their toilet alllllll summer long. It is full of raccoon poop.

Yes, I took photos of it, just in case you ever need to know what raccoon scat (technical term) looks like, or want to show off your skill, tracking one through the forest.

Don't want to see it? Get ready to scroll fast.





You know, raccoons carry dangerous diseases in their poop, right? So, I need to put on a haz-mat suit and clean it up. And once I've cleaned it up, I need to figure out how to keep them from continuing to do it. I'm thinking of laying chicken wire over the soil, all around the Douglas fir.

Have you got any other ideas?


Oh. My. God. I wrote a post about poop. And you read it. All the way to the end. Here, to reward you for getting through it, are some pictures of pretty Begonias.

Also, please pray to the god of poop that my toilets keep working.


  1. Oh the glamorous life of a gardener. Fickle folks we are who shovel yards of poop all over our gardens but are unhappy when neighborhood dogs, cats, and raccoons make a contribution. I wonder if animals think we're insane. Hope you get the problem flushed out soon and thanks for the begonia reward at the end of your post.

  2. Plant lovers' minds really are in the sewer. I love that word, "scat," it has such range. It encompasses wildlife toilet habits as well as the sublime Ella scat singing. Those raised beds are going to be phenom cutting gardens!

  3. I feel your pain! Anytime I've redone an area in the garden the exposed soil means it becomes a kitty pooping area. Even worse because (this is gross) dogs see kitty poop as treats. Poor Lila would regularly get in trouble for trying to enjoy those treats left for her. I am regularly amazed at people not picking up their dog's poop, I just don't understand how they can be so rude.

  4. Raccoon poop is the worst! They seem to pick one area and keep coming back. In my garden they're now pooping in and around the cavity in a large tree stump. Once I clean it up (yuck!), I'm going to fill the cavity with soil and put a plant there.

    P.S. The begonias are drool-worthy.

  5. Ha, Alison, thanks for the laugh! I share your pain, raccoon, dog, cat, and any other variety of varmint loves to poop in our yard, too. But I do agree, raccoon is the worst and there are so bleepin' many of them.

    I loved seeing your before and after post earlier, the amount of changes you have made to your garden is stunning. I wish we could send you some rain; we've been having showers on and off for weeks. I've never seen the quarry this high in September.

  6. Be careful. Raccoon poop harbors some really nasty worms that you can acquire.

    My suggestion is two packages of long bamboo skewers. Stick them in the ground close enough together to discourage squatting with enough of the pointed end sticking out to stab a behind.

    I would make a little sign that nicely says, "Take your pet elsewhere to poop, I garden here." Scatter mothballs, too.

    You could trap the raccoon. Check your state's laws on relocation. You might trap the dogs and cats, too. Time they get bailed out of jail a time or two, the owners might send them in the other direction.

  7. Thanks for the scat education...I've never seen racoon scat before, though I'm plenty familiar with the other two varieties. One of our dogs loves to roll in other animals scat. An old house of ours had LOTS of wildlife. She got lots of baths. Now we have minimal wildlife, I miss it, but not the poop. Your raised beds are going to be great. (Trying to round the comment with something not poop related)

  8. Cats can be discouraged by laying fencing wire on the ground until you can get it planted. Raccoons? We have a poop tree in our yard too. fortunately we don't pass that way often. I have other issues with raccoons, which i will be posting.
    I do think a sign for the dog owner would be a good idea.

  9. I'm sorry for your woos, but I found this hysterical. It was worth the read all the way to the end to see the begonias.

  10. Chicken wire worked great at the base of my pine tree. The raccoons went elsewhere.
    I love the new and nostalgic Bonney Lassie header.

  11. You know, this might make a good meme all us garden bloggers could get in on. You could call it Feces Friday.

  12. That's a lot of scat! Have you tried sprinkling dried blood around the area? I found it worked well keeping the wildlife away from my flower beds.... or maybe they just got bored with my garden.

  13. Your begonias are beautiful. Those raccoons in your neighborhood must be getting plenty to eat, with that amount of poo production. I hope you have a very long handle shovel.

    I have successfully used chicken wire over the ground to keep neighborhood kitties at bay. The other day, I had just gotten up and was still toddling around in my nightgown when I opened the window shade just in time to see someone with a long legged dog on a leash just standing there as their tall dog took a long whiz on my pot of flowers that is near the street but well within our yard. If I'd have been dressed there would have been some bad words flying. Luckily, I was able to go out soon after and water the flower pot well enough to wash away enough that the flowers were fine. Why do people think it's fine to let their animal use people's flowers for toilet areas. They need to let their pets get it out of their systems in their own yard.


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