The leaves are nearly gone for the season and most of those 5-7′ flower stalks have dried. The hummingbirds love the blossoms, which is a large part of why I haven’t gotten rid of them, but those stalks (just the stalks) have these vicious jags of thorns everywhere and every summer I start thinking I should just rip out the lot of them entirely.
So how many years did it take me to figure out that the critters that raid my stuff wouldn’t like to touch those any more than I do? All those times that I carefully cut the stalks with clippers and tried to keep holding onto them in the jaws of the things as I carried them to the bin, ends swaying awkwardly, trying not to let them smack into me as I opened the lid and tried both to get them in and to cut them in half so they would fit in there–they always got me. Often in the face.
So I challenged the squirrels and raccoons to a duel: En Gourd, villains!
(I’m still not sure those really are Sharlyn melons no matter what that seed packet said. So far the leaves and fruit look deeply suspiciously zucchini-y. But they’re not growing into baseballs overnight, so, that’s a good sign.)
The tomatoes have the spiky things too. And they are untouched. So far.
(Edited to add: Acanthus. Found the name.)
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