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Gardening and depression

Good afternoon irisarians:  I wonder how many people use gardening as an 
antidepressent.  When I read the post about planning crosses in the wintertime and 
using ones imagination it made me realize that not only does gardening combat 
depression during the active season but also obsessing over catalogs, old 
slides, pictures, books etc. and imagining the spring to come combats it during 
the "off" months.  I am fortunate here in East Texas to grow about 60 different 
varieties of camellias which start blooming (the sasanquas anyhow) in October 
and continue through April.  I have many seedling camellias to quell the urge 
for surprise until the seedling iris and daylilies show their faces.  Right 
now I am frustrated by the ravages of armadillos.  One cannot imagine the 
damage they do unless they live in armadillo country.  The paths through my iris 
and daylilies are heavily mulched with pine straw which has been churned and 
turned into a mine field of ankle turning wedge-shaped holes.  My moist hosta 
beds look like they have been bombed and some hostas are lying on top of the 
ground.  During this period every August I am constantly replanting what those 
boogers dig up every night.  I used to trap them and sit up at night with a 
shotgun but every August brings a new crowd and they have finally worn me down.  
Trapping them is incredibly difficult as there is nothing to use as bait and you 
have to build a funnel of 2x6 lumber terminating at the mouth of the trap 
where they are active and hope they will wind up in the trap (they have very poor 
eyesight).  One summer I trapped 6 and shot one.  This summer I am not even 
getting my traps down.  They have already devastated my Japanese iris plantings 
by uprooting them and the markers.  It is hopeless to get them straightened 
out.  I am about ready to abandon markers as something is constantly 
interfering.  In this case even a key to the plantings won't help as the iris have been 
uprooted and I have no way of knowing which plant is which.  Even with all 
this complaining I must say that gardening is the most exciting and fulfilling 
element of my life and a great antidepressent.
Barbara Null
Tyler, TX  zone 7b/8a

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