a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Jul, 2015

Strange things in the garden, part 2 [a story with no ending, just a lot of questions]

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

I am still puzzled by what I found in the garden the other day, even though I have always suspected there were Strange Things Afoot. There have been many clues. Our dog Piper, for example, seems to stare off into space when she’s back there, and sometimes she spends a lot of time carefully sniffing one spot. I’ve also seen cats prowling though the grass even though there were no birds in sight.

I never thought much about these things until I started to pay attention.

A few steps away from the hostas is a miniature rose bush that was given to me as a gift.  It’s a pretty little thing. Its flowers are so intensely, blindingly, pink that the colour can hardly be captured on camera.

I’ve been watching the rose bush since the snow melted, as it slowly came back to life after a very long and cold winter. Amazingly, it survived. After I time I noticed it hadn’t just survived, it was going to flower. The first tiny bloom was so tightly wrapped, with a little trace of pink showing through, I thought it might burst. Every day I peeked out the window to see its progress until one day I saw the rosebud had been nipped off (!) and chewed to pieces. At the time I assumed it had fallen victim to a troublemaking squirrel, but now I am not so sure.

There were no more nipped buds after that first one, but I still watched the bush. Everything was fine until I spotted something amiss when I was watering it the other day. On first glance everything appeared to be perfectly normal:


No nipped rosebuds, no insects attacking the leaves, nothing out of the ordinary… that is, until I leaned in closer and looked underneath:


There, under the rose bush, was a tiny red rake, scattered bits of rose petals, and pieces of broken snail shells on a small patch of cleared earth.

I don’t know what to make of this scene. Had I interrupted something? Was this snail related to the one who ran over the tiny toadstools? Is there a war going on that I don’t know about? Were the petals scattered there deliberately or by accident? And who was raking under the rosebush: a cleanup crew or a gardener?

It’s all so mysterious.  I will keep looking, but I’m afraid I may never find the answers to my questions.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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