There are many challenges to having a garden in Wyoming. The growing season is short, even here in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains. I have known snow on the 5th of June, killing frost on August 31. Most summers, by now, though the days start cool enough the temps rise to 100 or more by noon. Rain is a memory from other places, places I once thought of as less than kind to the gardener. Irrigation water is to be fought for, the means to water a lawn and garden are contrived. The hot drying wind that sweeps lustily down from the mountains seers greenery, flings dust and tumbleweeds, and passes on, leaving wilted plants trembling from the blast.
Then there are the deer and the rabbits. The bunnies bob through the dooryard, nibble parsley and swiss chard. The deer who left their footprints circling house and haystack all winter, now appear in the trees by the pond. They tiptoe past the bedroom window, startled by the big-eyed cats who watch from the folds of the curtains. Emboldened, the deer come within yards pf the dining room window, then progress on dainty hooves to the flower border. When I step onto the porch, they raise their velvet-antlered heads. "Go away," I tell them, "the flowers are mine!" Startled by my voice, they stand watching, ears alert and tails flicking. As they bound through the pasture they are joined by a doe and the tiniest fawn I have ever seen.
It would seem we can't have both the wonder of their presence and the joy of flowers.