Just slug it out


Springtime brings everything back to life and I relish all the new growth and bright blossoms. Mother’s Day weekend is my traditional time to visit the local nursery and select bedding plants for hanging baskets and deck tubs, plus a few for the garden bed near the front door. Over the next few days I harden them off and usually before the following weekend I begin the process of planting everything.

Yesterday was a perfect planting day, 20C. with hazy sunshine and a forecast for rain showers to follow. I prepared my containers, mixed in some fresh soil and set out the plants. Geraniums, of course. Doesn’t every sun-loving container have to have a bright shot of their colour? A dracena to add height and spiky contrast. A sweet potato vine for each pot, and some cheery calibrachoa. Then I reached for a pot of dark red verbena, and…


Yuck! Where did he come from, I wondered. I doubt he made it to the top level of my deck on his own, so I suspect he was an unpurchased bonus from the nursery. Garden slugs, or gastropod mollusks, are relatively common in damp west coast gardens. I tend to ignore them unless they’re feasting on one of my favourite hostas. But I neither expect nor tolerate them in my deck containers!

I spent some time trying to decide what to do with him. Most gardeners would advocate a quick demise. I suggested he Get. Out. Of. There. while I was still feeling squeamish about it. And it looked like he was trying. However, he was dreadfully slow and I really wanted to get that verbena planted, so I gave him a little help and tossed him over the railing with the flick of my garden trowel.


Later when I went for the hose I discovered he was still where he’d landed… on the gravel path. That’s when I remembered he wouldn’t be able to maneuver across the warm, dry rocks. While slugs aren’t the kind of wildlife that endear themselves to me, I admit to feeling a little guilty for causing him so much discomfort. I flipped him over into the grass and watered him a bit with the hose. I’m not sure, but I think I heard him murmur, “Thanks, chum.” Or maybe it was, “Thanks, chump.” He’ll probably devour a hosta tonight.

It’s amazing how long it can take to get a job done when there are interruptions. I’m sure I lost a good half-hour of planting time thanks to my slimy intruder. (We won’t consider the time spent on trips to the fridge for a Diet Coke, or how often I sat down to take just a few moments’ break.) The containers did eventually get done, but dinner was late.

When I think of interruptions I am reminded of all the excuses I use to procrastinate about writing. Like gardening, I love it, but too often something entices me away and slows the process. My best bet is to allot a specific time, then sit down and  just slug it out. (Is that a pun?)

Some interruptions are easier to deal with than others. How do you handle them during your writing?

~  ~  ~


10 thoughts on “Just slug it out

  1. Cate Graham says:

    Loved your slimy slug story, Carol. I had a chuckle about you imagining his comment when you wet him with the hose. Cute! I’m procrastinating today, too, but at least I wrote a blog post about it. That’s writing, isn’t it?

    Cattitude and Gratitude

    • Carol says:

      Thanks for your comment, Cate. I agree entirely… these blog posts are not only writing, sometimes they are the only writing I get done in a day.

  2. Shari Green says:

    Are you saying social media is a slimy intruder? Cuz it is definitely one of my most common interruptions/procrastinations. 😉

    Hoping to just slug it out this morning and get some words done. Happy writing, Mom!

    • Carol says:

      You called it… a slimy intruder. The problem is, it doesn’t sneak in like the slug did, I let it in. I can’t blame anyone but me.

  3. Mary Helen says:

    Carol, Do you remember the time that Mom and Dad Garvin, you and Bob, Murray and I went camping somewhere in southern B.C, and when we went to go to bed, we found this HUGE GREEN SLUG on the floor of our tent? I had never even seen such a thing before! I don’t recall how we got rid of it, but I’m sure Bob and Murray helped it OUT of the tent!!! I enjoy your blogs. Thanks.

    • Carol says:

      Hi, Mary Helen. It’s nice to see you here. Since Mom and Dad weren’t camping by the time Bob and I met, that was probably the one July we were all at Gabriola together (our ‘big announcement’ visit). We had our tent trailer in front of the Tippin’ Inn cabin, so maybe that’s where the slug turned up. There would have been lots of them creeping around under the plentiful covering of arbutus leaves. 🙂

  4. Jenn Hubbard says:

    And then sometimes the interruption becomes the story. The slug ended up becoming the star of a blog post! 🙂

    • Carol says:

      So true, Jenn, and it’s welcome inspiration. As I said to Cate, sometimes my little contributions here are all I get written in a day.

  5. He looks huge! I never saw one that big. I’ll be planting tomorrow. 🙂
    Writing interruptions are non-stop. Tomorrow morning, I’m writing – at least until I have to meet a friend for lunch and go grocery shopping. Oh, and there’s the planting I want to do…

    • Carol says:

      Susan, he’s actually partially retracted, but even at his full length of 4+” he wouldn’t be as big as some grow. There are ‘banana slugs’ anywhere from 6-9″ in the damp west coast forests! They’re harmless but quite gross, in my opinion.

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