As much as I don’t like spiders, garter snakes (in the garden, of course) have never bothered me. I try to respect that not everyone feels this way. Since my garden pond is an attraction to the birds and the bees I guess it was only natural that a snake or two would slither it’s way into my little mountain paradise.
It used to be that we’d only see our garter snake once a year. By the second year, he got a name – Smithers (yes, that’s from The Simpson’s). And, before we go any further, most everything in my garden gets a name. Two years ago, I picked up one of my little garden statues (a frog named Kimball) and in the hollow of the statue on the rock was a tiny baby snake, looking very much like Smithers. I named this baby – Andy (for Andy Anaconda) Then, later in the season, lo and behold – there was a third snake – and this time Smithers was entwined up the waterfall with his new “best friend”.
Last summer only Smithers was to be found but he posed for photographs 4 or 5 times! So, check the date of this post…its still March and to our great surprise Andy was wiggling about in the warm spring sun. I know its Andy, because he’s still considerably smaller than his dad (an assumption on my part).
I did a little basic research on garter snakes and confirmed what I learned from when I was a kid. They are harmless. The best rule of thumb is to just leave them alone. They survive on what’s available in the garden, bugs and worms mostly, and that can be helpful. The bigger the garter snake, the bigger stuff they will eat, like lizards, and tadpoles.
Other sites will tell you how to rid yourself of snakes, if they are truly unwanted. I won’t do that here. I like my little critters. They are just a part of my garden and a part of what makes my garden fun. Come back often, as you’ll see the rest of the garden gang as I’m able to catch them scouting for a free meal!
Note: If you’re unsure about what kind of snake you’re looking at, be sure to check it out online or in a book before you get too close!