Gardening is one of the few activities we’ve enjoyed throughout the seven years we’ve made Grenada our home. Edibles fresh from the garden are a special treat, no matter the amount of work.

A treat for us but equally a treat to the three iguanas who have decided our garden is the best in the neighborhood and come regularly to share the harvest. Or better put, to devastate the harvest. They do have their preferences, i.e. bok choy, kale, young bean plants, my gorgeous giant lilac hibiscus and okra.

So, the battle lines have been drawn. Hubby, inventive as ever, comes up with different deterrents. He built a cage of thorns around the okra. Pretty impressive. Not to the iguana, however, somehow the beast has managed to stick his nose into the thorn cage enough to get most of the young leaves.

Next, the beans. Hubby built strong wire mesh fences around the plants. Brilliant. However, iguana figured out that after a while, beans, which climb, will be higher than the wire mesh. Gone are the tops of the bean plants.

Someone told us the best deterrent is something called “black disinfectant”. Spray it around the paths where the iguanas go, around fence posts, around the plants, etc. Well, what we ended up with was an evil smell in the entire garden and iguanas who didn’t get the message that they are supposed to go out of their way to avoid this. They just went ahead and munched our planting to their heart’s content.

One success is planting cauliflower plants densely in between eggplant (which they do not like) onions & peppers. So far, they’ve left them alone.

Someone told us iguanas hate onions of any kind. OK, so plant seedlings & surround them with green onion plants. Useless. The iguana trampled down the onions and munched down on the young bok choy.

We discovered that blowing a shrill whistle will startle them and make them scurry away. Ha! Once, but seeing that no harm came to them, now they just look up and continue on their way.

If I see one, I quickly run down and fling a towel @ it. That works but not practical, as it would require me to stay in the garden all day.

Desperate people have suggested we put poison out around the young plants. This we will not do. As much as the beasts are tormenting us (and I think enjoying it), I cannot see killing such magnificent creatures.

So, we battle on.  The hibiscus recovered last year, the beans are pretty hardy, the okra is a fighter… so there’s hope.

When all else fails, we can always re-plant.

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:


Island Girl Since:

1968, but full time since 2013

Originally Hails From:

Chicago, USA

Maria has lived many lives in many places but has never felt happier than on her current rock in the sun, Grenada. In a former life, for many years she was a successful realtor in Chicago. Ironically, Maria has found buying a new pad in the Grenadian marketplace to have many plot twists… but she loves exploring, meeting new people, and growing a year-round garden in the sun.

One of Maria’s new missions is to communicate with folks back home and to teach them about the Spice Island – its unique produce, lively culture, and welcoming ways. Maria is an avid lover of life who seeks to try new foods and meet new people.

Back in a past life, Maria was a huge supporter of the opera, theatre, and was active in many civic organizations and causes. She has now limited her organizational involvement to being active in the Grenada Association of Retired Persons. She’s happy to share her adventure with her wonderful husband of many years. Together, they share a large family and love to show their kids and grandkids around their lovely island home.

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