Saturday, August 19, 2017

Flitting with Meeko


Jeanette Price Zipf, the Education Registrar and Visitor Experience Coordinator at Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware, shared these adorable pictures.

She said, "This is our sweet boy, Meeko, in our backyard. While this isn't quite a formal garden bed, he still walks among the beauties - Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica), that is! Meeko is just over 10 years old. He and (we think) his brother, Shadow, were dumped in my sister's yard when they were very tiny kittens. My niece, Shelly, rescued them and kept them until they were weaned. Shadow came to live with us, and Meeko lived with Shelly. (Meeko was first named Bella because it was thought he was a girl.) Meeko was a wandering boy. Eventually he came to live with us and has been with us since August of 2010. EVERYONE loves Meeko. He is the friendliest cat. We live in a suburban development and he has friends on every street. One year at Halloween, three little girls came trick-or-treating as black and white cats and told us that they had dressed up like Meeko. He has also had his misfortune. In January of 2015, he was attacked in our front yard by a raccoon. That was the first time we needed to visit an animal hospital. He had a badly wounded back paw. Happily he recovered. His best quality - he follows his friends around like a puppy dog. He comes when called, mostly, and wants to be where ever we are. His worst quality is that he is the dumbest cat ever. He will sit in the middle of our street and expect cars to stop or go around him. Fortunately, so far, he is still alive. His story goes on. we love him dearly."

"Pictured below is our boy in a neighbor's flower pot. She was not totally amused but thank you, Amy, for a great picture!"


Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Fluff Factor


Janet Endsley, a Seminar & Judging Manager for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, shared this wonderful photo.

She wrote,"I had planted this Nepeta (Catmint) only an hour before. This was our beloved Prince Kuddles, a Blue Mitted Ragdoll. We said farewell to him about 2 years ago at age 18. This photo was taken when he was around 12. We got him when our daughter was 5, and he was the perfect cat for a young child, so calm and mellow. Most nights he would spend on my lap as I read and watched TV. What I love is that when I brushed him (his fur was downy soft like rabbit fur) I saved the fur. I made some home-made bird nesting balls with his fur, some yarn and lichen, wrapping it in bird netting and putting it out by my feeders. Within a few months the balls were nearly empty, but most of the yarn and lichen were left. They had taken all his fur. It makes me happy knowing that he lives on providing a soft nest for baby birds. I have a blue garden by the front door in his honor. Of course, it includes Nepeta!"

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Mouse Stalker


Kirk Ryan Brown is the current President at GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators and is a popular garden speaker. He posted this photo on his Facebook page, which I asked to share.

Kirk wrote: "This is the front of house and very native garden of Rob Proctor and David Macke in Denver, CO. [Seen as part of the Perennial Plant Association recent annual meeting's private garden tours.] The back of house is a riotous mix of annuals and perennials. This is the cat that is the most social of their pet residents. Here, seen hunting for a mouse that was scurrying through the underbrush of the wild entrance. She is the social companion to a feral group of hidden felines."

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Smooth Like Jiffy


Connie Bowers of the Garden Makeover Company in Silver Spring, MD, shared this photo of her cat, Jiffy. She said:

"This catmint packs a punch! Nepeta x faassenii 'Junior Walker' may be a dwarf variety, but it is quite pungent.....just ask Jiffy, who is guarding it with his life, after 'partaking'. And I’d heard that while cats go crazy for catnip not so much for the catmint plant."

"My cat is a total cut-up in the garden, and is great fun to watch. I have a dog and cat, but to be honest, the cat is more interesting. Jiffy is a 14 year old DSH orange tabby, very large with an insatiable appetite. He’s now on a bit of a diet after gaining 3 more pounds per last week’s vet visit, now weighing in at 21#.  I just got in and caught him polishing off the remains of the dog’s breakfast. He’s also taken over a few of the dog’s (golden retriever mix — they’re the same color) large beds."

"I adopted Jiffy (previously named ‘Jeff’ in his former life) at age 9 months. We think he may have had feline herpes as a baby because he has a distinctive cross-eyed look with a clouded eye. Several months under a veterinary ophthalmologist's care many years ago care fixed his issues. His favorite pastime (alas) seems to be scouting around our yard for chipmunks and occasionally bringing one into the house to play (he never hurts them, but terrorizes me, as they are not easy to capture). He’ll spend hours staring at a spot where he has apparently seen one of them. We have a tall fence around the ¾ acre property, which is completely filled with trees and plants, so he has plenty to amuse himself. He just never figured out how to climb the fence to get out of the yard (though other cats have climbed in and caused some problems). Never a dull moment!"

Saturday, July 22, 2017

And the Oscar goes to...


Patrick Dolan of One Yard Revolution, has a video channel all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods. Often in his videos, you will see his feline garden companion, Oscar, pop in for an unscripted cameo.

"Oscar is 8," Patrick told me. "We adopted him from my sister-in-law. He still acts like a kitten and loves to play, run, and climb in his garden. He also likes to play rough, but only with me (because I get a kick out of it). He's very gentle with everyone else."

As you can see by the photos below, Oscar has a wide range of expressions and quite a lot of gardening opinions.





If you'd like to see more of Oscar, he has his own Facebook album here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/oneyardrevolution/photos/?tab=album&album_id=881696275202773

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Days in the Country

Carley relaxes in the shade.
During the recent Garden Conservancy Open Days in Frederick County, MD, I visited Surreybrooke Garden Center in Middletown, MD. Owner Nancy Walz lives on site and has a wonderful collection of both pet animals and animal statues sprinkled around the landscape.

Nancy said, "Carley is a 13-year-old girl and we got her along with her twin brother, Charles, from one of our customers who gave us the kittens when she was moving away. You can tell difference between the two as Carley is always a little unkempt and doesn't keep herself as neat as Charles."

Cali naps on a log cabin porch.
Wandering through the many garden rooms and buildings, I came across this sweet kitty napping on a porch. "Cali is a Calico girl cat who is about 15 now," Nancy said. "The grandkids named her. We got her from a farm down the road. We took 3 kittens at the time, but she is the only one left from that litter."
One of the many charming animal statues placed throughout the gardens.
Bandit competes for photo ops with the many gorgeous garden containers.

During my visit to Surreybrooke, I was petting Carley when Bandit came up behind me and pushed under my arm to get his fair share of attention. Nancy said, "He is a Dalmation-Beagle mix and is 12 years old this summer, but you wouldn't know it. He runs in the morning while I do my chores and has great energy for his age."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trouble Waiting To Happen


Sue, a gardener in north-central Connecticut, shared these kitty pics on her Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/musabasjoosue/. We met recently at the Garden Bloggers Fling 2017. She is a big Warren Zevon fan, hence the name of this post from a song of his.

She writes of the kitty above that he was a stray and "since he didn't appear to be going anywhere soon, I figured he needed a name.  Introducing The Twerpster (aka The Twerpinator)." You can read more about her garden and her cats at her blog: http://idyllhaven.blogspot.com.