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.




Saturday, July 1, 2017

Green-Eyed Monster



Thea Vincent wrote, "My black cat's name is Little One. This silly little cat who was 'gifted' to me. I really wasn't in the market for a new pet, after having my elderly rabbit put to sleep, I felt it was good to take a break. I'm a believer in animals choosing us, and not the other way around. So when this little stinker got dropped off at my house at 8 weeks old, he became my responsibility." 
     "Funny enough, I even tried to give him away to a family and he was having a 'sleep over' to see if it was a good fit. While having repairs done on my car I was riding my bicycle through the nearby village when the mom called to tell me the kitty was really sick. Knowing my car was up on the racks, and me on my bike, I told her to bring him to the neighborhood veterinarian and I would get to him as soon as I could. So, we didn't know for sure what had actually caused him to become ill. He was dehydrated and spent the next two days at the vets office. When I brought him home he was quite happy, and I guess it was his way of telling me not to give him away again."
    "Although Little One turned 4 years old this past March, he's still as spunky and playful as a young cat should be. He simply has the best of both worlds -- indoor comforts and outdoor fun. What could possibly be better than having room to roam and tall grasses to hide out in? Daily life for this little black cat is always a mini adventure. He's a little more robust these days, but he can still climb the trees, which is one of his favorite things to do, next to enjoying the cat mint."







licking raindrops

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Urban Farmer


Phantom is a feral cat on an urban farm in downtown Silver Spring, MD. Note the tipped ear. Lynn Koiner says, "He and his brother, Spirit, are part of a local trap-and-release program. They keep down the rodent and rabbit population on the one-acre farm." To learn more about the Koiners urban farm, go here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Simply Ginger


Janet Draper, a Smithsonian Horticulturist, said:

"Her name is Ginger, and we got her as a stray-- someone moved out of a colleagues apartment complex and left her. (Outrageous!) So she should be about....12?  She is our Adventure Kitty. She is an indoor-outdoor girl. Ginger loves hanging outside--even in the rain! (She then wants to come in and sit on your lap to suck your heat/dry off!) She comes (when she feels like it) when we whistle.
   "Oh, because of her great hunting abilities--she wears numerous bells, plus a funky clown ruff-type collar that supposedly makes me more visible to birds.
   "She loves to have her belly in the sun -often she will fall asleep on the back deck in a position like this." (See photo below.)
  "What else? She loves longing in our front yard prairie especially in the grasses! So that is Ginger!"


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Whiling away the hours with Wyler


Kendra Meinert is an entertainment writer, Zone 5 gardener and occasional garden columnist in Green Bay, WI. You can find her @KendraMeinert on Instagram and Twitter.

She shared this gorgeous image and said, "The cat lounging beneath my tree peony, like it was grown just for him, is Wyler. He's 11 and was adopted from the local shelter 10 years ago. He's 15 pounds of friendly. Everybody loves Wyler -- kind of a goofball, life-of-the-party type. If I'm out in the gardens, so is he (and his younger counterpart, Derby). He's  been known to chase a chipmunk up a downspout, but mostly he's really good at finding just the right spot for sprawling out to keep an eye on the gardens or catch a nap. In the heat of summer, you'll find him under the shade of the big leaves of a 'Sum and Substance' hosta. And in winter ... patiently waiting for another gardening season to arrive." 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Puss 'n Boots


Shawna Coronado of ShawnaCoronado.com shared this photo:

"We no longer have pets inside our house, so I was really thankful to have a surprise visitor wander in the garden while I was weeding today. I call her Boots, but have no idea who owns the little sweetheart, but she has captured my soul with her snaggletooth smile."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Porch Decor


Whenever I go on a garden tour, I keep an eye out for a resident garden cat. Recently, in Westminster, Maryland, I spotted this charming porch decoration at a home across the street from one of the tour houses. Even though this kitty's garden was not on the tour. I think the front garden is charming and the cat adds just the right spot of interest.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pepper Mint


Marlene Mullet shared this gorgeous garden cat. She wrote, "Pepper came to our home when she was a kitten (to the dismay of our older cat, Socks, they still don't get along) and we believe she is at least half Maine Coon and was originally part of a litter of stray cats. She even won a photo contest as a kitten just for being so cute. :) She is very sweet and is always careful not to scratch us when we play with her. When I'm in my flower gardens, she loves to chew on or roll around in my Catmint plants. We have a cat door where she can choose to be inside or outside. She is just an all-around good-natured cat:) I think she's around 4 years old."


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Porchfest


Brenda Haas said, "This is Oppie Kitty and Kink Kitty. They are sleeping in my giant container up on the porch, which I am not going to plant until next week so it makes a good kitty bed."

Brenda has shared her collection of garden kitties with us before - see here.

Brenda Haas is a gardener, blogger, photographer, and the founder and administrator of #gardenchat on Twitter. She can be found at http://bggarden.com/.



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Don't Get Him Wet!



If you watch as much reality television as I do, you probably know that it almost all about dog-dogs-dogs, Which is fine, but imagine my elation at seeing Gizmo join the cast of Bravo's Southern Charm and then to see his owner, Craig, was bringing him out in the garden with him just sent me over the moon!

The tweet above shows a GIF of Gizmo enjoying some time out in the garden.

Gizmo has his own Instagram feed here, where he has opined that: "I live with weirdos #gardening." He says he is a "chubby Persian with a bad attitude," but I think he is quite svelte and any kitty that rides in a garden cart cannot be too misbehaved, right?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beau-dacious


My gardening pal, Anne Hardman, is a fellow cat lover as well. Her kitties all stay indoors for their safety, but even inside cats have "cats in gardens" moments!

Anne writes: "This is my Maine Coon kitty Beau lounging in my greenhouse window. Leave it to this sweet giant to find the primo spot for sunbathing! It might be cold outside, but he is happy to settle in with my miniature orchids..."

She previously shared her kitty Max with us: http://catsingardens.blogspot.com/2016/09/max-bunny.html

Saturday, April 15, 2017



Last week I stayed at the lovely Pheasant Run Farm Bed and Breakfast in Lancaster, PA. On the grounds were several barn cats (they actually live in the old chicken house). Most of them were very camera-shy, but I managed to get shots of two of the friendlier ones.

And here also are a few more photos of the farm setting to give you an idea of the beauty of the place. In a few more weeks, everything should be bursting into bloom and be even more gorgeous!



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Tree Buddy


Joe Luebke of Hyattsville, MD, USA, said, “This is our neighbor Rose Fletcher cat, Tulli. She loves to climb this ‘Forest Pansy’ Redbud and eat the flowers. She showed up at their house and had six kittens -- all adopted off. She has been spayed and hangs out with two dogs now.”

Joe is a Horticulturist with GSA and was a longtime staffer at the Washington National Cathedral's gardens.


The photo was taken by Elizabeth Payer.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Going Dotty


Constance Ann McAlpin  lives at Pleasant View Farm in Franklin, Indiana, USA. She posted this photo recently to her Facebook page captioned: "Take the time to stop and smell the flowers! The Pasque Flowers are beginning to bloom!"

Constance writes, "This is DottaOne or Dot for short. We got him at 6 weeks of age and he turned 3 last Friday. He is my very special gardening buddy. I'm sure he would love to be on your cats in gardens blog!"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Princess of the Piccaninny Tribe


This is Tiger Lily, another kitty living with Marianne Willburn, author of the brand new book, Big Dreams, Small Garden, and a columnist/blogger at www.smalltowngardener.com. Last week she shared these photos of her kitty, Daisy.

This week, she writes:

"The naming of Tiger Lily and her sister Daisy still gives me hope that gardening may take hold in my daughter’s heart – for it was she that named the pair of them, these friendly little ‘barn cats’ that spend as much time in the house as they do near the barn. Tiger Lily is a tabby, and a gabby tabby at that – a more vociferous cat I have never owned. Thankfully (for her) she is also sweet-natured and a good huntress. "

"Rather inconveniently for my Jack Russell Terrier Mungo, she also believes herself to be his girlfriend. Watching her swish her tail against his bemused but unflinching face is a regular occurrence around here.  Mungo is generally not amused, however I have caught them on more than one occasion spooning up on the dog bed."


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fresh as a...

"Zen kitty."
Marianne Willburn, author of the brand new book, Big Dreams, Small Garden, and a columnist/blogger at www.smalltowngardener.com, shared these photos of her kitty, Daisy.

She writes, "Daisy came to us with her tabby sister, Tiger Lily, as a kitten. They were both meant to be barn cats, but I made the mistake of letting my daughter pick out the friendliest kittens in the litter. Daisy now spends a good deal of the winter inside, but of our three cats, is the one who wants to be outside the most, hunting voles. She is fluffy, friendly, and both she and her sister will follow you down the lane when you’re taking a walk – a mile if necessary. Her unusual facial markings have earned her the nickname “Twoface” and this is an apt name in more ways than one. Sweet but deadly – friendly but aloof – barn cat or house cat. That’s our Daisy."

"Daisy believes my office chair is her office chair.  All the time."




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stuck On You



Rhonda Fleming Hayes of Minneapolis, MN, submitted this picture of a neighbor's cat.

Rhonda says, "
Velcro wasn't my cat, he belonged to a woman around the corner, however he spent hours in my garden adding life and levity. He was a striking Bengal with ocelot spots and big green eyes. He would hang out on the porch with me and prowl through the plants. He died from a blood clot in his heart this week. I am going to miss him terribly."

Rhonda blogs at The Garden Buzz. She is a winner of the Garden Writers Association Silver Award of Achievement in Writing for Electronic Media.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

You will know the good from the bad when you are calm, at peace


Nita-Jo Rountree sent in the photo taken in her garden in Bellevue, WA, of her cat, Yoda. "He was born in Atlanta, GA, moved to Connecticut for three years, then to gardening paradise here in the Pacific Northwest.  He’s obviously overweight, but that doesn’t slow him down."

Nita-Jo is the author of Growing Roses in the Pacific Northwest: 90 Best Varieties for Successful Rose Gardening.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Japan's Cat Island


What could be better than a garden with felines? How about an island full of both? There are actually several tiny "cat islands" in Japan. The video above shows one that has become a booming tourist destination for day trips to visit kitties. On Aoshima Island, cats outnumber human residents by six-times!

What do you think? Is a trip to these islands on your bucket list?

A Japanese Bobtail, photographed May 1 2003 on the island of Miyajima Japan. Photograph by Toby Woodwark.

See-saw-ing with island cats. Photo by Torne (https://www.flickr.com/photos/_torne/20969198604)