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: 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:

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 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


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

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


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:

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 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, 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 (

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Garden Companion

Rob Chambon, a landscaper in Bicknell, Indiana, USA, shared his story about his cat Ashley. “I lost my former cat Cabbie back in July of 2015 (see her story here). That loss devastated me. About a month later, a friend of mine, Clarence, and his wife suggested I come see a stray cat that had parked itself at their house during this same period. I'll never forget that first moment when I saw Ashley. Sitting on Clarence's front porch, Ashley simply jumped into my lap and put her sweet little head right under my chin, and that was it for me. I decided right then and there she was going home with me. I had found the right pet to replace the giant hole in my heart when I lost Cabbie." 
   "Now, looking back at the year and a half that I've had Ashley with me, I can honestly say that she is the absolutely perfect cat for me. Ashley is so loving and sweet. She always captures the heart of all who let her sit on their lap and experience her amazing sweetness. Ashley prefers, for whatever reason to sit high on my lap or sometimes my chest so her head is either right at my chin, or resting on my shoulder. She is a very laid back kitty, and her preferred spot inside my home is on the arm of my couch, where she sleeps peacefully till I awake in the morning." 
   "Ashley is very vocal in the mornings. She meows many times when I first get up, following me everywhere I go till I take the time to hold her and pet her. Ashley loves attention, back rubs and belly rubs, and she loves to be held. Any time I talk to her, Ashley meows right back to me, as if she is answering me. It's uncanny, but I swear sometimes I think she really understands me. Ashley is a very faithful companion, following me out to my woodland garden where she passes the time waiting on me to finish my garden chores or a simple walk. Afterward, when I begin to leave the garden, Ashley knowingly trots along in front of me, leading the way back to my lake cottage each and every time. She seems to sense when I am ready to head home. I feel so lucky and blessed to have such a sweet and lovable cat like Ashley in my life. She's not only company to me, but she is my constant, loving companion.”

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Orange Shrub-cat

This orange shrub-cat meme is one in a long line of potted cats. He is a undeniably and sweetie and it is not surprising that it is being spread far and wide.

Someone named "the southern dandy" commented on it: "The orange shrub-cat requires many pets to grow big and strong. Contrary to other shrubs, this shrub is deeply adverse to being watered."

It has been shared thousands of times in Reddit and is now making it over to Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook - without attribution.

I cannot trace the original post to give them credit. Please comment below, if you know this cat, the owner, and/or the photographer.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Happy Happy Joy Joy

My Garden to Table in Pottstown, PA, shared this photo of their cat and some Hpapy Cat Farm seed packs. They wrote: "Best find at today's #seedswapday was @Happycatfarm Really looking forward to taste testing these beauties! Sprite is a 4-year=old rescue we got (with his sister, Melody) when we moved to the farm. He's smart, engaging, and overall a very happy cat. "

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Key West Kitties

Kirk R. Brown, a garden communicator and speaker, shared these photos of the feral cats of Key West, Florida: "On my recent visit, the Ernest Hemingway House showed off its 58 movie star cats. They are indifferent to tourists. Of course. But each is a master or mistress of capturing the attention of anyone passing by. All of them carry the polydactyl (extra-toes) gene. Some are deeper in the pool than others."
   "The guide told us that this orange tabby (pictured below) was the dominant cat of the collection. Polydactyl by breeding not by name. And cleaning as we watched."
   "Most have been neutered or spayed. They say they allow only one litter per generation. (Obviously, at some time in the past, they were less concerned about overpopulation.) in this current generation, they are excited about breeding an obvious polydactyl male with a similar female. They are selecting for this recessive. I don't know if there are any other genetic side effects to this appearance, like kidney or liver problems or chronic people avoidance..."