In the Garden

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P1030344Sunshine at last! We’ve been outside making the most of it, and I have been weeding and tidying and all the usual stuff that never seems to end when you have a garden to look after.

We allowed our cat Bo a brief foray outside for the first time. She’s had her vaccinations but is due to be spayed soon, and I do not want to risk a pregnancy (delightful as a litter of sweet kittens would be). She sits indoors by the window when it is ajar and looks longingly out, launching herself at the slightest fly, bird or spider that dares to zip past or dangle in front of her nose. So I relented. Here she is taking a few careful steps, her senses hyper-aware, stopping to sniff the flowers and chew on the odd blade of grass.

Our garden is a funny shape. A triangle at the back which gets a good amount of sunshine and a little rectangle on the side of the house which is shaded. About 23m by 14m on the longest and shortest sides. Not huge but enough for just little old me to look after and grow a few vegetables. Most of it is lawn because the children love to play ball-games and camp out. But each year we dig up another small section and turn it to vegetable beds. This is hard work… luckily I have a handy helper – my son Jay – to give me a hand 🙂 Please ignore the state of the grass, it’s in a terrible condition. Dry here and mossy there with hundreds of daisies and dandelions. It gets quite a pounding from the children, but I’m really past caring about that and learning to love it for what it is.

On the dark side of the house I have planted mostly wildflowers for the butterflies and bees. It’s a perfect spot for that. The edibles are coming along nicely. The blackcurrant bushes are bowing under the weight of all the berries they carry. The most we’ve had I think. I must put a net over them soon, or we’ll lose them all to the blackbirds and I will be cross.

We’re harvesting the greens and broad beans and there are more apples ripening on our small tree this year. The radishes are almost ready and lots of leeks. And of course herbs to make tea and flavour salads and iced water.

We’ve had many a bird come visiting. A family of great tits have been fighting over the feeder for days. Robins, wrens, and blackbirds stop by, and we even had a Jay come and land on the washing line a couple of days ago. I rushed to get my camera but it was gone by the time I turned back. At least I managed to take a picture of the peony before the heavy rains flattened them all to the ground.

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24 thoughts on “In the Garden

  1. Hey, what a load of blossoms! Looks downright tropical. But mosses are wonderful plants, too – just take a magnifying lens and explore them… Ha, and you get the camera when a jay drops by? Sometimes I have four or five of them here, chasing each other for fun. They will fly air-raids on squirrels perching on my bird feeder – swoop over them, missing by inches so the squirrels jump for cover. Whenever I hear impossible, un-birdlike voices from the trees (cats, babies, sirens) I know it’s a jay. They have the most intelligent eyes, too. If you want to attract them, put out some peanuts (or rather a lot of peanuts). Good luck!

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    1. The jay is not a common sight in this area. They are quite timid and stay away from us humans mostly, so it’s always a surprise to see them up close in the garden. I can’t imagine having four or five at once! I always have peanuts out for the birds but it’s usually the more common species who come calling.

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      1. That’s my experience, too – all Corvidae (crows, magpies, jays) are quite wary of humans and take flight as soon as they spot you (even inside the house, behind a window). They are rather abundant here, though, and like to convene at my feeder, especially the jays. They’ll clear out the peanuts at about 1 per second (gobbling them whole), kicking out all the smaller birds and having a lot of fun. (My budgies somehow identify with the jays, always wanting to join them, even though I’ve warned them they’d probably be ripped to pieces in seconds.) Peanuts are a favourite with tits, too – they’ll take one kernel at a time to a safe place in a bush, hold it between their little claws and peck away at it. Quite cute.

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  2. Lovely post Kim. Our cat was the ‘He followed me home.’ variety but quite feral. The southern village was filled with feral cats. A three quarter grown cat by the time he would finally come up on the porch and eat in our presence. Now, a year later, he has a name, become an indoor cat, crossed the crossed the country, stayed in fine hotels, and looks out onto this foreign desert landscape from the inside windows. I would love to hear Tigers autobiography, and if he longs for those kitten days as a low country southern feral cat.

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    1. What a lovely story! He sounds like a very privileged cat indeed. There are no feral cats here, which is probably a good thing otherwise I would no doubt be adopting a whole community of them.

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    1. Gardening is one of those occupations where you get back what you put into it, I think. It is so rewarding when I can keep up with it (which is not always the case). Thanks for stopping by Zeta 🙂

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  3. Your garden is so very beautiful! I love that you care for the bees and butterflies, that’s so important these days. And what a sweet cat with a beautiful expression on her face. 🙂

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  4. Gorgeous! My peonies started to open this morning and the columbine are at peak. My iris are not going to bloom this year, and I’m not sure why. I miss having our cat weaving between my feet as I work. It’s nice to see the bird. I’m grateful when they show up to eat the pests.

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    1. Hello Robin, thank you for your comment. The columbine and peonies love to put on a good show don’t they? Sometimes things flower and sometimes not, there is always this wonderful element of surprise in gardening. I do hope your iris blooms for you next year 🙂

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    1. She is just 9 months old. I’m nervous of letting her outside to be honest. I’m fearful of the dangers out there, but it seems cruel to keep her in all the time.

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  5. Everything looks so lush, as often happens after rains followed by a bit of warmth. I think your lawn is perfect as it is and don’t even notice what you point out. In fact a ‘perfect’ lawn would have seemed unnatural to me. And the peony is perfection!

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  6. Oh, I just love your garden! Mine is very small, really the right size for me as I tend to get very lazy about weeding once the weather gets too hot. 🙂 I love the photographs!

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