My Way of Living + Story

My Cat garden has gone to the birds

I’m all set for a few peaceful moments alone in the garden, got my gloves, trowel, kneeling pad, and plants. There are some weeds out there with my name on them, the garden needs to be tidied up. Just as I step off the back porch I hear…

Bootsie under Mugo pine

Coohoo coohoo. It’s joined in by a loud trilling “keee keee kee kee” that means the red headed woodpecker is wanting to drop by for a fly through. Fine, if the doves, and the woodpecker have decided that this is the perfect time for a snack, I can move elsewhere.
I round the corner with all my gear, garden clogs slogging through the grass, and as I turn the corner I startle the nesting quail that have foolishly left their eggs alone for date night at the bird seed dish.
“Fine, I can regroup there are more then enough gardens to work in” I tell them. His bobbing dark feathered headgear bouncing with annoyed distress as he flitters along the top of the chain link fence.
She stays on the ground, pecking away at the seed, ignoring me from a few feet away. They have gotten so used to us that unless we get too close, or startle them, they rarely leave when we are around.
When they come in large groups there is always one acting as a sentinel pacing around to sound the alert. Because the young, and dumb, can get a little too into eating and forget to keep one eye out predators.
Now don’t go telling anyone because I will never admit it, but I think I’ve got myself in too deep this year. There is too much to water, keep up, weed, and to keep organized. And it’s not even the hottest part of summer yet.

Gingko tree

This gardeners eyes are bigger then her ability to do the work. It’s grown beyond just sprucing up the place, making it ours, it’s changed the landscape front and back.
No longer the empty football field backyard of barren grass, with fir tree droppings, branches, dusty soil, and patchy lawn, it’s in the process of becoming beautiful, filling in more each year. My goal is a natural but tidy paradise. Butterflies, birds, pollinators, deer, cats, crows, pheasants, quail, eagles, hawks, all visit here and are welcome [maybe not the bear cub again].
The problem might be that only one of us is a garden lover, the other is the labourer as “he” loves to tell the neighbours, who then share a look of empathy and understanding with him over the fence. But I think he is coming around nicely, and he really enjoys the birds.
It’s a lot to manage, and it’s growing all the time, there is the patio garden surrounding the corner of our back porch. It’s where my beloved Gingko tree, and Japanese Red Maple I’ve grown from teeny tiny babies now live.
Along with a limelight hydrangea, clematis, and so many rambunctiously reseeding cleome, cosmos, and bachelors buttons.
Because I can’t bear to pull them out they grow through the gravel between the cement pavers so there is only room to sit in there during the spring.

Shade garden

The “shade garden” off the edge of the patio contains most of the shade loving plants that once grew on my condo deck, now happily flourishing in partial shade and morning sun.
The golden hops which is starting to strangle anything in it’s way seems to want to touch the sky, but settles for overcoming the chickadees bird house for now.
The “bird garden” is where all of the birds love to hang out and peck at the bird seed. We used part of last year’s fallen maple tree to make a rail fence that the birds love to perch on.
I’m hoping that the honeysuckle will fill in and wind around the railings as time goes by.
This garden is filled with tough durable plants in it that serve as food, shelter, and a place to trash when they feel like chasing each other around in territorial disputes.
Next to it is the “cat” garden, which has a wonderfully rusted cat silhouette standing on a good chunk of maple tree branch.
The wrought iron gate that my Dad made for me years ago will be adorned by clematis this summer. I’m also hoping that my neighbours gift of giant orange daylilies will have huge flowers in our summer heat.

The cat garden

When you have gardened in a limited amount of square footage for so many years, it’s like being a gardener in a candy store of plants, you go a little bit wild. Building gardens right and left, there are many more gardens in my yard, but too many to write about in this post.
To think that these gardens were nothing but bare patches lacking even grass when we moved in makes my heart sing now. They are the heart of the back yard, where the birds hang out, and the cat watches the sun go down in the evening. They are the place my eyes go to each time I look out the window. It’s been a lot of work, and they may not look as full as they will one day, but they are coming along nicely.

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My Cat garden has gone to the birds + Story