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Cats, Wild Radish & Spring

by Lorraine on February 13, 2010

It’s been a lazy, warm day filled with hints of Spring.   I had truly intended to write something here earlier in the day and also to add some new pictures to the site since the garden has so many things developing at this time.   So much is going and it’s positively bursting with life and energy.   Winter has passed and with the recent rain everything looks revived, green , succulent and pregnant with possibilities.

Bees Bliss Sage with a Bee!

It was probably 80 degrees here today and I just couldn’t spend it inside.   The cats and I have been either in the backyard or the garden for most of the day.   Concentrating on anything proved to be impossible, as I was lulled by the sweet smells of plants and the songs of birds drifting over my senses making me feel dreamy and sleepy.

I spent part of the day in the backyard, pulling weeds that threatened to choke out the wildflowers that are coming up.   There are lots of California poppies of course but there are many other things sprouting that I am clueless as to what they may be.   It’s a bit like Christmas, wondering what is in the packages as I look at all of the new sprouts coming up in my backyard.

The cats have been in and out most of the day with the exception of Theo who never seems to nap the way most cats do.   It’s as though he can’t miss anything going on outside and he revels in being in the garden, checking things out and sometimes, dozing in the sun.

Its been a beautiful day and as I am writing this, the sun has set behind the low hills to the west of my house.   Twilight is beginning to fall and the birds are seeking their spots for the night.   A very slight chill has begin to descend and I’m sorry to see the day come to a close.

There is always more to say and typically I struggle to express the feelings that well up in my life when I am looking at the beauty of nature.  My native plants are just a little oasis of happiness for me and helps me to keep my connection with the universe and all things wild.


California in January & Native Gardens

by Lorraine on February 1, 2010

A California day in January that is perfect in its beauty.   Well, at least in my garden.   The day feels tranquil and lazy, very quiet and peaceful causing me to feel unmotivated to do anything although I did walk earlier in the day.

With the recent rains we have had in California, the options of enjoying my garden have been limited although I am always surveying it every morning, looking for anything that may need my attention.   Such as the recent gopher and mole invasion.   A “first” for the garden but they didn’t do any damage other than eating a few of the poppies that have sprung up.

Given the nature of poppies to proliferate, I wasn’t particularly concerned about losing a few of them to these annoying pests but I certainly didn’t want them to take over the garden, either and cause any further damage.

My method to make it unattractive, is to take several portions of cat pee clumps from the gang’s litter box and drop them down into the marauder’s hole.   Within hours the hole is back filled and they seen to disappear.  I haven’t had any more intrusions from them since I delivered their smelly gifts and hopefully, they will not return.

I don’t consider myself a “cat lady”, although some of my friends my disagree behind my back. But I somehow managed to end up with four cats, the most recent one being Theo.   You would think with this many cats, there wouldn’t be a gopher around but they are all too lazy and fat and more concerned about having their “tuna time” than catching any gophers or moles.

Theo was abandoned, dumped, thrown away and he is really amazing.   He’s very much like a person, a total love and that means he is enormously friendly with everyone he meets.  That is not necessarily a good thing, as I saw him trailing behind a woman who had stopped to admire my garden.

Theo napping in the warm sun.

Theo napping in the warm sun.

I had to intervene to prevent him wandering off because I think he would have kept following her.   The upshot of this, was that she and I had a very nice conversation about my landscaping and the use of native plants and she has signed up at my new social networking site for lovers of nature.

She said that she takes walks on her lunch break and loves to come by my house to admire the garden.   I had to chuckle when she said to me how often she has felt, that someone very special must live there!  What a lovely compliment that was so unexpected and totally surprised me!

She doesn’t know the “real” me….I’m only kidding.   I think I am a pretty decent person.  Who else would put up with four cats and no vacations?

She continued her walk and Theo remained with me and I returned back to working inside the house.  Now, about that!   I finally have a laptop and I can sit outside in the garden and not miss a thing going on.    Such as right now.   There’s  some glare on the screen, so there are some disadvantages but I’m so much happier being outside then confined to the interior of the house.

The Ceanothus is starting to bloom with beautiful royal blue flowers and so is the Bush Daisy and many of the WoollyCurls/Trichostema lanatum, one of my favorite plants.   The Channel Island Poppy has bloomed continuously by putting out brilliant yellow disks of flowers all winter long.

Its a peaceful and hypnotic day in the garden.   Just another lovely January in California and enjoying my native plants.