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May 09, 2012



You really have created such a lovely spot- with your gardens and hammock. Very inspiring.

Debbie from Illinois

The lilacs bloomed super early in Illinois. I just hope fall won't be early this year! :)


The protective bubbles and stone weights look like white draped tables with chairs set around them, from the angle the photo was taken. Maybe I have been looking at too many fairy gardens online.
Oh yes, kitties and freshly turned earth - ours love it.


That was so funny - your kitty tales! Made me laugh. They SOooo know what we say to them - Clover Meadow looks like she hasn't got a care in the world. She's not at all worried about the lack of activity from the carrot seeds! Our lilac is almost out, but at the moment, it's stopped raining and there's a little duck tapping at the back door 'cos its her bedtime! Sweet dreams Flora!


I love lilacs, we have 3 purple and one white in flower at the moment, heavenly.
Lots of things are very slow in the garden as it is still really cold, more March than May, but at least we have had (lots of) rain.
The most annoying pests are the wood pigeons.
Clover looks so sweet with her tongue out.
Carol xx

Nancy Confer

I admire your raised garden beds with the stones placed perfectly between. Maybe I can talk my husband (with my help of course) to put a few of those beds together for me. Happy gardening.

Jennie C.

I had a cat digging up a garden bed when we lived in a community housing situation. We had good luck sprinkling ground cayenne pepper on the bed. Apparently, kitties sniff before they dig, and the cayenne discourages them. I can report that don't come back later in the season, either, to see if it's more desirable. :-)


Love your cat story. We've been clearing some land in order to extend our patio; digging out huge rocks, cutting through tree roots etc, and I swear our cat thinks it's the exact same thing. The moment my husband and older sons (ok, when I say "we", I'm the brains behind the operation) pause for breath, mattocks and spades poised, the cat runs in for a quick squat.
How do you not have great tufts of dog hair floating around your house like we do? Our pooch is not allowed on any furniture, and yet I swear between her and the cat we are breeding small fluffy animals that like to lurk in corners and under/ on furniture. Whenever you take photos of your house it looks beautifully dust and hair free.


We put popsicle sticks into our raised beds to keep the cats out. Not the most attractive but once the plants grew in a bit we could take them out. It was the only thing that we got to work (the popsicle sticks poke them in the bum if they try anything).


Love your description. You might try boiling water, add a few cloves of crushed fresh garlic and let it steep. Then add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Let it all sit together until the water is cold. Then use this mixture to spritz the beds -- it won't harm the plants, rabbits, cats and squirrels don't like it (and it won't harm them), and it is organic. My Mom used this on her garden when I was a kid and it kept the plants from being grazed. Hope it helps with keeping the cats out too!

sharon from sharon stanley writes

you put us all to shame with the lovely raised beds. so neat and tidy and you will be freezing, pickling and canning all summer. yummy. oh to be in that hammock under a lilac bush!

Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

AAAAAAAAH! That quilty pillow is AMAZING. Your hammock thingamabob is GORGEOUS.

YOUR DOGGIE!!!! Corgi? Corgi mix? Do tell please! I am dog hunting for corgis or some variation thereof.


Your raised beds do look beautiful. The cat story made me laugh - our next door's cats have been using our garden as a litter tray. Someone suggested to me sprinkling dried crushed chillis around the plants as an non-toxic way to deter them. Not really sure how it works, maybe they don't like the smell?


Alicia, I can help with the "giant litter box" problem - been there. We used, on the advice of a truly great gardener, smooth oval stones as mulch around our plantings. That was the end of the littler box phenomenon. Cats don't like to walk on them - the uneven surface or something. It worked like a charm. We had tried everything else - cayenne, plastic forks with the tines sticking up, you name it.


Adorable, my dog does that too sometimes! :-)


You are so fabulous!
I love lilacs, they rarely grow here in CA, which makes me sad.
That Pfaltzgraff pitcher on the right - those were the dishes we had when I grew up - see them all the time at thrift stores and feel so nostalgic.
Thank you for sharing your lovely life!

Laura T.

Isn't it funny how smells can take you back in time? Every time I stick my nose into the white flowers of bridalwreath spirea, it takes me back to my childhood birthdays in the backyard. They always bloomed on my birthday, May 28, and their large, arching white branches stretched from 5 feet high right down to the ground. Such a light, pretty scent.
I recall having a tantrum and ending up in my bedroom on more than one of those birthdays. Probably because I didn't win the drop-the-clothespin-in-the-bottle-while-leaning-over-the-back-of-the-chair game. Or Bozo Buckets. I was a sensitive child. :)
Laura in Naperville, IL


i put down chicken wire in my bed, around the plants where the open spaces were, and then covered it with a light layer of mulch--enough to cover the wire but not deep enough for digging. That stopped Kitty cold. She gave me a look of disgust when she discovered it, but I think she's forgiven me. :-)




Beautiful home, beautiful garden.

We have a neighborhood cat -- interested in the hazelnut shell idea.

However, it is our neighborhood bunnies who ate the heads off the tulips...wondering what they're going to do to our lettuce and radishes!


I see several readers have suggested ideas for naughty kitties...well, here's another one...
my personal favorite and one I'd use even if our naughty neighbor with ALL her cats moved away...

Cocoa Mulch...light weigh, shells, snails don't like it smell like chocolate!!!

Home Depot...and while you're there, could you pick me up another bag? Or marshmallows?


We've had good luck with laying twigs over the beds in a cross-hatch fashion until the plants cover more of the soil. As with other suggestions, kittles don't like to walk where they don't feel they have sure footing.

Fresh turned earth is a cat magnet, isn't it? A few years back we dug a footing for a small concrete wall and before the formwork went in, our kitty spent hours sitting in could just see his ears and eye (he just has the one) above the soil line. I think he was using it as a foxhole for hunting birds.


I love your cat story. We used to have a cat that was part human too and she also liked lots of attention - even if it was for getting in trouble. I think she would've found the "garden game" a fun challenge and a great way to get attention - even if it meant getting an "F" in behavior.

Clover is so sweet. I love the little tongue thing too.



your writing made me melt into a little foamy puddle of butter! absolutely love your descriptions... and you've now inspired me to get our hammock out too. Before reading your blog, it never dawned on me to make my hammock so cozy. LOVE your blog, skills, pictures & writing! :)

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