Gardening with Cats and Hortlandia


I thought I’d write a brief post about a little furry problem I currently have in the garden.

This is Alfie, our youngest cat, and he found a creative way to let me know when he wants to come back into the house. While the other cats either sit at the door, meow, or paw-pound at it loudly, Alfie jumps into my window box planter and stares into the room that’s my office and plant room.

He doesn’t meow, he just stares. Once we make eye contact, he jumps down, and brings a lot of old potting mix with him…

It is messy. It covers the dry area where the other cats enjoy sitting. It’s been terrible all winter.

So last weekend I cleaned one side up.

But next weekend I will finish this up. I’m at a loss as to what to do. Maybe I should put a shelf here, or build something. My aim is typically to do what the animal wants so it will keep them happy, and on the property. (My cats only are allowed outdoors when I am home and during daylight hours. Some days, they don’t go out at all. During the summer, the catio is the roof where they can’t jump down. This is all to protect them from the urban coyotes.)

Since Alfie was a farm rescue, kitten of a feral mom, he’s definitely a big thick muscular boy who lives his life a bit differently than my other cats. We named him well. All he has ever wanted is to be the Alpha cat, but Queen LuLu will hold that position for many more years.

Now back to regular programming. I’ve been slammed with work for the last few weeks with Sean and Preston gone to Australia and with plant sales starting. Both nurseries will be very busy soon when flocks of customers descend upon them.

This weekend its Hortlandia and so much more! If you’ve never been, and you’re in the area, be sure to check it out.

The Clowder of Cats Supporting this Horticulturist


This “fluff” piece has been on hold for months. You see, I used to blog about my cats a lot when I couldn’t come up with a post, but this week it’s different. Not only is our eldest turning 7, but I’m taking a little bit of a break too. (You’ll know more about that soon.) This post seemed both timely and on point. My life is both #allplantsallofthetime and #plantsandcats.

Our four cats are primarily indoor cats. What this means is that they are never outdoors when we’re not home, they only go out during daylight hours, and we use the roof as a catio as much as possible. (It is too high up to jump off of.) If I am home and indoors, they only go out for a few hours if at all. If I am home and outdoors, they’re able to be out there until they’re tired or hungry, but they’re allowed to snuggle up and sleep in the Seed Studio too.

LuLu, aka Piggy or Ms Pickles: LuLu is the Queen Bee, Alpha B*tch, and generally a rather serious cat. She’s our only girl currently and while she can be ferocious, she’s also a bit of a shy farm cat. You don’t mess with the Pickles or you get the horns if you know what I mean.

She mostly lives in the house. On rare occasions she walks outside when it’s warm and to find the catnip and whine at me until I give her some.

Felix, aka Handsome Pants or Bubby: It feels weird to say anything about him. I feel like this one is famous. He’ll be 6 soon and I cannot believe how fast time has flown. He’s my main man, my hand-fed wonder, and kind of an emotional fellow. He loves to go for car rides, meet need people, and he’s smart. Felix knows the names of at least 10 of his friends and over 10 places. He’s the kind of cat that should have been in film. He’s trainable and loves to eat human food.

Felix goes outside sometimes. He keeps dogs off of his sidewalk, and he goes into the homes of neighbors. They love him, but we have to keep an eye on his adventures. He’s a bit too curious.

Oliver, aka Yoda Bear or Snuggy: I’m not even sure where to begin with Ollie. He’s the sweetest, most loving, most snuggly cat I’ve ever owned. He’s primarily Norwegian forest cat and this makes him extra special. He loves to be up high, he loves to run at high speed to chase bad kitties off of his territory, and he’s just a bit shy.

Oliver goes outside but doesn’t wander like his love Felix. (Yes, he adores Felix.) He mostly hides under bushes and waits to chase others. If it’s a slow day, he flies by us when we take the garbage out. Soon he will be 5.

Alfie, aka Booger Butt or Kitten Man: Like Felix, Alfie is a character. Like LuLu, he’s a farm cat. Like Oliver, he’s sweet. The funniest thing about him is that he’s dying to be Alpha cat. Naming him Alfie was perfect. We often misspell is as Alphie. Our only complaints about this youthful wonder revolve around him picking on Oliver and knocking plants over while he’s chewing on them. He is clumsy and loves to throw his kitten chonk around. For some time I called him a no-neck potato, a linebacker, or just a bully. I’d insult him, pick him up to scold him, and he’d fart and smile at me with those eyes. He loves to be held, he purrs more than all of the others combined, and he’s the only one in the group that’s not anxious.

So that’s the team, the clowder. While I’m not talking directly about my work or my plants, these are the little furballs who work hard with me both in and out of the house. When I come home exhausted and am doing PT exercises, they are there for me. When I go to sleep, I’m in a cat pile with them. Maybe that makes me part of the clowder too.