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.
This won’t be a blow-by-blow post about what I did this month. I’ve felt soft and impressionable because of a few unexpected life events during the last few weeks. Both my husband and I had friends who passed away, and then one of my parents was suddenly hospitalized while I was away in Seattle last week. (They’re better now. Phew!) But, post COVID (yes, I went through THAT last month), this was all just a bit too much for me—but I’ve kept going. No one enjoys feeling fragile, and there are so many exciting things in the garden to look forward to in 2023.
Laughing is the best medicine and when I realized that #arctokitty didn’t exist on Instagram, well, I worked hard to make sure it had at least a few photos. My sweet boy Oliver actually is a fan of the plant that’s beloved at Cistus Nursery where I work, and he’s known to lounge in my neighbor’s back garden where she has a bit of a chaparral meadow going on. My #arctokitty really does love manzanitas aka Artctostaphylos. It’s been fun realizing this as the plants have all grown and so too has his interest in them.
Contracting COVID-19 last month really messed up my momentum and threw me behind. I lost a lot of work hours, I had fog for a few weeks, and regular plant maintenance didn’t take place. This month I worked an 8-day work week for the first time, had to prepare for my online talk through Heronswood, and then had to pick the begonias to take up to Seattle for my DIY seminar. Throughout all of this, I just wanted to hide but I kept going and am glad I did! I got through it all!
Instead of feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and tasks, I chose to experience being present and accepted where I was at, and then thanked the stars again and again for Orladyo. This month I reached the 6-month mark and it’s been amazing to discuss the changes with my medical team. The next 6 months will be good too, but I can expect less dramatic shifts in my health.
At the start of February I was happily back at work again. I jumped right in to catch up on tasks such as seed sowing and making divisions of things out at Secret Garden Growers. Right now I feel pretty happy with it all, but it was not easy at first. I’ve lost some valuable time this winter, but this is the season in horticulture where things can be extreme in unexpected ways. While many gardeners are at home and bored, I’m working like crazy making plants for them to purchase in the coming weeks and months.
The other big event this month was just like last year—but I was even more excited hoping to see the city of Seattle come to life again. We were not disappointed. Many more attendees were there, the hotel was vibrant, and restaurants were filled. The excitement of spring was in the air—even if we have a cold front moving towards us, again. So many friends and acquaintances were speakers this year. It was a wonderful event and I’m more than grateful to have been included.
My DIY seminar was fun but the clock on the table ended up telling me the wrong time so I went over a bit. Last year questions from the audience were a bit scary, but this year, I very much enjoyed them. It’s funny how little I speak to the general public. Even with a blog here on the web, I tend to speak to the same audience, primarily other horticulturists, and a few avid gardeners, many of whom are local and good friends. It’s nice to share information, and I look forward to more talks in the future although I’m pretty much taking a big break until fall.
That’s good news for the blog though since I will be catching up on projects and plantings that I can write about. Time off in bed had me thinking a lot about comments from mentors that I’ve received, and it’s had me thinking more and more about how to move forward professionally too. There are no big changes, it’s just a matter of growing a bit more.
So this was the main core of the last few weeks, lots and lots of work, maintenance of my plants here at home, plans for my garden for the next 6-8 months, and going to the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival to learn from others, meet new folks, talk to others, and hug my friends and let them know how much I value having them in my life.
While this may not sound like gardening, it’s been all about gardening, but in that contemplative and thoughtful way we so often sink into during the winter months.