The Faithful Ones in the Early Spring Garden

Under a light rain I venture outside to the spring garden and admire the faithful flowers blooming there. These are the ones who really do bloom where they are planted, requiring little if any assistance from me.

I planted the Clematis a few years ago to fill in a spot of chain link fence.  It has been pleased to do that and more, happily climbing overhead onto nearby evergreens, spreading color everywhere.

This Rhododendron, though completely neglected by me, blooms heartily every year in spite of it.

The Candytuft gets no special attention either,

yet fills the air with its sweetness, attracting the attention of two residence cats, Benji and Tiger, who also appreciate its scent.

Sweet Woodruff provides a nice bed for the bird bath and kitty watering hole,

while this uninvited intruder fills in where I can get nothing else to grow

providing a nice background for a portrait of the handsome Tiger.

All are happy in the spring garden.

~  Susanne

One Year with Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Has it really been a year since I started this blog with just a few cat stories in mind, along with a lot of fear and trepidation?  Well, yes it has! And a wonderful journey it has been!  I am honestly pleased (and somewhat surprised) to have made it this far and am happy to have you along for the ride!

So on this anniversary of Cats and Trails and Garden Tales, with post number 134 (in case you were keeping track), it seemed good to reflect on where we’ve been together. First, did you ever wonder about the name?  I chose it because as the song goes,  “these are a few of my favorite things!”

Cats

It’s no secret I love them.  When I started this blog a year ago, I only had one cat in residence: the handsome Tiger, who had some things to say.  He is still talking.

Then there were two.  We brought home Benji from Seattle Humane Society as a companion for Tiger.  It turns out Benji has something to say as well.

I love watching them individually and together.  They truly enjoy their cat life.

 

Trails 

 

I love to hike (though the trails are getting shorter) and I love to travel to places both far and near.  In this part of the blog I try to convey the beauty of the Pacific Northwest where I live.
 
 
 as well as the beauty of these United States of America, and sometimes distant lands.
 

 

Garden 

 

Finally, I love gardening and I love gardens.  I love to share pictures of my own,

and  those I visit.

 

Throw in some rain, a few sunsets and other reflections on life and you’ll have a good idea of where we’ve been.

 

Yes, I am still learning.  Learning to write.  Learning photography.  Learning how to use the blogging technology.  It’s worth the effort.  So here’s to another year of Cats and Trails and Garden Tales.  Thank you so much for following along.

 

Susanne, Tiger and Benji

Rainy Days and Mondays

Another cold and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest and a Monday besides.  Though all things are green in the garden, work will have to wait.  We have been promised a day of sunshine this week and are hoping the promise is not vain.

Tucked inside, Mom and I play cribbage (don’t ask who won) and Tiger watches nearby, happy to be where we are.

Benji is tuckered out from last night’s prowling about and curls up for a good nap near the fire.  He is dreaming of tonight’s adventure.

There are worse ways to spend a Monday I suppose.

~  Susanne

Working in the Garden on a Rainy Morning

I woke up this morning to the sound of another torrential downpour and after much consideration over a steaming latte decided I would not be deterred.  There would be enough breaks in the rain and places to shelter;  I would proceed with plans to work in the garden.

I would target my herb bed where the rosemary had become a tree crowding out everything else.  Out he would come to be replaced with a smaller version that hopefully would be contained.  I would add another variety of lavender to the bed and surround it with some new varieties of mint.  One simply cannot have too much lavender.

I would plant the fuschia starts along with some basket stuffers and hope they do better than last year.  Isn’t spring gardening (like spring baseball) all about hope?

And I would stop to admire the delicacy of the azalea, the faithful and often underappreciated workhorse of the Northwest garden.

That would have to do for today.

~ Susanne

Gardening with Benji and Tiger

We finally have a few days with no rain in the forecast so it is time for some serious spring gardening. My goal today is to prepare the beds for planting and for this work I am joined by my faithful assistant Benji.  We focus our attention on a vegetable bed which has been taken over by a massive tangle of unidentified roots.

When it’s time for a break Benji  heads to the stream and I can’t help but notice what a handsome boy he is, a real tribute to the feline species!  He seems to understand this and poses for me.

After the work is nearly done, Tiger joins us and finds the catmint beginning to sprout amid another tangle of weeds.  I’ll save that for next time.

~   Susanne

Surprise visitor to the Fall Garden

While strolling in my garden this fine day I came across an unexpected visitor..

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It wasn’t this squirrel storing up supplies for the coming winter…

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And it wasn’t this pair of kinglets who stopped by for a drink and bath.

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It wasn’t Tiger who drank the flavored water after they left..

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Nor this spider who made a home in the rosemary..

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The turtle stands daily, stone cold on the stream’s edge,  so it was not him.

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No.  It was in the woodpile.

Where I found the visitor hiding.

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E.T.

How he got there I will never know.  But I shall let him stay.