Garden Rows

Saturday, June 30

The Garden is not a Litterbox

 My first year in this house I had grand plans for small garden beds. There were a few places around the house where the grass did not grow very well, so I thought a nice little flower bed would be a better alternative. 

Not only would the areas look nicer, I figured the land lord would not mind since he would not have to weed eat awkward spots in the yard. Yes, that really was one of my justifications! I put in my garden beds in the fall by removing the grass (and roots) with a flat shovel, putting down a cocoa soil conditioner and putting in plants the next spring.

There are plenty of neighborhood cats that wander yard to yard...know where I am going with this? Well, the sweet little kitties LOVED the fluffy cocoa soil conditioner. I went on line looking for ways to ward of the feline interest. Basically all I learned is that cat's will do what they want, where they want, no matter what you do to the garden. This was not a news flash to me because I have a dear kitty of my own, so I know quite a bit about feline determination!

I got some large pine mulch for the front flowerbed thinking dainty little kitty toes would not like the large coarse chunks of wood and bark. I was wrong. I tried to keep the bed cleaned out by scooping any offensive deposits and watering really well...that didn't work either. Not even damp mulch kept these cats out! Aren't cats supposed to not like water? Sheesh!

I went to the pet store looking for cat repellant, but did not buy any. I did buy a jug of ammonia thinking if I sprayed it on the boarders of the gardens it would smell unpleasant. 2 problems with that: I think ammonia smells unpleasant, and I was not sure how the plants would react. So I never used it.

So now what?! 

 Rocks and ground cover. 

I placed rocks in the spots they liked to use the most (after scooping and a good watering!).  There is this neat little succulent ground cover around the neighborhood that I brought home a few small pieces of and planted in some of the leftover open areas. It is a nice ground cover to use because it pulls out easily if I change my mind!

see how much bigger they have gotten in 2 years?

The rocks add a nice decorative touch, and make great stepping stones. There are so many options for ground covers. There are a few types of Thyme that are creepers, and some are tough enough to walk on. Just imagine the wonderful smell of walking on a carpet of Thyme!

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