I’ve mentioned Pearl before, the male cat who we thought was female until the veterinary doc called and said, ‘Uh, you sent me one here who doesn’t actually need to be spayed…’
Fortunately she made this discovery prior to opening him up, and instead he was fated the less invasive procedure of neutering. It wasn’t our plan to send our male cats, only the females to stop their reproduction. I hear ya, that wouldn’t have stopped him from stirring up trouble in other neighborhoods, but nonetheless, that was our plan.
Unintended as it was, he sat at the vet with his sister and mother and so we decided to get the job done. Like a happy accident, serendipity, a fortuitous occurrence, or a pleasant surprise, this unplanned moment changed Pearl’s personality–no more fighting, wandering, or spraying, and still a mouse chaser. He became lovable and constantly underfoot. looking to give and get attention from us all the time. This was also our education on the benefits of neutering as well as spaying our cats.
I tried changing his name to something more ‘Tom-ish’ like Squirrel–it does rhyme with Pearl after all. It’s also the nickname of Cyril, one of the brothers in the novel I had just finished reading to the children, Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit. But no way were my five children having anything to do with a name change. So while I defiantly call him Squirrel on occasion, it’s ignored by all, and instead Pearl and I have accepted a lifetime of telling the tale of why he has a female name.
Often referring to him as my garden shadow, he seems no longer content with this role. Earlier this week, he joined me and my camera throughout the garden, one step ahead of me at all times, posing in shot after shot like a live garden gnome.
Here are a few of the just planted flowering perennial evergreen shrubs that are lining the garden fence. No two are the same and they nearly all flower at some time of the year in colours of purple, brown, pink, red, violet, white, cream, and yellow. They’ll grow between nearly two to just over three feet in size, attracting bees, butterflies and offering food and shelter to birds.
A few more perennials–grasses, flowers, herbs, shrubs, and one vegetable, rhubarb-are photographed next. Some are this years plantings and some are returning from the past years. Most notable to me is the outdoor herb garden compared to the one in the tunnel. Albeit, only covered for a few weeks now, the tunnel herbs are already doing considerably better with tarragon and thyme looking gorgeous and rosemary, parsley, and sage not looking wind burnt and stunted like that in the outside bed. Regular chive is doing equally well, but Chinese chive is doing much better under cover.
This last set of pictures was taken in the fields bordering the tunnel and raised bed garden. Our apple trees purchased last year are happily budding as are the fuschia that were on the property long before us, dating back to when Johnny’s mum lived here. Wild garlic grows beneath the fuschia and is used in two to three of our meals each day.
The willow that my friend Roz in the UK, Small Spaces and the good life with Roz and Phil Hill, mailed me last year is pictured also. They’re not ready to be cut for creating with yet and may even be slow growing, but are doing very well just the same.
The last photo is of fir trees that I’ve potted up and will continue to grow in the tunnel until they’re three to five feet tall. Fingers crossed that it only takes a year or perhaps two. They’ll then be planted out, becoming a Christmas cutting area for my wreath making projects. So there, planting for the future, but it’s nice to have something to look forward to and watch the progress of in the time between now and when they reach their an age of useful productivity.
Hope spring has finally sprung in all the corners of the world that are expecting it and all are able to get out and spend time in nature, with or without a furry friend by your side.
Cheers, Melissa Xx