One thing I looked forward to in moving back home is gardening. Gardening had become my therapy over the years and living in the desert, I didn’t do so well attempting to grow anything in Doha. Each houseplant I had in Doha died. So you can imagine how excited I was to get home just in time to ready my raised beds and look forward to a great harvest this spring and summer.
Well, things have not been going according to plan because this year the neighborhood has a little problem: cats. I began to notice random holes being dug in my raised beds. I talked to neighbors and they had similar complaints. A cat had began to poop in their raised bed and soon it pooped in mine! I learned that the cat belonged to a new neighbor and went to talk to them…twice. They have indoor dogs and let me know that when the cat is in the house, he doesn’t play well with the dogs. I mean, come on! So now the new neighbors have made their outdoor cat the entire neighborhood’s problem. *Sigh
After recognizing that my neighbors were not going to solve the problem, I got on line to find out how to keep the cat out of my garden. So moving forward with my plans to plant some produce, I planted lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, zucchini, beans, peppers, peas and what I though was cilantro. At least that’s what the tags said – cilantro. But I’ll get back to that later. I placed popsicle sicks throughout all the beds I laid trellises over the open spaces of each bed to create barriers to deter the cats. I even added coffee grounds and I contacted the county’s master gardener to determine what else I could do. So, I really tried to deter the cat.
In the mean time, the rest of my yard was taking shape. I bought a new Japanese Maple for the back yard, planted a couple of spiral trees in nice pots flanking the garage. I replanted my succulents into other areas of the yard. I found a fuchsia for the front porch and was excited to see my perennials began to bloom. My herbs were hearty and my lavender and sweet alyssum fragrantly filled the air. I was hopeful and happy.
But then…there was the cat. All my tricks failed. I couldn’t believe the holes that darn cat managed to dig around my barriers. Now my therapy was turning into frustration. I’d chased the cat from my yard on multiple occasions. My tomatoes look like they have blight. My peas look diseased too. One branch of my 4 way pear tree has a disease so that branch is done for the year. My broccoli leaves are being eaten by something. So as anxious and excited as I’d been to get back to my garden this year, it’s been a bit of a bust and the damn cat is still around!
The nice surprise in all of this is that the cilantro I thought I planted turned out to be carrots! So I have some great carrots that I’ll be eating soon. The other thing is that I’ve managed to get some great compost from my composter. So now, the plan is to scrap everything (and throw it into the composter), catch the cat (yes, I’ve checked with all the proper authorities), and take this time to level my garden area and start over with new soil. I still have time to get some good produce and get back to my therapy.
Living life and it’s great here in the Pacific NW!