My New Gardening Buddy

Today being the first work day of the week, and the first of a new month, it seemed only suitable to find a “big” job that needed doing and get busy. Since I love housework about as much as I love having teeth pulled, I headed outside. August or not, there just had to be something more interesting to do out there.

Not sure about “interesting,” but I finally finished pruning the hydrangeas along the back of the house. Now that the blue beauties are cut back, the real work begins. I am determined to turn those areas into usable space for gardening. Lots and lots of roots and vines running under the ground must be pulled up. A couple of azaleas will have to be sacrificed, too. Being realistic, I intend to work on this bit by bit until it is done, with the goal of completion by next spring.

The tomato and bell pepper plants are holding their own. The fruit may take longer to ripen than I’d like as I believe the plants are in a bed that gets a little too much shade. Next year I may try container gardening so that I can pick just the right spot for them.

fruit collage

Our battle with Animalia Lepidoptera has cranked up several notches. I suspect all the pruning I’ve done has made refugees out of several different types of caterpillars. They are in search of a new crash pad and eat like starving teenagers. Diligence is required as the larger worms can reduce an entire plant to twigs over the course of one short morning. Holes are visible in a few of the leaves in the photos above.

I am relieved the bulk of the pruning is completed. There were several stops and starts since that project was begun last month. Some of it was weather related; some of it was due to bad days with CFS. And pretty much everything came to a grinding halt when we lost our Harry Whizzer last week. But we’re doing our best to get back into the swing of things.

Harry was my gardening buddy. She stuck close by in the mornings while I checked the vegetables for bugs and did a bit of watering and weeding. It didn’t matter to her if the grass was wet with dew. She’d tag right along. We suspect that Harry was really a dog in a cat suit.

This morning I had a new gardening buddy. Maybe Holly could sense that I was missing Harry and could use a little company. She waited somewhat patiently for me to turn on her favorite toy in the world — the water hose.

Holly and the water hose

Watching this video, you’d think Holly must love water. And she does… provided it comes out of a hose. She has no interest in swimming pools, tub water, toilet water, or any other liquid that might remotely be associated with shampoo or bathing. It’s the hose for her all the way.

As menacing as she looks and sounds, Holly is a cream puff. She loves people and is always happy to have visitors. However, she does not care to be left alone in the dark for any length of time. And she is mortally afraid of blimps. Yes, blimps — as in airships and dirigibles. They terrify her!

Now if I could just figure out a way to put that sort of fear into these caterpillars, I’d be in business…

© 2015-2016 Our Lives in Stories

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