Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cat vs. Mouse

The Pops was born in 1989, dropped and abandoned by his teenage mother, Schnuppe. I found him under a hosta leaf the next day, looking like a muddy mouse. He of course survived and lived happily every after, never missing a meal.

Now as a retiree, which he takes very seriously, he has sworn off doing anything. He doesn't hear very well (stone deaf) and when he sees something scampering across the floor, he notes it for further reference, but goes right back to sleep. Hence, the triumph of our tiny mousie.

We didn't want to insult him by stating that he let us down by not capturing the mouse. He would have, could have, but you know...he's retired.

My retirement seems to be a lot more work than my job used to be.

We have decided that this area of our west side yard is going to be a patio. It might as well be, because it got flattened forever when the workmen built the retaining wall.

This area never got even a single weed to grow after they left last summer. Dave has been bringing rocks up above this wall to hold back erosion and has been talking about planting something with deep roots to keep the soil in place. What soil? It is totally clay and sand.
I decided to take matters into my own hands and plant something above the wall. Having ordered six pampas grasses for our Christmas present, I already had these plants handy. I dug $25 holes for $4 plants.

Since the 'soil' is poor, I filled each hole with composted cow manure (black gold, sigh) and then planted three white and three pink Pampas grass plants.

Here's hoping they like their new home and grow up to be big and strong.


  1. Good morning, Mel! You're making me want to get out there and get some dirt under my fingernails! UGH...too bad everything's still frozen up here! I'll garden vicariously thru you! :o)

  2. Anonymous11:00 AM

    You might want to consult with the wall-maker as to whether rooty things could stress that wall rather than help it do it's job. I know that my trees are happily uprooting my concrete walkway as we type this.


  3. Tress would not be a good idea. If the Pampas grass fails, try crown vetch....I've seen that stuff come up right through an asphalt driveway!

    teri (and I'm sorry I questioned Popeye's integrity...retired IS retired...)

  4. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Hi Melody,
    I read your blog earlier and have been thinking about your new pampas grass area. Have you come across the prostrate form of rosemary, called Irene, I think? I can just imagine it planted between the grasses at the edge of the wall so it could tumble over it.
    I also only have sand on top of clay for 'soil' and rosemary loves it, especially if it's dry and sunny.
    Dark blue/green evergreen needles, dripping in little blue flowers that butterfly's and hummingbirds love, smells wonderful, and you can cook with it or toss a handful into a cotton baggie or old sock and add it to your bubble tub when you've overdone the gardening! That's about as easy as it gets, and it stabilizes the soil nicely. Nikki.

  5. Although I thoroughly enjoy watching your gardening endeavors, like Popeye, I have absolutely no desire what so ever to get any dirt or debris under my nails. Send pictures! I will, however, come down and bring some wine to enjoy on your dirt patio and watch Popeye do his thing.
    I am patiently waiting on your weekly review of Idol.... foot is tapping patiently.... well?

  6. Anonymous1:02 PM

    If your pampas grass is the same as our fountain grass in Hawaii (and it looks identical) beware that it is highly invasive and spreads at the speed of lightning. It also grows where nothing else does. In just a few short years it has covered fields of lava to the point where all you see is the grass.


  7. Our local council classifies Pampas Grass (white, pink or otherwise) as a noxious weed and I could be socked with a control order and a fine if I ever planted any.

    I see you have a new banner too!

  8. Pam from Jax6:48 PM

    Faced with a similar situation, except without even clay, I put in creeping thyme. It has survived many frosts, spreads slowly, and is fantastic for cooking. It can even take being walked on.


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