What’s new pussycat?

White cat paw with pink pads on a bright blue background

It seems like an age since I shared the garden with you (aside from a few weeds) and the cats have all been dying to drop in and say hello too. At a year old, our little ones are little no longer – the Calamity Cat shrinks with age as they grow and soon they will have overtaken her altogether. Now that summer is here, they are all outside as much as possible, especially Jasmine who, as we thought, has taken over the Princess’s mantle as Chief Outdoors Cat. We don’t think she has caught anything yet (phew!) but she seems to unearth a never-ending supply of single pigeon feathers, which she plays with on the lawn for hours.

Tortoiseshell and white cat hiding in long grass
Our beautiful grown up girl loves hiding in the long grass in the orchard

Daisy is still more home-loving after her early scare, but she too enjoys playing outside. She is always the first to ask to go out, and the first to come back in again. She loves her food and is too worried about missing a tasty treat to go far. They still both enjoy next door’s garden (Jasmine was seen lounging indolently on their trampoline last week, looking like she owned it) and the neighbours are very tolerant as long as they don’t venture into the house (which of course they try to do).

White and ginger cat sitting on a shelf outdoors next to a trough of salad leaves
“Hmm, do I like salad?”

All three girls have supervised diligently as we have continued to develop the kitchen garden. We have a new bed for raspberries, both summer and autumn-fruiting, which will grow up the fence separating the veg patch from the rest of the space. We did have to take down the fence separating the raised beds from the orchard. It was covered in chicken wire and Daisy managed to get herself stuck in it, trying to get over the fence to the neighbours on the other side. It was a blessing in disguise though, as the framework of apple branches we have put in its place for the self-seeded raspberries to grow up looks so much better than the fence.

Rough framework of branches supporting raspberry canes
This looks so much better than the fence

In an attempt to maximise our space, D has created a new bed next to the asparagus and we have moved the gooseberry and two blueberry bushes in there. They all seem to like their new home and we may actually get a few gooseberries this year. Our original plan had been to move the blackberries into there too at the end of the season but they are so rampant we have decided to give them their own space near the fence come the autumn.

The catmint we put on the Princess’s grave is flowering at the moment and is as popular with the bees as with the cats. Jasmine particularly likes to hang out round there and it feels like she is absorbing the Princess’s wisdom and spirit and then putting her own youthful and energetic spin on it. D has created yet another raised bed near the grave between the apple trees and has planted carrots, spring onions and raab broccoli (it’s like purple sprouting in shape, although it isn’t purple – an intriguing freebie from the Grow Your Own mag which sends out packets and packets of different seeds every month).

With the changes we have made and the original veg beds full too, we think we may have to finally admit that we have reached capacity in the kitchen garden and cannot expand any more. Although D is always sure he can just squeeze something more in …

Throughout June, I am taking part in the Instagram challenge #mymonthontheplot, sharing photos in response to daily prompts. If you use Instagram, head over there for daily pics of the garden and I am also sharing them on Facebook. If you have an Instagram account and enjoy growing your own, why not join in too?

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