Aside from the health issues of two of my close family members, one of the most challenging parts of my existence over winter is not being able to get into my garden.
With the therapeutic qualities of a spa visit without the overpowering aroma of lavender, unless of course you have a lavender plant in your borders, I really miss working dans mon jardin.
Nothing lifts my spirits more than my garden from March to November. Confirmation, if it was needed, of my firm entrenchment in middle age. Witnessing the fruits of tending to the perennial shrubs in my herbaceous borders, maintaining a neat lawn and viewing the cornucopia of colour provided by bedding plants, is always a fillip.
The insipid display that currently greets me is one bereft of colour, aside from a few evergreen bushes and the brown of the deciduous plants. This view made evermore grim by the mid-January Yorkshire precipitation, drizzling relentlessly from the unbroken grey skies.
Add to this the deciduous trees being bereft of leaves and my impatience for this next eight weeks to pass grows ever stronger. The horticultural renewal brought by springs bounty cannot arrive quick enough for my itching green fingers.
In the absence of being able to practise my gardening hobby, I have to spend my time writing pretentious, attention seeking blogs about my flora and fauna knowledge!
The back garden may not be at it’s best, but it is a veritable thing of beauty compared to my front garden. Here the lack of colour mirrors my back garden with only greens and browns on display. Unfortunately, unlike the back grass, the brown elements are not just the branches of deciduous plants, but also the unrivalled scenic beauty of cat faeces.
Graciously bequeathed by one or more of the 300 moggies in the street, I find this fouling on my property infuriating. Equally galling is being currently unable to find a robust long term solution to this problem.
I’ve nothing against cats, in fact some of my best friends are felines (I get on great with Top Cat, Fancy, Brain, Choo Choo and Benny the Ball), however the fact they defecate without a care on my garden enrages me……. Incidentally, that’s the neighbourhood cats not Top Cat and his crew. If they were the culprits I’d be straight onto Office Dibble.
It would annoy me if I had pets of my own, but when I haven’t having to suffer the waste produce of other people’s pets is infuriating. How do you stop it though? My neighbours aren’t doing this deliberately. Unlike a dog, controlling where their cats defecate isn’t easy. Although, having a cat litter (if they haven’t already) may help.
In the meantime, I strive valiantly to seek a humane solution to the conundrum. An acquaintance told me to try putting chilli powder all over my lawn as a deterrent. However, as he is the head of the West Yorkshire Chilli Powder Marketing Board I suspect there may have been a seperate agenda behind this recommendation.
Someone else suggested hanging unused music compact disks from lower parts of the shrubs in my front border. Apparently seeing their own reflection in the disc frightens the moggy away. Unfortunately, though, when I tried that strategy it only served to attract the local cats, who’d sit preening themselves in front of the makeshift mirrors….. They’re a bloody vain glorious lot the felines here in Colton!
I honestly have no issue with my neighbours. I don’t know most of them that well, but the ones I do seem nice enough. My next door neighbour Mike is a top bloke. I’m pleased to say it’s not his cats messing in my garden, although buying his moggies a drum kit for Christmas has put a strain on our friendship.
Seriously, though, he’s a smashing guy to who I owe a hell of a lot….. Luckily for me, though, his interest rate isn’t too steep for a loan shark.