Tag Archives: Evie the cat

All About Evie

All of my cats have been garden cats, but none more so than Evie. The usual drill for my cats has been lounge all day in the garden, then come into the house at night.
Not Evie. She insisted on sleeping in the office (former garage), whose screenless window on the garden was always left open just for her.
Evie’s last day was spent in the garden over the weekend, so I’ve put together a little tribute to my sweet little garden cat.
She was born here at home some 17ish years ago and never spent a day anywhere but in her garden, so she was frequently spotted on these blog pages.

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(You can read Evie’s one-and-only guest post here.)

Bloom Day January 2015

It wouldn’t do to start the new year off skipping the first Bloom Day, which is technically the 15th of every month, but our host Carol (May Dreams Gardens) doesn’t seem to mind slackers.

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Helleborus argutifolius, the last plant remaining, sown into the bricks against the back wall. I pulled the others in the garden to make room for new stuff.
That’s me, the savage gardener. It reseeds like crazy, so there’s no danger in losing it entirely.

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Subtle, jewelry-like flower buds from a climbing kalanchoe that was a gift.

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The flowers’ little bells are the exact same slatey-grey color as the buds. I think it’s Kalanchoe beauverdii

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Aloe capitata a couple days ago. The bloom was just about finished today

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Bocconia frutescens, the Tree Poppy, keeps sending out flowers

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Bloom truss from Bocconia frutescens

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I just planted these osteospermum last week, a variety called ‘Zion Orange’ (the name was inspired by the colors of Zion National Park)

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Phlomis lanata is getting woolly with new growth, at the same time sending out occasional flowers

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Lavandula multifida is rarely without flowers

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Euphorbia milii appreciated the recent rain. Planted in September 2014

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Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ just planted in December

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Mangave bloom spike, technically no flowers yet

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I’ll close it out with Kalanchoe beauverdii again, threading its way along the pipe rack/junk collector .
The hanging pot was a Christmas present, temporarily filled with Pachypodium namaquanum, the “Halfmens.”

Lastly, we had the great pleasure of a visit in December by Andrew and Loree, who blogs at Danger Garden. Loree wrote a wonderfully kind account of her visit here.

Bloom Day October 2014

Guest-hosted by Evie the Cat.


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Not another Bloom Day…and you’ve got nuthin’

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Wait, I got it! Why don’t you show them your nerines?*

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Let’s see what else we’ve got…

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Evie, those aren’t blooms!

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I better take over. Bloom on the snaky succulent Senecio anteuphorbium

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Oh, that was exciting…except not really. At least the variegated manihot has some personality.

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A self-sown Solanum pyracanthum, long-standing member of the summer 2014 Bloom Day Hit Parade

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Salvia ‘Love & Wishes’ was planted mid-summer.

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Wow, now you’re really reaching. Might as well show the nerines again.

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I know…those orange bobbles!

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The annual Emilia javanica ‘Irish Poet’ still looking as fresh as summer.


Carol at May Dreams Gardens collects monthly Bloom Day posts year-round.


*Note to Grace: Remember when finding new plant blogs was almost as exciting as receiving plants in the mail? Well, that’s how I felt when I discovered Matt Mathus’ blog Growing With Plants. In one of his many erudite posts, about five paragraphs deep into a dissertation on his gorgeous nerines, he mentioned that he had lots of extra bulbs, and if anyone wanted any, to let him know. That was probably my first experience of the interwebs made real, when it ceased being an abstraction and became peopled with like-minded sorts full of curiosity and generosity, like Nan Ondra who gave me the emilia seeds, and you too, for instance. And that’s the little story I promised you about how I came to have a pot of nerines.

Euphorbia ammak’s big impact

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Despite its small and underwhelming size, I finally decided to plant this euphorbia in the ground, hoping it grows faster here than in its pot.
Surprisingly, everybody seems quite impressed, including Evie, who wrapped herself around it like a snake Sunday morning.

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She seems to be enjoying her status as the last cat standing, becoming much more sociable. I think the other ones might have bullied her a bit.
We’ve always assumed her shyness was of the kind shared by all white creatures, vulnerable because of their high visibility and in constant fear of being swooped on from above.
That’s our theory anyway. I can’t attest to its biological accuracy.
If my memory can be trusted, she was named by the boys for the fox character in Pok√©mon. “Eevee” would be the technically correct spelling.

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Behind Evie is the big iron basket Reuben gifted me, which has been turned into an ottoman/table. Marty sawed off the enormous and sturdy handle, breaking only a couple blades in the process. What a sport.

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Wish I had three more. Nestled under the wings of a beschorneria, Agave ‘Little Shark,’ also going by ‘Royal Spine,’ was planted here earlier in the year.

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As long as she doesn’t lay on top of Aloe capitata var. quartzicola, Evie’s welcome to share this little succulent garden.

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The aloe comes armed as well, so I don’t think there’s any real worry.

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Agave ‘Cornelius’ is also making good size here and capable of defending itself against loungers and diggers.

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I’d love some towering columns of this euphorbia from Saudi Arabia. I wouldn’t refuse some towering Euphorbia ingens ‘Variegata’ either.
I fantasize about knocking on doors and making offers whenever I see mature specimens of these two around town.
Evie can cozy up to E. ammak all she wants, as long as she doesn’t use it as a scratching post.


soon now

Some visual encouragement from my garden today and gardens I’ve visited in the past. Just in case spring still seems impossibly far away.


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starting over with Kalanchoe ‘Pink Butterflies’

Its lifespan as fleeting and evanescent as a butterfly’s, the mother plant’s single stalk ultimately elongated to over 4 feet tall, bloomed, and dropped all but the topmost leaves. All in less than two years’ time. Seen here in better days.

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One of the parents of this hybrid is excessively weedy, known by the cautionary name ‘Mother of Thousands,’ but true to ‘Pink Butterflies’ reputation it absolutely was not weedy. Quite the opposite. The kalanchoe shed the ruffly plantlets along the leaf margins seen in photos in the older post, but they did not take root in the potting soil, even though they covered the top of the container like mulch. I waited to see if the tall, leafless main stem would grow new leaves, but it didn’t. Tempted though I was to just toss it on the compost pile by this point, I instead chopped the long stalk into 2 to 3 inch pieces at leaf nodes, rooted them in sand, and after a hit-and-miss summer watering regimen now have just two cuttings slowly making size again.

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I’m wondering how others have fared with this remarkable kalanchoe, but haven’t come across much information on its growth habits so far. I never expected it to behave like an annual and am frankly underwhelmed by its gangly performance. Should it be pinched back? Hopefully, more cultural reports will be coming in on this fairly new hybrid.

The agave on the table with the never-camera-shy Evie is ‘Kissho Kan.’

On the Evening of October 3, 2010

A single brugmansia bloom dangled while Evie groomed. The rest of the unopened buds were jettisoned in response to high temperatures.

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That same evening, the ‘Siam Ruby’ banana unfurled an enormous solar panel, daring the sun to do its worst.

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The banana lost its dare. On the afternoon of October 4, 2010, it began to lightly rain, the first in, oh, six months or so. After a fitful start, on October 6 a proper rainstorm strode into town, rolled up its sleeves, and got down to business.

A cold chronology of dates can’t convey the sweet relief that first rainfall provides. When those long-awaited drops begin to penetrate the soil, some project always presents itself that can’t be delayed and must be accomplished now. Really just an excuse to experience water again falling from the sky and not out the end of a hose, to feel the warm drops on the skin, the hair, squishing into the shoes.

Yesterday, as the skies filled with clouds swollen with impending rain, it seemed a good time to consolidate a bunch of summer-accumulated pots into one gigantic pot vacated by a large sotol.
So in went Fuchsia ‘Hawkshead,’ an enormous pelargonium, two begonias, a golden-leaved jasmine, and the eggplant-colored pseuderanthemum ‘Black Varnish,’ almost 3-feet tall.
As the rain morphs from mist to big splashy drops, I shake my head like a dog to get the wet hair out of my face and go grab more compost. Soil falls onto the wet bricks and creates a muddy slurry, and even as I work I marvel at the glorious mess the rain and I have created in under 10 minutes. A couple lily bulbs are thrown into the pot for good measure. The rain is here, so once again everything is possible.

After the empty pots and shovels are cleared away, the clouds really let loose, and I head for the shower. The rain-soaked pot of xanthosoma which I’ve moved umpteen times all summer now won’t budge an inch and will probably remain in this spot before retiring for its winter snooze, sometime in November. The banana will be pleased with the forecasted temps into the 90s this weekend, but I’m looking forward to my next play date with the rain.

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Mediterranean Zone 10, averaging 15 inches of rainfall per year.