Sunday, December 4, 2011

Learning new garden things: Gift of Knowledge

Everyone knows catnip is an attractant for house cats. They go crazy for this herb.

This spring I learned about big cat behaviour when I stayed overnight with Thayer Head before I gave a talk in Hillcrest, Alberta. As Thayer and I chatted about cats and catnip she told me a friend of hers saw a wild cougar in her garden. Yes I have written books and done loads of television and radio interviews but this year I learned one very important thing about wild cougars.

I learned cougars are like any other cat. They are attracted to and will roll in catnip growing in a home garden. Note to self: Don't plant catnip on my semi-wild property in British Columbia. I don't want to wake up one morning to a cowering puppy scared by a yowl of pleasure from a cougar.

Other ingenious ideas I learned about this year include: Straw bale gardens (Indiana), Carrots grown in tubs for bringing into the greenhouse in fall (Wales) and at Kew gardens in London I saw a new way to use a garden fork. The fork's d-shaped handle is the prop and a useful third hand when staff at Kew wanted to water without holding a hose.


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