Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
For the first time, i simply could not vote. Mine has to be all of the above. My dogs have always helped me. Mainly by not digging up the flowers. I have had the company of cats who reigned supreme while i worked. There are always frogs,salamanders,lizards,turtles, and an occasional snake. Butterflys,bees,catterpillers,worms, Songbirds, wrens, sparrows,hawks,woodpeckers. My garden is always abuzz with activity.And i live 30 miles from town.
My cat, Rosie, offers moral support when I'm gardening. She simply comes and sits close by and provides an occasion comment. Of course, she's easily distracted by birds, bees and grasshoppers, so her gardening assistance sometimes is brief, but comforting.
How about "all of the above". I couldn't pick just one. Gardening here with two dogs, six cats, hummingbirds swarming overhead, birds singing. I am delighted when the butterflies and dragonflies choose to visit and happy to see toads & frogs because I know they dine on mosquitoes. The only varmint I'd gladly do without are the legless ones that startle me!
All of the above! But I had to vote for my "faithful dog" Rusty, a 2-year-old golden retriever. He loves it when I'm gardening and follows me all around the yard. When I stop to work in one area he loves to roll around or lie down in the grass next to me. He also loves giving the lizards a workout ;)
I had to pick Songbirds, although I love all the butterflies too!
I have quite a few birdfeeders around the yard and yesterday I counted 9 different types of birds at the feeders. Of course that attracts predators as well. We have a few different types of Hawks in our area and late yesterday afternoon I heard a commotion of wings and doves scattering. The Blue Jays and Mockingbirds started making a racket so I knew there was a predator nearby. I walked out into the yard and around the house and a beautiful Hawk came flying right past me ... at shoulder height! They are so silent in flight, and it was so fast I couldn't tell what kind of hawk it was, but it looked to be a young one ... didn't have anything in it's beak so it either missed, or dropped it's dinner! It's really something to watch the songbirds gang up on the predators to chase them away.
I love gardening with the songs of birds in the background. One of my favorites is the Mourning Dove:
The hummingbirds this year are incredible. They buzz around the entire time I am out in the garden. They seem to be unafraid, especially when I wear a floral or brightly colored blouse. Unfortunately, the deer also keep me company. I can see them observing from a distance...then in the evening or early morning they come in close for a visit and a snack. This in spite of rotation of scent deterents! We have a lovely golden retriever next door who should chase them off but she likes to sit and watch them instead. A pacifist hunting dog...you have to love it!
My favorite helper is a duck...at least one, sometimes many more! The only problem, when I dig a hole, they want to play in it. So, I have to dig a hole for them and then run dig another hole and plant before they realize what I have done. LOL
The mockingbirds in our yard are always very aware of when we mow or dig. If I come across a grub, there's invariably a mockingbird over my shoulder, watching and waiting for me to toss it over to him. (I've also seen them chase cats and squirrels out of the yard!)
I could have voted for everything but the dog...sadly no doggie here. But as posted above, the humming birds are in fantastic numbers this year, and finally I,ve got Yellow Swallowtails and Black Swallowtails, and the buzzing of bees of every kind, big and small.
You know what they say, "You're closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth!" Thank you God.
I voted for "My Cat", but in reality the kitty that I am refering too has crossed over the bridge. When she was with me she was the best gardening bud ever. Never got in my way, just hung out and watched me or snoozed under the rose bushes while I worked. Callie was the best companion ever. It's been four years and I still miss her terribly.
I voted songbirds, I love listening to them while I garden...I would love to say my dog but he's still in that doofy puppy stage and mows down everything and loved to dig and rearrange all my rocks I had bordering my gardens...
there are always Hummingbirds, Butterflies, Wild Rabbits/Bunnies, Gray & Fox Squirrels, Bees, an occasional Toad, an occasional Red Fox, White Tailed Deer and horrors... an occasional snake! :-((
One year in June, I had a family of snakes living under my front porch. As I walked past, they were all sticking their heads out. :-(( The same day, as I was rounding the back facet and hose, I saw another type of snake laying there. :-((
I feed the Songbirds on the ground and in feeders every day of the year.
I garden organically and I garden for the Birds, Hummingbirds and Butterflies. Love to see them all! I also have 3 Hummingbird feeders that I change the sugar water solution (no red dye) every day whether they need it or not. I had 4 Hummingbird feeders up, but during a recent hail storm, one of the 4 ant moats got cracked, so I make the 2 cups of sugar water and now divide it between the 3 feeders and it works very well. I now have one feeder in the front and 2 still in the back. The Hummers are always buzzing and making their little sweet chirping, squeaking, chittering sounds every day! :-)
The Wild Rabbits and Bunnies are so cute! They sometimes sit and lay in bare spots in my garden and I try not to walk too close to them, as I might 'bother & disturb' them! :-)
DH and I have 2 adorable Mini Lop Bunnies that have free range of the house only. The closest they come to 'being outside' is whenever there is a really cool and breezy day, we open the windows and they smell the outside through the screens. It doesn't happen too often, because I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and I have to have the AC on cold most of the year.
My cousin calls them tree rats, but the antics of the squirrels are so amusing I find it hard to acknowledge them as rodents. They scamper along the fencetop, sometimes chattering as though scolding me for keeping them away from the sunflower seed bird feeder. They beat me to most of the pecan crops, too, but I really can't fault them since it is I who made the place hospitable for them. I enjoy the birds, butterflies, geckos, toads - just about all of the critters except skeeters and fireants. My cats accompany me sometimes as observers, but offer very little in the way of assistance.
I did forget the 'family' of Blue-tailed Skinks that live in my herb bed...apparently, we have a family, because several little ones no longer than my little finger showed up last week in the oregano. Poppa Skink is sans his tail, so the neighbor's cat must have had a tussle with him. There are many insects in the oregano and they hang out there and I often see them with their 'prey.'
I would have voted "cats" but my cats are terrified of the outdoors. Poor little spoiled things. NOT! So I voted Songbirds--loads of them. My favorites are the brown headed nuthatches; I love their little "beeps". I think we have at least 4 families of Cardinals in the yard this year as well, so they follow me around while I garden.
I agree that it should be "all of the above" instead of none of the above. Which one could be excluded? I chose hummers because this year, they seem almost tame. I have had them come very close to me this year and they seem to be totally unafraid of my dh and I.
I simply love all of God's creatures and they all make my gardening experience a great one.
The only think that I would exclude would be the snakes. So far this year "nada" on the snakes. I hope it stays that way.
I had to vote for my cats. They both come out and follow me every where. I'm positive that they are supervising my every act! And, as someone up above said, they're always their offering their moral support!
I voted for None of the Above
My cat stays in the house, and wasps don't like me in THEIR garden... not to mention the ANTS (wish I couldn't mention them - they Bite!)
Songbirds send "prezzies" by way of droppings on my head lol
The garbage men drop the lid of my can on the flower bed (nasty wee men!!), so other than my DH, I have no one to help lol
My neighbour wishes I planted roses, and roses only, so She's no help, either LOL
This is my garden on July 5th - I should update it, cuz it's sooooo much fuller!!
A shovel my DH made for me from his favorite tool - a trenching spade/shovel -& my banty chickens. I wouldn't take a billion $$$ for that shovel/spade. And the banties are so much company. Yes, they do some damage, but the shrouds from worn out fans and discarded 'fridge racks, etc. help protect my plants.
All 3 of my cats are great company in the garden. They like to hide beneath the daylilies and ornamental grass and then launch sneak attacks on me when I walk by. Always makes me laugh. Samson is very fond of Alyssum and reacts to it almost like it was cat nip. His job is to flatten it. He gives new meaning to the term "Bed of Flowers".
I also had a hard time choosing one, I tried to focus on the idea of favorite 'garden companion'. I chose butterflies because I see them the most, so they give me the most pleasure. They are flying by my head all day long. I see hummers almost every day but they are much sneakier visitors, so not as frequent of a companion. I do always get excited when one doesn't notice me within a foot from where they decide to nectar. They are so much funner to watch up close. My cats give me chuckles quite frequently in the garden but usually they are up to no good. Stalking the bird feeder, trying to catch my beloved butterflies, laying right under the hummingbird feeder so the hummingbirds are too scared to visit them, digging up newly planted seedlings (most likely to do you know what in their place). I think we all know how silly kitties can be. So that's how I narrowed mine down.
Lincolnitess Love your kitties! Now I know why my Alyssum keeps dying! It's the kitties! My old man kitty does seem to sniff at it a lot. I'm sure he waits until I'm not looking and lays on it and rolls around. He knows his antics wouldn't last long if I saw him. I would shoo him away. : ) I tried growing catnip for my kitties but it never amounted to much because they kept nibbling it down to nothing.
Here is one of my garden companions. He is great digging holes where ever you point. He loves weeding and pulling the tree roots sticking out from the ground. Loves to chase squirrels and lizards. Not scared to get down and dirty. LOL!
Breed: American Blue Nose Pitbull
Age: 2 Years Old
Weight: 80lbs +
I voted for my cat. She's been 'helping' me garden for over 15 years. She talks to me(part siamese), rolls around, and chases crickets and grasshoppers. I'd probably work faster, she assists on being pet or she'll rub you to death, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
My 6 dogs, one great dane scared of turtles, which one got in the yard the other night and took us three days to figure out why she would only go out the doggie door on to the step then have a barking fit, the turtle was a small one about the size of your hand and was really enjoying the bugs from the porch light but if you asked Jewels he was bigger then the house, two rockwiller crosses, they are to old and fat like their master to do much but come out and lay in a shade and sleep, a cross eyed border collie, she must chase any thing that moves expecially birds till they land then its a no no, a mutt that is one of the best rat getters I've ever had and then the baby of the bunch my boxer, that wound up being a cross, her mom is a pure bred brintle boxer and her dad is the boxer/red pit cross that lives three house's down, she looks just like him in the head and coloring, but we love her any way, she is the one that helps the most with digging and removing plants already in the ground, lol. Don't know how I got along all the years before they came into our lives, they are all rescue dogs and now rule the place. LOL. Susan
Zuzu they are all so beautiful! I can't see the one in the middles face but I imagine it is darker like the others? Maybe their daddies were ragdolls! lol I've been wanting a ragdoll for years but they are so expensive and I tell myself the non bred kitties need homes too. : ) Here is what would be an awesome shot in a tad more light, of my two kitties. On evening patrol of the gardens. : )
Just me. No cats allowed outside, and I don't even remove the fence so I can get in my flower beds to weed if the dogs are out. Everything will get trampled. No ponds around for frogs or fish. I really don't like bugs of any kind, butterflies included. No bird feeders here, really don't want to attract them, my neighbors can do that. I prefer the solitude when I am in my garden.
I spend the winter months preparing for the hummers; reading every hummingbird and garden book I own, catalog I am sent, and hummingbird site online, making very long shopping lists to make sure I have the right plants. I spend the spring raising plants from seed, preparing plant beds, cleaning pots and relining hanging baskets, buying plants at local nurseries and online, and planting hummer attractor plants. The last couple springs I have been adding more flower beds. During the summer I cruise the yard with a hose, pruners, and trowel attending to all the hummer plants blooming. Come fall, I clean out the annuals as they fade and put the perennials to bed for the winter. I also start my mental list of what worked, what needs to be switched, and what new plants I found out about at DG, for the next years planting. Late November I start working on my lists again, surfing the internet for any new tidbits of info I can find. Can you guess what I voted for?
I had to go with frogs but that should include spiders as well. I also carry any snakes I happen to catch up by my pond, out to the garden and release them there. I haven't seen a venomous snake around here.
I don't like them but I like the insects less.
I voted none of the above. My favorite gardening companion is my bottle lamb, Marshmallow. She loves to garden with me and she eats the weeds while I plant things. How convenient is that?! She is very obedient and follows me like a puppy. When I stop to work in a garden bed, she eats weeds, and then lays down for a rest until I'm ready to move on.
Well along with my 2 boys (dogs) and my girl (cat) I have my oldest boy Joey (parrot) and if he is not on my shoulder he walks back and forth up and down my back as I am bending over and trying to point out what I've missed and what I have to do. And last but not least my better half, my hubby.
Mine is other. Some times it is music time and other times it is sitting in quiet reflection, which is something I seldom have. I don't like company unless they are helping with a heavy job or dogs helping either, especially my new one, she copies me, if I dig, she digs, if I make a hole for a plant, she wants to dig a hole for another plant to transplant into it.
My dog protects me from strangers while I am busy in the gardens. (Not too much help as he - a Yorkie - bites the shovel.) Lately, with the sunflowers blooming, an American Goldfinch has hung around and allowed me to be quite close by when weeding.
The humming birds are EVERYWHERE this year! They actually hover & watch me water the garden... I think it's the sparkling water spraying from the hose. Not really scared at all. And all different colors. They love the hosta flowers.
I have to say my two Rat Terriers. Both are great mouse catchers (even Petrie who has some disabilities). They follow me through the yard and have to investigate everything I am doing.
It makes me happy that neither of them want to harm anything but rodents.