My favorite non-human gardening companion is...

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 186 votes:


My faithful dog! (Does he/she participate or observe?)
(59 votes, 31%)
Red dot


Cats are my garden companions.
(49 votes, 26%)
Red dot


I have farm animals that help by contributing compost material!
(5 votes, 2%)
Red dot


The birds are my companions.
(42 votes, 22%)
Red dot


I have unigue wildlife garden companions. (tell us!)
(7 votes, 3%)
Red dot


My faithful garden toad catches insects for me.
(6 votes, 3%)
Red dot


Other. (tell us!)
(18 votes, 9%)
Red dot


Previous Polls

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I voted faithful dog but her participation is not always in a good way!!!! She is still a puppy and loves to chew black plastic pots.

Port Norris, NJ(Zone 7b)

Hard to say that anyone are my "favorites".
Cats think my garden is an enlarged litter box just
for them.
Guinea hens and birds will eat any seeds I spread.
Skunks, raccoons, possums & deer think me putting
up fences is a silly idea.

Last year the deer herd just bent my wire fence to
reach the veggies growing there. The others burrowed
their way in. In all a really frustrating experience.
Lattice is a bit cost prohibitive all at once so we're
doing it in sections.Did I mention the garden was
about 1/4 acre?

Corpus Christi, TX(Zone 9a)

Many "critters" over many yrs. Most noteworthy:

Many generations of shrews, keeping insects in balance.

A meadow vole of 6 yrs I named "chocolate" for "her" color. "She" became quite habituated/friendly. "She" would sit 3-4 ft away from me munching away& looking right up at me. It was like having an outdoor pet that fed in the garden. "She" kind of looked like a hamster. I was easily attached. If "she" ever got seriously destructive, that might have changed. (I never saw any pups, but extreme variences in size make me suspect that "she" was female.)

A few yrs of regular visits from hummingbirds & look-alike sphinx moths.

Recently, friendly nemeses:
Grazers/browsers-deer,bunnies,Canada geese, THAT^ #$&*!!! Groundhog!, &a chipmunk that likes aster rhizomes. (I move the surviving asters, he moves his burrow! I'm tired.)

The groundhog may be my strongest rival, but a few yrs ago I had a problem. With vanishing plants from my patio containers. It wasn't specific to any family/ host plant, & damage was @ soil level, so I thought perhaps I had cutworm or army moths. After stakeouts & failed catterpillar "tape," I discovered a single tiny animal leveled my entire garden: a harvest mouse. I caught him in a humane trap & released him the next day in a non-maintained tallgrass area at the border between a large athletic complex & several farms. As we were driving away, a red-tailed hawk swooped in. I don't know if the mouse got away or eaten.

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

While I have 3 dogs that typically "help" me in the garden, I enjoy most seeing the lizards, toads, birds and butterflies that accompany me. I love listening to the birds sing while I "play" ~ and seeing the occasional visitor to my garden is a real bonus!

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

The neighbor's young cat, "Moon Pie" is energetic and curious about everything. He inspects and tries on for size, any hole I dig. He hides behind the raised beds and "surprises" me. He "hunts" for things and pounces but never seems to catch whatever it is he is hunting. Whenever he sees me in the garden, he climbs the chain link fence and comes running. He also loves to roll around in dirt piles, mulch piles, compost piles and takes winter naps in the raised beds. He also checks out all buckets, baskets and boxes thoroughly. When I stop for a rest on the bench, he also rests... in my lap and often takes a nap. He's entertaining and his enjoying my presence feels good to me.

This message was edited May 16, 2011 3:21 PM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My husband, Jack. He's a good gardener, helps me when needed and he's such a good sport.

Edited to add that I just noticed "non-human". Jack will get a kick out of being a non-human.

This message was edited May 16, 2011 9:51 PM

Thumbnail by pirl
Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Here is photo of Moon Pie. In the center of the black saddle shaped patch on his back, a white crescent moon is visible. He loves being with people and all the neighbors enjoy interacting with him.

Thumbnail by steadycam3
Whitehouse Station, NJ(Zone 6b)

My orange tabby cat loves to find a shady spot in the garden and snooze while I weed and my pet potbelly pigs always hang around nearby waiting for the dandelion greens. The pigs' pet toad sits smack the middle of their water dish in the evenings and catches whatever is flying around the floodlight. Still, I think my favorite was the ruby-throated hummingbird that sat on the garden fence a couple of years ago and chirped at me until he got my attention. Then, when I held still, he flew up for a sip from the hose that I was using to hand water some plants. That was the most amazing experience for me.

(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

3 dogs and a cat.. my cat usually just lays in the garden and watches while the dogs try to help by nosing and wanting to see EVERYTHING I am doing.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I voted for my dogs. Sam has been in the garden for about 13 years now and he knows the rules--no digging, no pooping on pathways, stay on pathways and out of the flowers, etc. Nikko is my newest addition. He spent most of his life in a cage in a shelter. Now he has a big beautiful world to play in. Everything in the yard is there just to amuse him, he is certain. But it's refreshing to watch someone else enjoy my gardens as much as I do. Nikko loves ornamental grasses and has thoroughly wallered down some soft rush. He goes fishing in my ponds everyday and fishes out the water plants. I sneak around behind him and throw them back in the ponds, only to find them on the ponds edge the next day.

Both dogs are in the irrigation and fertilization department and take their jobs seriously. You will two when you step in a stinking pile. LOL But if it weren't for these two guys, my gardens would never get fertilized and they might not get watered during a drought. Thank you, my furry little buddies!

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Lost in the Woods, MO(Zone 6a)

I have the cutest little snake that lives under the porch and slithers in and out the crack between the porch and house and watches me garden... and a skunk. Haven't seen the latter, but I have smelled him/her early in the a.m.

There is a robins' nest on the top of the porch/under the eaves that overlooks the garden. The babies are cute and the singing is beautiful.

The doves, cardinals, and sparrows are nice, too. The starlings and grackles not so much. The squirrels are fun to watch, but they're really veggie monsters in disguise...


This message was edited May 16, 2011 7:19 PM

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I have all kinds of gardening companions: cats, birds, butterflies, turtles, you name it. Lately, the two stray cats that adopted me have decided that they really enjoy hanging out with me in the garden, so much so that they squabble over who gets to 'garden' with me and who's going to leave.

My dog is a very tiny and wimpy Maltese. He is SO not a normal dog. He can't stand to get his feet wet and doesn't like to stay outside more than a very few minutes. It's always too something out there for him: too cold, too hot, too windy, too wet, and so on. I'm not kidding. After about 5 min outside, he will go and sit on the door facing to signal that he's had enough and ready to go back inside. Thus, at my house, cats rule in the garden.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Every time I plop myself down to do some weeding, Skipper likes to jump in my lap and make himself comfortable which means I have to stop doing what I'm doing and love on him instead. He's my buddy.

Thumbnail by toni5735
Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I have many guests to my garden, most are destructive, like ground hogs, voles, mice and rabbits. I do appreciate the garter snakes and toads but I think I would have to vote for the many night crawlers, that continually keep providing me with their castings, keeping the garden soil rich in nutrients for the veggies. They work tirelessly and even provide me with fresh bait to go fishing and relaxation on a river bank, after a satisfying day in the garden. Not too bad of a reward, feed a few fish and take three or four home for supper to go along with the veggies.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

My 3 cats join me in the garden everytime I go outside.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

That Skipper is adorable! I'd have to love on him too if he were in my garden. Non-human companions are some of my favorite people. :-)

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'm torn between the lizards that are helping keep down my mosquito population, and the herds of Assassin Bugs that are patroling the grounds beneath every one of my tomato planters, and keeping ALL the buggies off my tomatoes!

Strange bedfellows, but I'll keep 'em! They're earning their keep!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 5b)

I am guardian to two indoor animal companions, a house rabbit and a cat. So when I am in the garden I socialize with the birds, speak to the neighbors' dogs (behind fences), and watch for the garden roaming cats. I always hope I'll find a toad but haven't yet. I was STUNNED to find a salamander last month! I disturbed its home underneath the grass killing carpet I had laid in preparation for the veggie bed and I don't know whaere he went, but there are other places for him to live soI hope I'll see him or his descendants again.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

The mockingbirds are always lurking nearby while I garden, waiting for me to toss them a grub or caterpillar.

But I particularly enjoy the little jumping spiders that hang around my patio. They perch on top of the chairs and actually turn and watch me as I move around - curious and cute little guys that I love having around.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

I checked other, for our chipmunk population, but my cats also like to watch me from the protection of their enclosed balcony.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I went with birds. I love to weed midweek with nothing but the birds and leaves in the breeze making a noise (weekends are much noisier with various gas propelled machines and implements).

My cat does often join me, but she is more of an annoyance than a companion - she tends to lay right where I am weeding or decide the weeds in my hand are an enemy to be vanquished.

My dog also hangs close by and often hunts for moles -which I allow as she occasionally catches them.

Thumbnail by bonehead
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I could have voted for my little dog, Chloe, because she follows me every where. But I chose "birds" because they are far more useful in the garden.

This morning, I watched as four chickadees pecked at things on the tomato leaves. Don't know what they were eating, but I'm sure it was something I didn't need!

(Zone 7a)

Miss Isis is my constant companion while gardening, summer or winter.

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brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

2 labs that try to "defend" the yard and think that laying in my day lilies is helping me (I have to leave a vacant spot for them to relax or risk losing more plants)- a cat that thinks she is a squirrel and climbs so high in the tree she has to get down by getting on the roof - a cat that wonders wherever she pleases - many birds, bugs and worms. I hope my hummers come soon. I am ready for them!

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

I tend to get a few unwanted visitors too; finding a plant completely dug up (not always eaten, just pulled up!). I've had squirrels dig up my elephant ear bulbs and gnaw on them. I've also had them "help me" to "relocate" bulbs - yesterday I found a pretty Rain Lily bloom SO not where I'd planted it--at the base of a sweet gum tree. Sneaky things.

I love hearing the mockingbirds, mourning doves, cardinals and chickadees in my garden. But I have to admit I just LOVE it when I'm out a TAD too late in the day because I get to hear the owls hoot, see the bats flying overhead, and listen to the katydids sing.

Unlike others here, I've not yet trained my furry friends to NOT "water" and "fertilize" my garden ;-(

I DO however, enjoy running across a fresh pile of bunny poo, or deer droppings, or even fox poo. To me, that's neat to know they've been around, even if I don't see them *smile*

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

This year I have been inundated with Chameleon lizards. Green one minute, brown the next. Then they get excited and puff that red throat up like a balloon. They are everywhere. Blessed.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

the 4 yorkies... Lily will help chase chipmunks.. Jily barks at birds.. and the two pups try to eat every plant they can get a hold of

:)>

they get there own tomato plants... Lily will sniff them to see when they are ripe, pick and eat them.. Jily is a goof and eats green ones.. don't know what Hope & Eros are going to do yet.. soon find out

Milton, NH(Zone 5a)

Last summer I did a little strawbale gardening and attracted one or two toads. I'm not sure if it was the same one or not. The strawbales supported way too many slugs which the toads greatly appreciated.!.

Ottawa, KS(Zone 5b)

Other

I selected "Other" for a small flock of guineas. They are very good at eliminating garden pests without damaging the garden. They can see and eat very small insects. Last year they stopped an outbreak of flea beetles "in its tracks" in my garden. Guineas are also very good at eliminating ticks. The book, Gardening with Guineas, has a lot of information on the subject.

http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Guineas-Step---Step-Raising/dp/0739202502/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1305689037&sr=1-1

Guineas could be a noise problem in town, but out in the country they are a great gardening companion.

ZM
(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned)

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

With the tick problems I have here, I need to check and see if I'm allowed to have Guineas. I'll put up with the noise if they take care of the ticks!! And with all the dogs in this area barking at all hours, how can the neighbors complain.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

BUTTERFLIES!!

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

Guineas would be nice - but I think the dogs would chase and eat them...that would then defeat the purpose I suppose ;)

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

EEEEkk!! guineas would eat my butterfly caterpillars!!!

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

My old BC lays around and gives me moral support but the horses, goats and chickens contribute fertilizer. We all one big happy family. I am hoping the terrier puppy will decide to help me eradicate the chipmunks that are destroying my onions and beans.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Guess I could have included my rat terrier that digs and eats grubs!

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

My cats dont get outside unless I am gardening..its a treat for them and entertainment for me, watching them chase butterflies, moths, whatever else that is flying around..oh yes, especially chasing grasshoppers..their favorite past time while outside.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I have several formerly feral kitties that I spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and mostly tamed, who supervise my every move outside. They make sure I take breaks, by insisting on occasional belly rubs!

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

I miss my gardening companion.. but he is always on my mind when I go out to my back yard gardens.. now the birds and squirrells and rabbits are all I have..

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Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Birds! There's a cheeky Carolina Wren I especially like.. not only is he cute and willing to come quite boldly close (especially if he thinks there might be peanut butter), he also snaps up a lot of insects that might otherwise nibble on my plants!

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