We received a hard downpour two days ago and while I'm not complaining about the rain--because we really need it--it created some new problems in the garden. One of the raised beds that sits partially under the roof overhang received the brunt of the water pouring off the roof. It hit so hard that it displaced about half the soil in part of the box, and uprooted several plants. This happened once before, but the rain must have been less intense because it only disturbed about two square feet of gardening space. I thought that by no longer using that two square feet, that would solve the problem. Not so, apparently. So now we are looking into installing some gutter over the boxes. I hope it's not too expensive.
In other gardening news, we've had a few stray animals running around the neighborhood. No, really--it's related to gardening. I've been attempting to grow some herbs and some new flowers in the flowerbeds in front of the house. I planted several different mints, basil, oregano, echinacea, and some irises. Some things are doing better than others. The echinacea has seemed to take quite well to the new environment and had even started blooming.
The first stray to appear was a young cat. I posted her picture on craigslist and one person responded, but she had lost a male. We've been feeding her because we feel sorry for her. But, the other day as I was tending to my basil seedling, I discovered that she's turned our flowerbed into her litter box. Hrmn. Not a pleasant development. I put an empty yogurt cup with the bottom removed around the basil plant, to protect it from being accidentally buried by her. But it must have blocked too much sun or something, because the plant wilted. I'm not sure it will make it.
I have a friend who mentioned a few months ago that he was thinking of adopting a cat. I told him about this one, and he's considering adopting her. I hope he does, because otherwise we may have to take her to a shelter. We can't take in another pet, and I can't always protect her from the 5-year-old boy next door who likes to be mean to her.
Two days ago I was driving home from work when traffic suddenly stopped, just a few feet from my neighborhood. Then I saw two boxers slinking through the vehicles that had braked to avoid hitting them. They headed south, parallel with our housing addition. An hour later they came trotting through my front yard. I called them over to look for tags and such, but they were collar-less. Again, I put their pictures on craigslist, but no one came to look for them. The next morning when I left for work they were still hanging around the neighborhood, but by the time I got home that afternoon, they were nowhere around. Then I saw my flowerbed. Apparently they had slept there. I could see the imprints from their bodies in the mulch. I could also see the damage they did to my echinacea and one of the irises. Half of the echinacea plant was broken and withered, and the leaves on the iris were broken as well. I think both plants will survive, but it's still a bummer.
I don't know what happened to the dogs. I know they had annoyed some of my neighbors; one who is terrified of dogs in general, and another family who didn't trust the dogs around their small children. I also saw them chasing at least one cat (the stray). The day they appeared was the day of the storm. They probably were scared by the thunder and broke out of their yard. Maybe they live nearby and the owner came looking for them and found them. At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself.