Charlotte Solo

When Barley was alive, he got most of the attention.

He was photogenic, needy, cuddly and babyish.

Charlotte was all about Barley and busy.

She only had eyes for him. I was just her source of food.

Things have changed.

Charlotte is alone.

She runs to greet me when I enter her yard. She bows to be petted before eating. She shares her food with a tiny chipmunk.

Yesterday, she climbed a fence to eat passion vine and stood on her hind legs to eat Turk’s Cap.

Sometimes I wonder if she even remembers Barley, and then…

She will break my heart by lying down beside his grave.

Does she know he is under there? I am going to tell myself she doesn’t.

We both miss Barley.

Charlotte is carrying on. She is staying busy and being a brave bunny.


Through the Roof

I have had to be away from home more than usual.

I spent months constructing a “Coyote Cage” inside the bunny pen so they would be safe.


I close it up at night when the bunnies go inside so that no wildlife can get in and poop.

I never leave out water or food.

When I escorted them out this morning, I noticed the fencing in the gate had been pushed out.


Something had been trapped in during the night and forced its way out.

It was either the stray cat that has been lurking about, or one of our raccoon neighbors.


I found where it had fallen through the roof.


Now I must shore up the roof and the gate before I leave today.

Barley’s bottom sticking out of a box.

Too much to do, too little time.

I’m about to go through the roof!


Winter Survival Tips

I am having to pull out all the stops on this blah day.

The rain shows no signs of stopping.

I must stay inside. I must stay up.

I will be staying near my giant blooms of ‘Pink Surprise.’


I will be drinking coffee out of my Barley cup.


I will be writing book reviews on gardening books.

I will thinking about spring.


That’s how a flower survives winter.



Bunny Trouble

It is not easy being a bunny mommy.  If they weren’t cute they would be of no use.

It’s Barley’s bottom again.


Or is it his bladder?

He pees where ever he pleases.

If he is inside, that usually means on the floor, not in one of the litter boxes.

This morning I discovered it also means in the bunny bed.

This had to be washed an hung out to dry.

Don’t get me started on the vet bills and expensive electric razor for his monthly Brazilian…

I think Flower has finally decided that the bunnies must reside OUTSIDE


in that pen that I spent months constructing to keep them safe from

raccoons and coyotes.

Who is going to protect me from my own stupidity?

That’s what I want to know.


The Green Patch

I made a trip to the green patch today.


I was happy to be snipping in the sunshine.

I got a basket full.


Not enough to cook up a mess.

They aren’t for me.

They are for the bunnies, of course.


There is nothing more yummy to a bunny tummy than fresh greens.

See that smile?



Saving My Passions

Saving my Passions involves some risky behavior.

Passion vine hybrid

I must climb a ladder with scissors in my hand.  Twice.


The first trim occurs back in early fall.  I cut off the side shoots.

I then streamline the vines down to three or four main stems.

The first trim prevents the vines from getting shocked all at once and makes the second trim easier.

Then I climb back up again, about a month later, to cut them down from the trellises.

I usually leave about one third of the plant in place.

I wrap this lower portion into a wreath-like ring and secure it to a short trellis in the pot.

I use garland hooks from craft stores to hold vines onto the trellis. These can be moved and removed easily.

I then wheel my potted vines into my sunny workshop to spend the winter with all my other precious plants.

It’s a jungle in there!

The trimmed pieces may be cut up into cuttings to produce new Passion vine plants for my friends.

Passion vines cuttings. Red Passion has bigger leaves that are hairy and bronzed.

I keep a request list.  Newly rooted plants will be given away in the spring.

The bunnies helped out by hiding under the Turk’s Cap plant.


They know mama on a ladder with scissors is something to be afraid of.


My Bad New Neighbor

Well the honeymoon is over.  I was hoping we could be friends.

But there are some habits that the Flower cannot tolerate.

At first the digging was a novelty. The excavation was a source of fascination.

It thought this was just part of getting settled in.

But its been months and the digging continues.

My new neighbor has an addiction to digging.

I did not mind its sharing my cold frame until the pots started sinking into the ground.

Now a line has been crossed.  I was out with the bunnies when I noticed a pile of fresh rubble under the bunny hutch.

This is not their home. They, of course, have their own room inside the house.

This hutch is their outdoor retreat from wind and birds-of-prey. It is also their outdoor toilet.

This huge pile of rocks has been removed from under a slab of concrete.

We still haven’t met our new neighbor. I tried to get Charlotte to identify him from photos, but she refused to squeal.

Mr. Flower suggested trying a trap. What should we use for bait I asked, “Rocks?”

We borrowed a critter camera that did not work. I suggested purchasing our own. Mr. Flower said he did not wish to spend money on such a purchase.

I interrupted him to inform him that I was saving my money for new bikinis for our trip to Mexico. ( Pure fiction is the perfect distraction. It throws them off course. When they recover from the shock, they are so grateful that what you just said was a lie that they will gladly give you the original object requested.)

I am expecting that critter cam any time now.




Bunnies and Blooms in the Gloom

We have had three cold, wet days here in NC.

Neither I nor the bunnies have played outside.

They have kept busy chewing sticks, barbering each other,

eating, napping and tearing up their box.

I have played with my inside plants.

My Christmas cacti collection will be blooming for weeks to come.

I am so thankful for their vibrant colors.

I am just sharing today’s showoffs up close.




gold and salmon


When it stops raining, I will be going outside to photograph all the bloomers that are still braving the elements.

It’s the least I can do for these tenacious plants.