Sunday, August 22, 2010

Power tools!

We worked on the front yard today and made a bit more progress.  Mostly because I had help from my DH.  I bought a GOOD weed whacker so he trimmed the grass and did a little bit of weeding.  Meanwhile, I continued to dig up some of the grass.  I really want to get rid of most of the grass in the front and plant some flowers and ground cover plants.  

There's a bit of dirt where I dug so I'm worried the stray cats will use it as a toilet again.  It's covered with a few pokey bromeliads for the time being, till I can get back to it.  Hopefully that'll keep them out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Plumeria Hill

 When I was younger, there was a hill of plumeria trees along Moanalua Road.  It was part of someone's yard that was a steep slope down to the roadside.  People used to ask them if they could pick the plumerias to make leis.  Nearby schools would pick flowers for Mayday.  It was beautiful.  Then progress came along and they cut into the slope to widen the road.  The 2 lane road became 5 lanes and the hill disappeared.  Now, there are only a few plumeria trees.  It was sad to see it disappear.

I have an empty hill in the back of our house.  It's not our property, but really at this time, no one is using it and it's just an eyesore full of weeds and rubbish.  I want to turn the hill into that memory.  So this week, I'm going to make some plumeria cuttings. I saw a discarded branch of plumeria at my son's school which I could break off some branches from and prepare for my little plumeria farm.  It'll be great. 

Last year(?), I bought a cutting from the urban garden sale for $2.00.  It's still in the pot, but has bloomed a few times.  It's a miniature plumeria and I might use it for the front yard.  Funny... when I was younger, plumerias were so common that I took them for granted.  It was the CHEAP flower lei and I didn't really like them much.  I wanted the roses and pikaki.  Now I want the plumeria.  What a memory can do to ya....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not working as planned...

Yeah... I've been especially lazy, no, just too busy to get to the yard everyday.  Not only that, but I just can't seem to decide what I want to do to my garden.  So many ideas, so many things I want, but will they work?  And can I afford it?  Now that's the biggie.

Anyway, I've been searching for more inspiration and found rainchains, water barrels, fairy houses.  Wow... I really like those..  Anyway, here's a few inspirational pics....

 The rain chains were found at Rain Chains Direct and The barrels are from Aaron's Rain Barrels.  I think we will have to find something here 'cuz I can imagine shipping will be a killer, and it's expensive to start with.  Maybe we can find something a little more economical.  It does say free shipping, but most times, it doesn't apply to us.

I found this treehouse as I was searching for info on fairy gardens on the internet.  The treehouse is from A Proper Garden  I hope I got the right place, they seem to be a landscaping/design company.   Cute...

So many ideas, so little time (and money). 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feral Cat problem update

Drats.  The pine branches are not working.  I checked again and there's poo again.  Same place.  They seem to just push the branches aside to get to the dirt.  So the only thing that seems to deter them is the Scarecrow sprinkler.

But on a more positive note, I've spoken with the lady who likes feeding them and she is thinking of ways to help these cats so the neighbors don't catch them and send them to the humane society.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who doesn't want the cats around and someone else has confronted her.  She's a nice person, and I do feel sorry for those cats, but leaving them there and feeding them won't solve the problem.

She has called an organization who lent her 5 cat traps.  She'll be catching them and taking them to the organization and having them spayed/neutered and microchipped.  Then she will take them to a place FAR from here, and away from other neighborhoods.  Problem solved.  I hope.  It's an expensive venture, but appears to be a good solution and will keep the neighbors from having them euthanized. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Feral Cat problems

Scarecrow Water Sprinkler by Con Tech

I've been battling stray cats for a couple years now. I'm tired of picking up their poop when I find a few minutes to work on the garden... as such, my veggie garden is still non existent and my front yard is unfinished. So this past year, I've been searching for solutions.

Last year, I just caught them all (about 30) and sent them to the humane society to deal with. I refuse to do the catch and release program as I don't have the time and money, but unfortunately a neighbor here confronted me when I started catching the strays this year. She and her family loves the kitties and would like me to leave them alone. She likes to feed them and has kitty food in her patio for them. I informed her about the program and asked her to look into it so the cats don't breed... less poop maybe. At this time, there are about 8-10 out there. And again, they're using my yard as a pooper. Most of the other neighbors I've spoken with don't like the situation either. We would prefer them gone, but out of respect for this family, we put up with the situation.

Because of allergies in our household, I do need them to stay out of my yard, so I've been on a quest to find an appropriate repellent. My oldest daughter (now in college) comes home and is constantly coughing and sneezing when she's downstairs with us. And my skin has been itching a lot again. I think it might be the cats as we've tried major housecleaning, changing soaps/detergents, and skin care lotions. We KNOW we're allergic to cats... so it's possible. Hopefully, when we can get them to stay away from our home, we'll be able to enjoy it again.

Here's what we've tried that hasn't worked:
Citrus peels (lemon, tangerine, orange)
coffee grounds
black landscaping plastic (they just ripped right through it and pooped)
egg shells
Big glass jar filled with water

Here's things we considered, but decided against due to little children who like running through our yard (hers as well as ours), or cost factor of having to replace it every time it gets wet.
Chicken wire around the plants
Thorny branches
Cat repellents

Here's what looks hopeful. We've been using these since Christmas and they seem helpful:
Pine branches from our Christmas tree (my alternative to thorny branches)
Scarecrow water sprinkler by Con Tech (expensive, but maybe worth it)

My Scarecrow was broken for a couple days, and I found cat poop on the lawn, right at the bottom of the kid's slide. That would've been unpleasant. Con Tech's customer service is excellent and the warranty is 2 years. The replacement piece came just 3 days after I emailed them. That's extremely quick for delivery to Hawaii. The only thing I don't like about the Scarecrow is that it also is spraying the birds. I like birds and don't mind them in my yard. Wish I could keep them visiting without the cats...

I'm planning on purchasing a few more of those Scarecrows, hopefully I'll be able to figure out a way to keep them safe from the children when they're running through my yard. And I'm going to see if I can hook up a system of these to my water sprinkler system.

Comments welcome on how you're dealing with feral cats.