Destructive cats, and a winter tree casualty

So… that didn’t take long.

In re-arranging the living room, the girls and I also moved around the plants. The living room is the only space we have for our bigger plants – and some have gotten very big since we’ve moved out here! – so it’s a bit of a challenge.

One of the things we have a lot of is jade plants. The jade plant that we thought might not survive the move is now a massive, healthy beast of the tree. We also have lots and lots of aloe vera. I knew that aloe propagates itself easily, but I didn’t realize how easily jade plants do as well. It turns out any leaf that breaks off can grow into a new plant.

Leaves break off easily. Especially with our cats. They keep trying to get into the pots, lying in the dirt, and generally wrecking havoc. I recently ended up using the extra legs of the plastic utility shelf we got as supports for the big one, because it was almost completely flattened. (As a bonus, because these are tubes, I can now water the plant through the tops.) This is not a good thing, since jade plants are poisonous to cats.

One of the treats I’ve started to get at Costco are these large plastic containers of Cheese Balls. I’ve been keeping the containers because I thought they’d make great cloche coverings in the garden at some point. When the cats were determined to use one of the plant pots as a bed, mashing the jade plant flat, I put one of these over the plant to protect it. It worked well, but when we arranged things, I figured the plant was big enough to not need it any more and took it off.

Well… they did leave that one alone.

Another smaller one, not so much. The pot was knocked over, the poor little jade plant was on the carpet, and there was soil all over.

I’m glad we thought to put that plastic over the shelves to protect their tops!

I put the soil back and replanted the jade plant. It should actually survive this, but we’ll see. Meanwhile, this and another pot are small enough that I cut the tops off of two of those plastic containers, so that they are not straight sided, and they can completely cover the pots and their plants, with room to grow.

This morning, I ended up using the cut off tops to put over a couple more plants that showed signs of cats bashing their way through them.

Meanwhile, while doing my rounds this morning, I remember to check on the pair of trees my mother planted right against the chain link fence. One of them had looked like it was dead, but I wasn’t up to slogging through the snow to check it. The snow is mostly gone now, so…

Yeah, that is one very dead tree. Both of these were fine in the fall.

I had wanted to transplant them away from the fence, but my mother demanded they stay right where they are. When I pointed out that they would eventually grow big enough to damage the fence, and were too close together, she said they were exactly where she wanted them to be, and she didn’t care if they damaged the fence.

Now that one of them has died, knowing my mother, she’s probably going to think I killed it because I didn’t want them there.

Ah, well. I’ll deal with that when the time comes.

One of the things that has really hit home for me as we’ve been cleaning up around the yards, is how incredibly important it is to think years ahead when planting trees. We intend to plant many, many trees, with a focus on food trees, and this gives us an opportunity to learn from what my parents did 10, 20, even 40 years ago.

The Re-Farmer

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