How to have a flower garden and cats

…The trick? Divided areas. The GarlicCats are much loved members of the family and, as such, we’re eager for them to share our little outdoor patch behind the house. However, I don’t believe that any home is complete without cut flowers and although most of the garden is going to be devoted to edibles, it’s important to note ensure that the pollinating insects and butterflies get their flower fix as well as us. Unfortunately many of my favourites (including that old classic the Sweet Pea) are toxic to cats. The solution? To plant on our driveway. Or rather, to put planters on our driveway. So enter the lockable safe (which took hours to construct) perfect for our veg boxes to be left in when we’re not home to take delivery, and also a few basic boxes. I just put in a couple of placeholder plants for now (some wild alpine flowers, a couple of hardy daisies, that sort of thing) but this weekend I’ll be hard at work sowing climbing sweet peas in a variety of colours and a load of RSPB “Pollinator bee” wildflower seeds to try to get as great a variety as possible. It’s such a shame that so many gardens (including ours) have been paved over. We must attempt to put the flowers back wherever we can!

 Putting the safe together

 Lining the planting box on top ready to fill with soil

Ready to be filled with placeholder flowers, bring on the bees!

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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