Posted by: Brenda Kula | April 19, 2008

The Cruelty of Nature Among Us


This gorgeous lily is from my neighbor Ralena’s yard across the street. I went over to help her plant her front bed. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. She wanted a little cheer around her mailbox.

Earlier this morning, I was out and about the yard with the dogs cleaning up this and that. And then Ralena came over and we sat talking awhile under the gazebo. When we walked back to look at the yard, I noticed the Carolina Chickadee house (or where they chose to nest) was on the ground. I looked inside the little round hole, and there were all these little baby birds, dead. I figure my culprit may be Clyde, my cat. (The black and white one at the right side of my blog.)

I suppose why I gave this blog entry this particular title, is because we can’t stop our cats from killing innocent little victims, short of putting them inside for good. And Clyde has enjoyed being both outdoors and indoors for close to ten years now. When he’s done this before, and last week it was a rabbit, I tell myself I should just imprison him inside for life. But would that be fair? I don’t think I can take the animal/predator out of the cat.

Clyde is an amiable, sweet cat who at times loves to suck on my ear lobe, like a baby with a nipple. He seems so innocent then. His eyes are huge and probing and intelligent. He is one of those cats that truly looks you in the eye, unlike Bonnie, the other cat.

Clyde loves to laze in the sun. We live in a garden home with only a few windows. I too love the outdoors. I don’t think I can take that away from him. But I felt betrayed, so sad, as I carried the ruined bird house to the trashcan. It had gotten wet and I suppose the wood had become rotten, and was easy to knock down.

So that is my sadness for the day. Now I shall turn to more cheerful topics.


This is the bed bordering on the dining room that I decided, last year, needed a necklace. So I pushed these greenish-blue pieces of glass Ralena had given to me into the soil. Occasionally debris covers some of them up. I just brush it away so the necklace is in full view again.


There is dappled shade here, so you have to look closely. It is a brick curving bed that was likely put in when the house was built back in the early 1980s. Last year, I removed several layers of brick beds that were in fact on top of this original one. I was trying to keep my yard from sloping down into my neighbor’s garden home, which kept getting flooded from the rains seeping inside. Down, down I dug. And this is what was underneath, this nicely curved brick-lined bed.


There is an ugly drain pipe that sort of ruins the effect. But what can you do? You have to work with what you have, and you have to let the gutters drain!

This bed is shady and there is Ajuga, Black Mondo grass, Hostas, and such. The charteuse plant is one of my favorites, but its name escapes me at the moment. Something to do with coins, I think. I laid flagstone between the brick walk way (that you can’t see in this photo), and the shade bed. I placed shiny little rocks in between the stones.

So if you think your flower bed needs a little oomph, try taking marbles or stones or seashells and creating a necklace for it to wear!




  1. You know, one time I gave a dog to a friend, who had a fenced yard. We did not at the time and could not keep the dog in and away from chasing neighboring cattle and killing neighboring chickens. Turned out that this friend also had chickens, who loved to fly over the fence into the yard with the dog. Not a good choice. The friend’s husband loved the dog and said, “If the hens would stay on their side of the fence, the dog would not get them.”

    Thanks so much for your examples of dressing up your flower beds!

  2. I love the idea of a necklace! I collect and tumble/polish beach stones, and that would be a great use for some of the larger ones. 🙂

  3. I know exactly how you feel. Kristy & Krusty also love to wander and lurk about the garden as much as they like taking over our massage chair to sleep in or just sleeping on my face. We have a few families of blackbirds and then some of collared doves and pigeons. And every year I try to save the lil fledglings but every now and then my feline furballs beat me to it. Not to mention all the mice they bring from neighbors garage. Once they caught a grown-up collared dove and brought it into the house while we were in the garden, and the poor thing was still alive when I found it, and the walls were all bloody from their ‘wild play time’ and from the poor thing fighting for life. It’s quite shocking. I also wish I could lock them up sometimes but I don’t have the heart to, and you can’t help it, it’s in their nature.

  4. Hi Brenda 🙂

    I never know what to do about my animals killing things. You can’t get mad at them for following their instincts, so I usually have Annie do a little funeral for them and call it done.

    I love how you called the stones a necklace. It’s really pretty how you did that. I love the yard art below too! Really cute 🙂

    Have a beautiful Sunday,

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