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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Of Cannas, Cats and Wrens

If you recall, I'm thinking of ways to enhance a corner of the garden where I can't plant in the ground, due to excessive pine roots.  I had mentioned one idea of putting up a trellis and growing vines.

Well, in a typical moment of impulse spending, I purchased a couple of metal trelllises and some Cannas, which I felt might give a tropical feel to that corner.  Quite an about-turn from what I originally envisioned.

The only problem... while that area gets morning shade, as seen here, it gets a few hours of blazing afternoon sun, before the sun goes down behind the fence.

According to the plant tag on the Cannas, they are supposed to be able to take sun or shade. But I guess "sun" is relative and the leaves of the cannas are already showing signs of burning.

I think I'm going to have to find somewhere else for them, although there's not really anywhere around the house that doesn't get blazing sun at least part of the time. 

Even the section on the north side that is in deep shade most of the day gets blazing afternoon sun, because the house isn't exactly on a north|south axis and actually faces more of a north-west direction.

I wonder if they would do better in the ground somewhere than being in a container (and being dependant on me to remember to water them). Any suggestions re: cannas would be much appreciated.

Here's the view from inside the house.

And a view along the border, looking toward the corner where I put the cannas.

On to other news... Facebook friends may remember that I posted recently that the stray cat that we've been feeding trusted us enough to bring her kittens over to visit...

Well, that's been going very well.  I've been putting food out for her when I feed the birds at 5:30 in the morning.  She weaves around me and lets me stroke her a bit and sniffs my hand.  The plan is to eventually catch her and get her fixed. Then, if she wants to, she is welcome to join our seven cat household.  The kittens, we'll try to catch and socialze with the plan of finding homes for them.

Well as I mentioned above, she's got used to me feeding her at 5 am, so what did I see last weekend when I didn't get up until 7:30?  Miss Cali (yes, we gave her a name already!) was helping herself at the buffet line. I actually saw her jump up and hang off the hanging feeder with her front paws and then drop back to the ground with a mouthful of feathers. (not sure whether all she got was feathers or if she actually got a bird)

After apologizing profusely to the local avian population, since then I've been diligent about feeding her at 5:30 and every morning she's waiting and she greets me with a meow.  But the best part is that once she and the kittens have eaten their fill, she'll either take them back to the thicket next door, or she'll curl up and snooze on the patio. She doesn't pay any attention to the birds at all.

In fact, remember that pair of wrens that built a nest in the container on the patio? Well, just yesterday I went around to the side of the house to turn on the hose so I could water those containers and who should greet me on the fence but one of the wrens. 

A flutter at my feet made me look down and there was a fledgling wren!! It had obviously only recently fledged and was still more than a bit wobbly in flight. But the big thing was that it had left the nest right under Cali's nose.  She was laying in the shade on a blanket, surveying the garden and completely ignoring the wrens, even with the noise the parent bird was making!

At one point the fledgling got a bit stuck between the star jasmine and the fence and the fluttering around attracted Cali's attention and she started creeping stealthily toward it. But we opened the back door and called (okay, yelled) to her to go away and she wandered off, climbed the other fence and disappeared into the thicket.

With the mama (or pappa) bird giving constant vocal encouragement, I witnessed the fledgling fly rather haphazardly to the sweetgum tree on the other side of the house.

I'm so glad I happened to decide to water the containers at that exact moment or I would have missed that!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


maiaT said...

That was a pleasant reading Jayne about the birds ans the kittens.
I've recently read some info about cannas for my post and everyone says that cannas love summer heat and sunshine. There are many species, some of them have reddish and all color leaves, maybe yours is one of these.

leavesnbloom said...

I didn't realise Jayne that cannas were sun sensitive - but I suppose as you say it depends on how strong the sun is. lovely to read about your little wrens and that the cat didn't bother them.

Jayne said...

One of my gardening friends told me that her "Tropicannas" which is what mine are, do tend to get sunburn because we do have some searingly hot weather in the summer, but that with a little trimming, they come back. She told me that her regular green cannas hold up very well.

Kyna said...

I'm surprised your cannas would get burned leaves. Here in NC they thrive under blazing nasty sun. In fact, they're hard to get rid of if you plant them. My neighbours have some right out in the middle of their yard, which they tried to remove. Nope. They keep coming back anyway, and now he just mows them down lol.