So I live in an older apartment complex in a neighborhood where people walk or run, have animal companions, tend to vote on the progressive side of things, and plant plants that bloom. We're close to the library and the churches, so people still mind their manners, have their heads in books, ride their bikes, or are bent over a computer. Some of us have chickens in the backyard and gardens in our front yards.
I have a tiny, tiny yard, maybe 5 feet by 3 feet. When I moved in, it was packed-down dirt, frequented by squirrels who were burying black walnuts and chasing down lots of spiders. It still doesn't actually have grass.
Several years ago, I dug up some self-replicating violets from the back of the building and replanted them in that space. Since then, they have taken over. It's also invaded by Oregon Grape, a few daisies, some things I can't identify, such as tall, tall bushes with lots of parts springing up from the ground. The Oregon Grape dominates the back fence, and clings to the screens of my bedroom window. In the summer, I gather pots of flowers, maybe petunias, maybe geraniums. Our tiny backyard is graceful, shady, deeply green, and overgrown.
The reason for this mild abandon? My cats. Both Pax and Obi love this little sweet rag-tag garden. They hide there on hot afternoon under the broad leaves, cooled from the irrigation waters, and protected from big dogs. Kitty heaven.
A few years ago, we got a tree. It flew in on the breezes or maybe a squirrel planted it. I spotted it when it was no more than a twig, watched over it, sheltered it, watered it, watched it as it threw branches, and cheered it on when the limbs started to develop and separate. Our little tree is the cheeriest little guy. He makes me happy.
We had a surprise this week. Our little tree is covered in large, white, rotund blooms. The newest member of the family is turning out to be quite the beauty. A beauty that's kept it's promise.