Cat TV and tulips

Like many gardeners, we provide a couple of bird feeders in our yard. Along with the desirable birds, we get less desirable visitors like pigeons and squirrels. Having tried (and failed) to make our system squirrel-proof, I finally decided to wave the white flag and embrace our furry visitors with their own bowl of treats – raw peanuts and sunflower seeds in the shell. We put this on our deck next to the sliding door so our cats can enjoy the show.


IMG_7890Cat TV is very popular viewing at our house.

A completely unexpected benefit of Cat TV is that the squirrels no longer dig up my bulbs and gnaw at them. Nor do they destroy my tulip buds. In fact, for the first time ever my tulips are intact and gorgeous.


Now if I could come up with something for the pigeons…

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

6 thoughts on “Cat TV and tulips”

  1. It finally dawned on me that I could prevent the squirrels from eating the magnolia buds if I put a ring of sunflower seeds around the tree to intercept them. I also put lettuce scraps around my newly sprouted garden greens to feed the slugs before they get to what I really value. Thanks for a delightful piece. Live and let live!

  2. Have you considered the possibility that this may be lead to longer term problems? If you feed the squirrels all they want, then you may set off a squirrel population explosion. They will need more and more food. If you give them more food, then more squirrels will result in a cycle that repeats until the situation becomes intolerable???

    I could be wrong, but I am certainly not going to try this with my rabbits.

    1. The squirrels are here, regardless of what we provide them. There is an abundance of bird feeders in the neighborhood in addition to natural food sources. Our small addition of a weekly bowl of peanuts and sunflower seeds is not likely to create a population explosion. But it does keep our plants free of damage, which makes it worth our while.

  3. After seeing the damage last year from the rabbits, I tried feeding them this winter. They still ate my roses, magnolia, and serviceberries down to nubs.

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