About Gardens at Effingham

Itsy Bits and Little One, kittens at Garden at Effingham photographed playing in crisp crunchy leaves in fall.
Itsy Bits and Little One, Kittens at Gardens at Effingham

Welcome to Gardens at Effingham

Gardens at Effingham

And when time tells all, it shall be this: that I loved and was loved; that I gave and lost all; and that in being lost, found here the grace of peace in gardens far more beautiful than any heaven I could but imagine.

Beth Brown, Gardens at Effingham

Welcome to the gardens! Inspired by all things cats and Midwest gardens, I invite you to join me on both garden and cat adventures. Here, the cats lend voice to stories from the gardens.

Most Beloved cat shares her cat tales, often tattling on the outdoor garden cats, though remarkably serious at times. She offers her reflections of gardening, cats, birds (and more), and as is so often the case with cats, she has me doing the writing and transcribing for her.

Most Beloved, a small white cat photographed at Gardens at Effingham. Most Beloved is sitting in a cat window hammock in the sunshine
Most Beloved

Meet the Garden Cats

Most Beloved


Swirly, Cali’s brother


Daddy Cat



Earl Gray

Kittens, always the kittens

Cats at Gardens at Effingham

Follow along as the cats, gardens, and I share photos, stories, and gardening tidbits at Gardens at Effingham.

Calico female cat named Cali Cat photographed sitting on brick wall at Gardens at Effingham. Cali Cat has yellow eyes and cream markings on her face
Cali Cat
Most Beloved, Gardens at Effingham
Daddy Cat photographed at Gardens at Effingham. He is grooming and licking his paw to clean his whiskers
Daddy Cat, Gardens at Effingham
Daddy cat
Most Beloved

Cats in the Gardens at Effingham

Mr. Lincoln Tea Hybrid Rose

Midwest Gardens

Gardens in the Midwest provide depth and beauty throughout the seasons of the year.

Spring and summer bring a spectacular display of early, mid, and late blooming flowers, shrubs, and trees: crocus, spring beauties, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, azaleas, rhododendron, dogwood, crabapple, redbud, fruit trees (and more), and by mid-summer, roses, daylillies, hosta, hydrangea, viburnum, resurrection lilies, ripe fruit on trees and vines, and plentiful berries.

Fall brings chrysanthemums and ornamental gourds, acorn and butternut squash, pumpkins of all varieties, seedum, and a colorful display as the flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees change into reds, oranges, yellows before the first frost.

Red and Orange Leaves, Burning Bush in the Fall

And winter? A dormant display of trees without leaves, shriveled flowers and vines (important food for the birds who winter over), striking color in some shrubs, evergreens, Norway spruce, dogwood, and junipers, and a brilliant beauty in knowing that all that seems lost is merely tucked in for winter.

Flowering Quince, Gardens at Effingham


More from the Journals of Most Beloved

“Okay,Who Gave the Cat a Pen?”

Ah ha! Captured! That stray pen–twirling, whirling, edging ever closer its way towards me. And Paper? Well, that’s a given. I’m already sitting on top of a stack of papers. ’Tis my place (always) to sit atop her papers, especially when she’s writing, especially the papers she’s trying to use.  And besides, what use does she…

Keep reading

Hungry Hawks and Plump Kittens

The kittens, at 7 months now, flush beautifully with their full winter coats. Poofy and gorgeously striped, they frequent the food bowl together, an inherent pecking order amongst them, one often under the forsythia while the other one eats.

Keep reading

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