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Muesli's Corner: The Salad Bar is Open!

Do you think this looks like a kangaroo’s paw?

Spring is here in Western Australia!

And with our garden looking a little bit bare, we thought it was time to pop down to the garden centre…

In particular, we were thinking of getting something for Muesli – you see, we’d inherited the garden from the previous owners of the house and while it’s a lovely, low maintenance type of garden, it is mostly filled with native Australian plants – many of which are tough grasses and strange flowers like “kangaroo paws”.

And we noticed that poor Muesli had been going around and not finding anything nice, green and tender that she could munch on! Since grass is an important part of a cat’s diet, we decided to provide her with a little ready-made salad bar…

The garden centre had a great range of pet grass and catnip, in handy little pots, ready for transplanting…



“Hmm… smells interesting…”


“Let’s have a taste…”


“Mmm… delicious!”


“And now, to supervise the planting of my salad bar…”

Funnily enough, Muesli wasn’t that interested in the catnip. I’d heard once that about 5% of cats aren’t affected by catnip – perhaps Muesli is in that 5%? Although she does love the dried stuff they put in cat toys but doesn’t seem that interested in the fresh herb.

In the meantime, I’ve been really enjoying all the spring flowers blooming here when I take a break from the writing and go on my walks in the afternoons.

I think there’s nothing as beautiful as a field of wildflowers, in a riot of colours!

In particular, there are wonderful displays of the “Everlasting” or “paper” daisies all over Perth, and especially in Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens.

These wildflowers are native to Western Australian and come in such gorgeous colours – I love the different shades of vivid pink and soft white. They bloom naturally in desert regions and they depend on the rains over winter to trigger the flowering in spring.

img_7436-001I have special memories when I see these flowers because I had some lovely walks with my Great Dane, Honey, amongst the flowerbeds in Kings Park, especially in her senior years.

Honey lived to 10yrs old, which is a good age for a giant breed. She went to the Rainbow Bridge two & a half years ago and we haven’t felt ready to get a new dog yet (partly because I’ve been so busy with writing & my books and I don’t feel I’d have the time to devote properly to a new puppy).

Honey is always missed and remembered, and it’s nice to think of her living on in my children’s books, the Big Honey Dog Mysteries.


Do you get spring wildflowers where you live?







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4 years ago

Love your photos. Muesli is clearly enjoying the salad bar! Yes, we have wildflowers similar to yours along the roadsides here in north central Florida, and I love them, too. Most are bright pink, with some yellows and whites mixed in. Wish they bloomed all year long…

Kangaroo’s Paw… Um, maybe the buds look like kangaroo toes?

I just finished reading “Till Death Do Us Tart” and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to your next book!

4 years ago

I loved seeing the pictures fo Meusli enjoying her salad bar! She looks very pleased with the new plants. She’s such a cute cat! And indeed maybe she’s one of the 5% who doesn’t get affected by catnip. I am sorry to hear about your dog, even if years go by you never stop missing you previous pets. We lost our last pet rat more than a year ago now and I still think about them regularly and haven’t stopped missing them. I’ll have to pick up your Big Honey Dog series eventually as it sounds like a series! And… Read more »

4 years ago

Yes rats really are amazing pets, they are so smart and gorgeous. We had four of them at the start. We never actively learned things, but they still pick up a lot. They knew how to let us know when they wanted out of the cage for example. And they all had their own personality. They really were a joy to have around. And it was nice as you could just have them sit on your lap while you worked and pet them now and then. I never had a hamster, but they sound like fun pets too.

Judy Crump
4 years ago

Museli is so pretty. I remember when you first got her when you had Honey. Nice to see her and remember. We can get Joey paws here in California though they are indigenous Ausi plants.
Hsin Yi, will hardcovers be introduced? I think they would make great collectors editions as well as gifts. There are still some of us around!

H.Y. Hanna - Author
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Crump

Hi Judy – so sorry for my late response! That’s interesting that you get the kangaroo paws in California too – I guess it’s the similar desert climate. The books are in paperback but no, they won’t be in hardback. Unfortunately, there wouldn’t be enough to demand to justify the expense and investment of time & effort to produce them. But hopefully, people will be happy with signed editions of the paperbacks as gifts and collectors pieces! :-) I’ll be giving away more signed copies soon. Lovely to hear from you and so nice of you to remember us. I… Read more »

4 years ago

i love the pictures of Muesli!

4 years ago

Hi Hsin-Yi. Lovely photos of Muesli. Hope she continues to enjoy her plants. Nice that now you have your own home you can plant whatever you want to . Oh that photo of Honey brought back wonderful memories of her and her adventures. Enjoy your Spring. Im so glad winter is over. Xx

Claudia Nay
4 years ago

Love the stories of Muesli and Honey. Animals are so precious! But so are books! I love mysteries and just purchased a Kindle. So I just downloaded your generous offer of the free book, all-butter shortdead. I’m looking forward to reading it. It seems strange that Spring flowers are appearing for you. We are just starting to get ready for Winter, with Fall first. Leaves will start turning orange and gold soon.

4 years ago

Kangaroo paws are very popular here in Southern California as we are all about the “drought resistant” plants just now. I recently enjoyed ” A Secret in Time.” Honey is so alive in your books about her, and I love the use of “Blogville Language!” Nice to see you!

-Lisa and Otto

2 years ago

Some years ago in the Netherland we got the prairie garden borders: perennial plant species with deep roots to resist long dry periods. In the town of Utrecht I have seen prettily mixed flowery plantstrips along some roads. The mix is carefully chosen for a long period of flowering groups.
Of course grasses and also species like Echinacea, Verbena hastata, Rudbeckia, Liatris, Vernonia, Aster, Baptisia, Helenium, Agastache.

Cena Kite
4 years ago

I would for all the tearoom mysteries by put on Audible. I like to listen while I walk the dog and also when driving.

Bobi Crump
2 years ago

I have read many of your books and blog, especially all about Honey. My daughter got a fawn pug puppy in January 2018. Mahalo is amazing. She is the smartest, most easy to train dog I have ever known. I found myself sounding like you from having watched so many of the videos of Honey – “good girl”. Unfortunately not even one of my cats will play with her. Buddi (orange Tabby), Bit (long hair tortie) and Mochi (gray tabby) will just hiss and growl. I was hoping for one of them to play with the pug. Ah well. Thank… Read more »