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Expert Advice on Creating the Perfect Pooch-Friendly Garden
Friday July 15th 2016
As the summer sun starts to make an (occasional) appearance, now is the ideal time to head out into the garden with our pooches.
But as every green-fingered dog owner will attest, this is not a completely risk-free business.
There are those prized flowers to consider for starters and the pristine lawn to try to maintain as Fido explores every inch of your patch.
Fortunately, however, award-winning landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has come up with some innovative ways to make the garden a more pooch-friendly place.
And all the ideas have been inspired by the antics of his two Spaniels, Honey and Arthur, and his Japanese Chin, Nina.
“Arthur is a bit more boisterous than the other two and likes to run around and run through things,” Paul says.
“The damage that was happening was accidental, because of his excitement, so we looked at how we could accommodate that in a way that keeps the garden looking attractive, not ruined.”
Among his top recommendations for gardeners to consider are sniffer tracks weaving through herbaceous borders for dogs to forage around and sniff out treats.
Many of his solutions focus on finding ways to channel the energy that makes dogs want to run riot over your best flowerbeds into other activities. For instance, treats can be left in herbaceous borders to encourage pooches to go foraging.
It’s also a case of thinking carefully about the plants you use, as well as where you choose to put your most precious ones. Fragile alliums won’t survive 10 seconds with your dog if you plant them right at the front of a border. Instead, let them grow through something like a woody shrub, so it’s harder to do them damage.
Keeping a good selection of shrubs in your garden all year round will also keep it looking neat – and these can also withstand the hardest of knocks from your animal.
Paul recommends agastache, a self-supporting plant with a lot of foliage, as well as monarda and alchemilla.
And, of course, it’s essential to make sure you avoid planting anything that could be toxic to your dog. There’s a full list available from The Dogs Trust, but common varieties include:
• Holly (the berries are poisonous)
• Achillea (the foliage is poisonous)
If you’re prepared to get a bit more creative in your garden, there are even more ways to make it fit for even the wildest of dogs. These include making raised beds that incorporate tunnels underneath them, so your pet has something to run through.
You could also create woodland areas with ramps over a raised wall to give your dog somewhere to work on their agility, while things like railway sleepers, steps and small benches can all be used to create versatility for animals.
Whatever you choose to do, one final tip would be to make sure your dog is secure within the borders of your garden. Check for gaps that dogs could wiggle through to wreak havoc in a neighbour’s patch.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.