How does your garden grow?

Until we moved here, I had never lived in a house where I had both a yard (of any size) and control of that yard. So when we moved here, I was excited. I bought some books on container and small-space gardening, I made a list of plants that would thrive in my climate, and I bought a few flower pots. About the time that I would have planted said plants, I got Silas.

Now, our back yard isn’t much. We have a concrete patio, with a strip of dirt for landscaping that’s about 18 inches wide down two sides. The third side has our air conditioner. There’s a decently size area of dirt, but that side is inherently unattractive. The fourth side is paved all the way to the house. When we moved in, there were three of four small box elders, a few ornamental grasses, a magnolia tree, and some ferns of some kind. It was a garden much in need of improving.

Silas was quite happy to “improve” it. By pulling down the box elders, digging up the dirt (we strongly discourage this; nowadays he’ll go weeks without digging), eating the grass, and peeing on everything else. It’s a miracle that we have any plants out there at all. Those ferns are apparently sturdy, unappealing stuff. As an added bonus, he chewed the corners off the wooden patio chairs before we realized he was doing it.

So while I had a beautiful ideal that looked something like this:

The Dream Patio, Courtesy (of course) of Martha Stewart

(except with no lawn), the reality looks pretty pathetic.

I’m trying to come up with some workable, not too expensive ideas to improve things out there, but short of training Silas to use the bathroom in the storm drain, I’m not sure that anything will make it. Maybe it’s time to build a collection of tacky cement yard statues.

Do your dogs destroy the landscaping? Have you come up with any great solutions?

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4 thoughts on “How does your garden grow?

  1. Thankfully our dogs do not destroy the landscaping but then I have an over-grown back yard that hasn’t been tended lately. There are many things in there that we would like to remove. If Silas is looking for a good digging area, he is always welcome at my place. 😉

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  2. When Honey starts digging up hostas and chewing on azalea roots I know she needs some more stimulation and exercise. It does seem to help.

    I’ve also learned that sturdy perennials can handle almost anything even if they look a bit grody after hosting a dog wrestling event.

    If you want advice from a serious gardener, check out the pictures at Leslie Olyott’s blog, Bringing Up Bella: http://www.bringingupbella.com/2012/08/exercise-second-spoke-in-our-wheel.html

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