Rachel Matthews of 'Successful Garden Design' recently wrote that garden owners who lack formal design training, often create better gardens than trained designers. This is most certainly a statement used to spark debate and Rachel makes some good points. You can read the full post here.
But what has this got to do with dogs? Well, I can only imagine that both my dogs also read the post as they have taken it upon themselves to point out areas of the garden that they are not happy with and have attempted to remedy my design. Yesterday I ventured in to the garden only to find that there had been a few changes coupled with some guilty faces. I am not entirely sure who contributed to each element of the design but I have my assumptions.
Maggie, my Border Terrier, has pointed out that she is not amused with the many pots of propagated plants from last years material. Occasionally, I have witnessed her destroying the odd potted plant, however, this time she has gone one step further. She made her point by systematically removing each plant from its pot, removing the root growth and then chewing the plastic pot. It appears that she is some what of a minimalist design fan, having no tolerance for clutter in the garden and disapproving of my use of many plant species. I'm guessing that it was also Maggie who uprooted and shredded a Viburnum davidii that has barely had time to put down any roots.
On the other hand, Millie my Golden Retriever, has focussed mainly on the hard landscaping element of the redesign. She has very kindly identified areas that require ponds or reflective pools. Excavation was performed very well and I must commend her for the amazing effort. As a result of such effort, I am now the proud owner of three new "pond sites" in my borders and she has also kindly spread the remaining earth over the rest of the garden so that there is no need for me to mulch this year. It appears that although she enjoys creating a habitat for pond creatures, and wildlife in general, her appreciation for naturalising bulbs has dwindled in recent times. Clumps of Galanthus nivalis and Narcissus pseudonarcissus have forcibly been removed.
Both have helped to fertilise the garden in the way dogs do best, and who knows, this may have removed the problem of the visiting felines?
Do you have pets with a flare for design? Do you appreciate their efforts? I would love to read your stories.
* The main photograph is of a spent Hydrangea flower head taken at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.