No more dog-denial

I watch dogs for a living and our backyard is pretty much a dog-zone, so today I moved the last of the potted plants to the front where they will be safe from digging paws.  Also, where the dogs will be safe from the Agaves.

This is my first shot with Agaves, and am hoping they survive.  The substrate is a mix of potting soil, vermiculite, and turface.  Turface (more on clays here) is fired clay used on baseball fields that gets a beautiful red when wet.  In this pot are Agave filifera var. schidigera and A. palmer.  Also pictured are some Sempersivum and a NOID Callistemon, and twisty blue plant (?).  All these plants were obtained from Little Prince Nursery this past weekend.

It was difficult not to buy all the plants in bud.  This Linaria maroccana ‘Fairy Bouquet’ was too cute to pass up.  The Tibouchina urvilleana ‘Rich Blue Sun’ reminds me a bit of a South American Melastone, maybe a fuzzy Clidemia.  Also in this pot are Drimys lanceolata, Arctostaphylos edmundsii ‘Big Sur’ and Arcostaphylos uva-ursi x imbricata.

This one has Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Lobelia laxifolia, and one that I forgot to grab a tag for 🙁


These pots were planted last year, and look to have all made it through winter.  The Eucalyptus pauciflora var. debeuzevillei doesn’t love the pot, and its twin who is in the ground is significantly larger already.  The potted Eucalyptus will be coming with us when we move, though, so I’m hoping it can hang on a little longer.

Sunny watched me while I took these photos, looking rather dramatic.  He is the best dog to have in the garden, as he tiptoes along the paths and generally doesn’t cross the 2×4 wood border.  He also seems to intuitively know that peeing on the plants is forbidden.

6 thoughts on “No more dog-denial

  1. I will be following your dogs & plants experiences! Great picks from Little Prince. Baby Agaves–so cute!
    Your Sunny–what breed is he? We don’t have a puppy yet, but hoping to avoid the nervous energy of our last–very beloved–dog.

    1. Alyse,

      thanks for the comments! So far, my best solution to dogs and plants is to fence in the plants/fence out the dogs. I thought the potted plants would be ok, but we watch a few dogs who like to jump in the pots and pull plants out. Even maintaining the grass is difficult, but the best thing we’ve found for deterring digging is chicken wire. We have chicken wire-weed cloth-cedar chips in the dog area now and it works pretty well. Next time though, I would probably do without the weed cloth and do pea gravel instead of wood chips so we don’t have to replace them ever. Cedar ships supposedly deter fleas though, which is nice.

      Sunny is 65% siberian husky and small percentages of golden retriever, malamute, boxer, lab, mastiff, and german shepherd. We always thought he was a border collie as he behaves like one. I’m still not 100% convinced by his DNA test results though.

      Do you have any suggestions as to keeping plants safe in a dog-zone?

      1. Oh wow, I would have guessed boarder collie too. We had a dog for 17 years and we pretty much gave the back yard over to her. But next time around I’m going to do it differently. Laura Heldreth (Gdn Bloggers of OR) posted on making her yard dog-friendly: I love that post! But since you have so many different breeds, lots of general tips will be harder for you, I imagine! If you ever write a post about this, i’d love to read it. Even if it’s just the exact same you wrote in the comment above. A lot of people request help with this.

      2. 17 years- what a good run! I hope my boy lives to that ripe old age.

        Thanks for sharing Laura’s post about gardening with dogs! I had not seen that before. Her garden is beautiful, as is her pup. I love the stone pathways and containers she created.

        I think stock tanks would make good choices for containers, as some dogs will still dig or ‘plant’ themselves in lower ones. Also, some sort of water feature that they can cool down in would be awesome, water running over rocks (no pool as I’m sure it would just get muddy). Next time!

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