Designer dogs...

 With their new toy.
Dogs - Winnie and Escher

Gardening boots? On. Gardening jeans? On. Gardening dogs? Got them. The plan - start to finish the new dog-path, which runs from the back of the Shrubbery right along the hedge-line. It has been totally dog-designed. Where the dogs have gone, so has the path!

Making a long path is like tunnelling. Both ends are done first, and then they're joined up. This weekend the official opening - with photographs, ribbon cutting, and chewy treats - can take place. Go, you good dogs, go!

Tuesday 30th June

This week I have three gardening dogs (Rusty, Winnie, and step-dog Escher) to help me. And I have a mature under-gardener, with her dog Jenny, arriving very, very soon. So there can be proper canine-consumer testing...


A brilliant morning's work! First we humans walked along the straight path (already done) by the hedge, then stopped to watch all four dogs amble slowly up the last slope. Thus the route of the final piece of path was defined. And now it's organised, just like that! It sweeps gently and naturally past small shrubs and existing clumps of Agapanthus. Gardening dogs are sensitive to the greenery in a garden. In theory. Escher, get your feet off the plants!

 Escher the dog by the Agapanthus.
What path?

My under-gardener has been amazing. She's scooped and shovelled and laid the log edges, while I've pointed rather a lot. Down here! Through here! We've both resisted the temptation to 'microweed' (this is a designated wilderness area). I've dug out most of the grass and thrown it and other rubbish under the hedge. Just two clumps of Agapanthus had to be relocated, but they are such undemanding plants. Actually, there's room for more.

 By the corner of the garage.
New Cordyline in Blue Pot


The many self-seeded Pittosporums in here enjoy dappled sunshine, and I wish them all the very best on their garden journey towards the light. All the other shrubs which suffered in the recent tree-felling (mainly Pseudopanax and Ake Ake) have bounced back.

Thursday 2nd July

Eek! I think it's July. Oops. It is July! It has been July for two whole days. I've tweaked one of my knees doing nothing (in other words, an old-lady injury), so my July so far has been lower key than I'd have liked. I've hobbled happily around the dog-park and limped through a Brahms piano concerto. Yesterday I spent three hours burning the bonfire. Big brown Escher, only recently converted to being a country dog, lurked in safety underneath the trailer.

Today I've already weeded around the dog kennels and planted some pots with Acorus and daffodils. And I bought a pretty Cordyline albertii for the tall blue pot by the garage. It's planted too.

Now we are off to work on the dog-path, and it's time to think about more plantings. I'll check around my pots to see which shrubs would like to be liberated. There are some more Agapanthus clumps I can shift in. I also have leaf-mulch I can spread. But just to keep the sore knee under control, all serious diggy stuff will take place tomorrow. Slowly.

Friday 3rd July

Good morning, tomorrow! Good morning, slightly dodgy knee. First of all we are off to the dog park (have to remember to go slowly), and then I'll start to finish the new path. I shouldn't get distracted by anything else. There is one thing, but it's indoorsy. The new seed order! But more of that later.

Much Later...

Because of my old-lady knee I decided not to rush around. So the dog-path, though tidier and more organised, is still not 'finished'. But I've been clearing the slope above it, dumping the mess underneath the hedge. And I did the tiniest bit of 'micro-weeding', hee hee. I just couldn't walk past those tiny green things...

 I like barking at the birds...
Rusty in the Winter Sun

We have all had fun. Thanks, dogs. Winnie's tennis ball has been 'plopped' at my feet and thrown a hundred times. Rusty has barked at every bird that's dared to fly overhead, and big Escher has woofed (in his deep man-bark) at several imaginary visitors. Every so often a dog has sneaked off with a path edging log and started chewing it to pieces. Aargh! Bring that back!