Four-legged gardening.

Another great guest post from Emily Ridgewell.

Last October 4th, just three weeks ago tomorrow, I introduced Emily Ridgewell to you. She had written a guest post for us Return to the Movies. It was well-received.

For many, the next few weeks are an important time of the year to do a spot of gardening. A time when dog-owners allow their loved ones to ‘help’, especially in the digging department. But are our gardens as safe for dogs as many of us might like to believe? Emily’s second guest post addresses that question.


How to Create a Dog-Friendly Garden

by Emily Ridgewell, October 18th, 2017

Being a pet owner is not only a great pleasure but also a huge responsibility. While most of the people think that taking care of dog only included feeding and walking it three times a day, the truth is that being a good dog owner means much more than that. There are plenty of unobvious things that might pose potential threats to the health and wellbeing of dogs, and plants from home garden is a telling example of such threats.

Turns out, not all home plants are equal and your favorite flowers might be a poison for your dog if ingested. The consequences might be serious, which is why it’s important for you as a responsible dog owner to ensure your home garden is dog-friendly and learn what to do if your dog ingested a poisonous plant. The goal of this article is to help you on this matter.

Basic Rules to Follow

Before listing all home plants and flowers that might pose threat to your dog, it makes sense to say a bit about general rules of creating a dog-friendly garden. After all, it is not about the right or wrong plants only.

  • If possible, choose robust plants

Young plants or plants with especially delicate stems might not survive if your dog will run through them every now and then. That’s why you are strongly advised to plant large and robust plants like astilbe, hardy geranium, or lavender.

  • Remember to protect your garden

If you don’t want your home garden to be ruined by a happy running dog, make sure your garden has clearly defined boundaries and borders. Low-growing box hedge serves perfectly for this matter.

  • Be careful using chemicals

The importance of this point is paramount. Plenty of gardeners use non-organic slug pellets and other chemicals when taking care of a garden. If you own a dog, the only option for you is to learn how to deal with snails and slugs organically and avoid any chemicals altogether.

  • Choose gentle materials

If you want garden decorations, avoid sharp stones and kinds of materials that might become extremely hot under the sun or too slippery when wet.

Which home plants and flowers are not dog-friendly?

By now you know the most common rules you should follow when creating a dog-friendly garden. Now it is time to learn which particular plants and flowers might be dangerous for dogs and should be avoided at all cost.

All poisonous plants range from slightly toxic (those that might cause vomiting, but nothing more serious) to extremely toxic (those that might cause serious health problems, including death). The list of plants that are dangerous to dogs is long, so it makes sense to divide all plants into subcategories.

In the case with perennial flowers, you should avoid Foxglove, Mums, Lenten Rose, Bleeding Hearts, Hosta, Lily-of-the-valley, Monkshood, Yarrow, and Iris. Speaking of vines, your home garden should not have Morning Glory, English Ivy, Clematis, Bittersweets, Boston Ivy, and Wisteria. As for annuals, you’d better stay away from Lantana and Begonia. The list of poisonous shrubs includes Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea, Yew Bushes, Burning Bush, Azalea Genus, Boxwood, Daphne, and Andromeda. You should also be careful with certain trees, including American Holly, Golden Chain, Oak Trees, Yellow Bird of Paradise, and Oleander.

Armed with this information, you should not have any problems creating a beautiful and dog-friendly home garden. Just make sure to double-check all plants that you decide to plant and refer to common sense when choosing home garden decorations.


 I thought this was valuable information and a very helpful article from Emily.

Then wanted to close this post by sharing with you an example of how our dogs help with the gardening around here.

But all I could find was this photograph of Cleo ‘thinking’ of doing the front lawn.

Win some: Lose some!

11 thoughts on “Four-legged gardening.

  1. Wonderful post and great information links too.. While I knew some of the poisonous plants such as Lily of the Valley and Lilies I did not know crocus or daffodils were on that list of 10.. Loved reading Paul. And thank you to Emily


  2. I have two garden dogs and just wrote a post about them. Not sure they are quite as helpful as yours, but certainly add to my experience of being in the garden!


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