Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here is a list of dog-friendly plants to use in dogscaping a yard, that I got from what I thought was a really nicely done free ebook: http://www.moplants.com/eBooks.php


  • Switch Grass: Panicum virgatum
  • Fountain Grass: Pennisetum setaceum
  • Maiden Grass: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’
  • Pink Muhly: Muhlenbergia capillaris


  • Purple Coneflower: Echinacea purpurea
  • Blazing Star: Liatris spicata
  • Shasta Daisy: Chrysanthemum maxima
  • Black-eyed Susan: Rudbeckia hirta

Plant Herbs That Repel Fleas

  • Fleabane/pennyroyal: Menta pulegium perennial
  • Fleawort: Erigeron canadense annual
  • Wormwood: Artemisia absinthum shrubby perennial
  • Sweet Bay: Laurus nobilis tree
  • Eucalyptus: Eucalpytus tree
  • Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis shrub
  • Tansy: Tanacetum vulgare perennial

However, now that I've done a bit more research I'm having my doubts. First of all, Wormwood is what they use to make Absinthe and it is illegal in certain states. Tansy, although it sounds great as far as keeping away mosquitoes, is listed in several states as an invasive weed. Even worse, on Dave's Garden one of the comments say their German Shepard puppy died from eating too much of it! Pennyroyal may also be invasive, but doesn't seem as much of a threat as Tansy. What she calls "Fleawort" seems to be more commonly called Canadian Fleabane. This one also appears to be a weed, although maybe not as invasive as the others. I see no seeds sold for it anywhere though. Guess I won't be able to have a dog herb garden after all. Darn.

The good news is my other dogscaping ideas worked out much better. We got JJ on July 4th, just a few short months after we bought this house and started building the garden. When my partner and I first discussed getting a dog (the new big house was so quiet compared to our Hell's Kitchen NY 1 bdrm 'closet'!) a big decision was how it would affect the garden. Being my first dog, I really didn't know anything about them. At first I thought we could just tie him up, since that is what my cousin-in-laws do since they don't have a fence. But some animal lovers over at the PPK told me that wasn't good for dogs if you could avoid it. So I went to Home Depot/Lowe's and checked out our options, finally deciding to ring the garden in with a little white picket fence.Luckily, not only was it relatively cheap, easy to install, and cute- it does effectively deter JJ from overzealous trampling of plants. He can still jump over it when he wants to, and we had to put a little extra obstruction where the squirrels tend to gather- but overall it has kept him out of the garden 99% of the time. Here's some pics, of the fencing and JJ wistfully looking over it:

The other major thing we did for JJ was building him a digging pit. We haven't yet had a chance to put an actual patio in the backyard, so the table & chairs are set right on the grass. Of course JJ's favorite spot to dig was right underneath our chairs. So on the advice of that free ebook, we built him a sand pit in the back corner of the yard. This has worked like a charm. When we first put it in, anytime he tried to dig under our chairs we plopped him right on the digging pit and encouraged him to play there. We also keep all of his outside toys in that spot. Now he knows it is his, and loves playing in the sand. Occasionally we have to shovel the sand back into the pit, and it's been frozen the past month or two, but otherwise it has been working out perfectly. This summer I hope to put some grasses, daisies and echinachea around it so he'll have a little shade to play in. Here he is, happily digging away:


Jeni Treehugger said...

JJ's as happy as a dog in sand.
Hee hee hee

Christiane said...

I didn't know you had a dog! JJ is really very cute! He looks like a fun little dog.

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