Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pet-Friendly Gardening

Bean Bed - Summer 2006
One of our goals for the yard this year was to plant only pet (and kid) friendly plants. Not that the dog grazes a whole lot, but if or when he does, I'd like to feel confident that it won't kill him. When we moved in we discovered that there was, among other things, rhubarb in the Bean Bed - seeing as that is highly toxic, it got ripped out quickly.

When we were re-designing the bean bed, Eric expressed the idea that it would be nice to plant some more perennials. So, I spent a good day sitting with a list of Zone 3/4 perennials and checking the Cornell University and ASPCA Toxic Plants lists, crossing those perennials that were on there off the overall list. Sadly, this eliminated some of my favorites, like delphiniums, but that's the price you pay I suppose.

Bean Bed - Early May 2008
Our new perennial garden went in the Bean Bed, where one of the apple trees used to reside. We planted a wide variety of plants, keeping them grouped together (for protection against rampaging dogs...dogs tend to go around "obstacles"). We may eventually have to transplant some of them to other locations once they start to grow in.

One of the nice aspects of some of the plants we chose is that they can even benefit a yard with pets, such as Fleabane (guess what that does). Others, like my salvia, just look pretty but won't hurt the dog should he choose to snack on it.

The ones we put in are: Ajuga (bugleweed), Achillea (yarrow), Salvia (common sage), Erigeron (fleabane), Bushy Aster, Smooth Aster, Sedum (stonecrop), Agastache (hyssop), Phlox subulata (creeping phlox), Aquilegia (columbine), Gaillardia Aristata (blanket flower), Coreopsis (tickseed), Veronica (speedwell), Liatris (gayfeather), and Cerastium (snow-in-summer).

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