Gardeners' World: Monty Don's dog shows off in front of Camilla
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Dogs are one of the most popular pets of choice in the UK, with an estimated 33 percent of UK households owning their own four-legged friend. Our pets love the garden as much as we do, so making sure they’re safe when roaming around outside is key to avoiding unnecessary trips to the vets. As an ode to National Dog Day, Express.co.uk have rounded up the top tips from gardening experts across the country, so you can redesign your garden with peace of mind that your canine companion is safe as they explore the wonders of the great outdoors.
Whether you love evergreen displays or vibrant blends of colour throughout your flowerbeds, there are plenty of pet-safe plants to choose from if you’re looking to update your garden.
As summer draws to a close there are plenty of seeds that can be sown ahead of next year for a gorgeous and safe landscape.
Pots and perennials
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Gardening Expert Sarah Raven shared her top picks of dog-approved plants to add to your garden right now – She said: “There are lots of hardy perennials which can be planted now that are not toxic to pets, including globe thistles, bellflowers and phlox paniculata.
“Planted in late August or September when the ground is still warm and autumn rains are on their way, these plants will grow good root systems ready for flowering next year.”
Whether you’re looking for evergreens or bright perennials to return year after year, The Outdoor Look has rounded up their favourite stunning yet safe flowers for both you and your dog to enjoy.
Snapdragons, honeysuckle and cornflower are all perfect for planting in late Summer or early Autumn – making for the perfect bank holiday weekend gardening activity.
Director of The Outdoor Look, Brett Lockwood told Express.co.uk: “If you are looking for some evergreen plants that will bloom every year (and last through Winter), roses and daylilies are options you can plant all year round.
“Camellia is another all-round great option. They are partial to shade and will take a bit of work when you first plant them, but once settled will continue to flower every year with little effort, leaving you with a beautiful garden that’s safe for your dog.”
If you’re looking for a hint of yellow in your garden you will be pleased to know that marigolds and sunflowers are non-toxic to dogs and are a great way to inject some warmth into your outdoor colour palette.
Why not try…
Calum Maddock, Gardening Expert for HomeHow.co.uk says: “These vivid flowers are easy to grow in the autumn and also act as a natural form of pest control, keeping away harmful beetles and pests from your garden and making it doubly safe for your dog.”
- Low-maintenance and hardy so they will last through harsh winters
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A popular seasoning for humans, this flavoursome weed is both fragrant and fast-growing all year round – and also perfectly safe for your four-legged friends.
If you are looking for some stately bushes to adorn your garden, magnolia is a natural choice says Callum Maddock – gardening expert.
- Magnolia tend to thrive in bright sunlight and do not do well in the winter so hold back on planting for now
Who doesn’t love the sight of a row of proud sunflowers brightening up their garden?
While they require large amounts of regular watering, they tend to grow easily and will not cause a problem for your dog – you can even harvest the seeds for use in cooking or for a quick healthy snack.
How to keep your dog safe in the garden
While many of us have been on a mission to spruce up our homes and gardens throughout the various lockdowns, keeping your dog at the forefront of your choices when you’re in the garden centre is essential to avoid risking your K9 companion’s health at home.
Speaking Exclusively to Express.co.uk Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director said: “As dog lovers we need to be mindful of the risks that some plant types can pose to our canine companions.
“You can still have a beautiful garden if you have a dog, but just be aware that certain plants and flowers can be harmful to dogs due to the toxins if eaten.
“If you think that your dog may have ingested garden plants – or is showing signs of being unwell, speak to your vet immediately.”
Out of reach
One way to keep your home and garden looking lively is by potting flowers or herbs and placing them strategically out of reach of your dogs – to avoid nasty run-ins with poisonous plants.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Sarah Raven said: “Planting in pots on shelves or window ledges will also allow you to plant less pet-friendly plants out of the reach of your four-legged friends.
“A plant theatre adds shape and height to a garden, while also keeping plants out of the way of your canine garden users!”
How are YOU celebrating National Dog Day? Let us know in the comments below and share your favourite dog-friendly garden features.
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