Gardening, Guest Posts, Nicole

Strimmers, Sunflowers, and Dogs, oh my!

Mini meadow bursting into flowerWhat a difference a lawnmower makes! After our old one packed in, what seems like decades ago, we’ve tackled the task of cutting our grass with a strimmer which took roughly two hours on top of endless breaks to refit the gut and left a finish which was rather scruffy to say the least. Taking a leap into the great unknown after having been so long without one, we bit the bullet and purchased a replacement, using it for the first time today. I cannot believe the difference it’s made to our grass — the overall finish is nice and tidy plus it took a fraction of the time!
White Astilbe flowers
I can safely say that the strimmer is packed up for retirement – I just wish we’d bought a mower sooner. My husband is asthmatic but refuses to let me touch the grass at all (the ‘lawn’ is his domain) and it’s really helped reduce the symptoms of his allergies/asthma when cutting it. I enjoyed pottering about while my husband mowed the grass and my boys accompanied me on the daily plant check-up. We planted dwarf sweet peas in a two tier planter for an experiment to see how they’d look but so far they’re a bit scraggly and not really hanging down how I thought they would. It could turn out to be an epic fail but I suppose if you don’t try you never know!

The astilbes are beautiful at the moment; I think the wet weather we keep getting has really made them flourish. Our rosemary is growing well and is frequently used to season our meals. It’s absolutely delicious with roast chicken – the scent is heavenly when it’s cooking.
Tall sunflower plant growing ever taller
The sunflower my boys were so pleased about is now taller than me! Needless to say they want more and had to be lifted up to see whether it was close to flowering yet. The dwarf sunflowers in our ‘paw-print’ are starting to flower and we enjoyed looking at them although my boys say they’re not as exciting as the tall ones.

Our dogs even joined in with inspecting the plants! Our chocolate lab certainly enjoyed having a sniff of the lavender; they even helped clear the cut grass by grabbing mouthfuls and running around with it.

Chocolate and Yellow Labrador smelling the lavender plants

They’ve been officially banned from certain parts of the garden because they both tend to chew on some of the plants — Our pampas grass is still recovering from being eaten. Apparently it causes no harm to the dogs and it’s normal behaviour… I have my doubts about the ‘normal’ part, as our yellow lab seems to have made it her mission in life to flatten every plant she can find — going so far as to make herself comfortable sitting on our plants in their pots. Do your pets have any quirky habits in the garden?

I’m sure our dogs enjoy creating a little havoc when they get the chance. It’s a shame that they have no interest in digging though, as it would have been nice to sit back and let them dig holes where we want things planted instead of tackling our nightmare clay soil ourselves… Oh well, I can but dream.

Happy gardening, Nicole 🙂