Dealing With Dog Damage and Drainage in the Landscape

We love our dogs and we love our yards and gardens but sometimes the dogs don’t quite see things from our point of view. Dogs are creatures of habit. They like to run on familiar paths and to lie down in comfortable places. If a dog needs to dig your dahlias for her comfort, she won’t understand why that doesn’t really please you. The story continues. Here is a picture of this week’s culprits.

Dogs don't really stand around new ways to damage your garden--it just seems like it

Dogs don’t really stand around new ways to damage your garden–it just seems like it

I was called in to look at a problem area that I had fixed before. The only problem was that I had previously repaired a drainage problem. I hadn’t taken the dogs into consideration. If you would like to see the original project from 2011, CLICK HERE.  The original project had employed a dry river bed. I looked at the damage and remarked. “The dogs run through it.”

Pachysandra doesn't like to grow where the dogs run

Pachysandra doesn’t like to grow where the dogs run

I watched the dogs for a while and saw that every time a car drove up they ran around and through the place where I had wanted pachysandra to grow. I knew I wasn’t going to change the dogs’ habits so I decided to change the design. I laid out a series of whisky barrel rings to use as forms for making stepping stones. To see a detailed article on making these stepping stones, CLICK HERE.

Maybe if we made some nice stepping stones for the dogs to run on...hmmm

Maybe if we made some nice stepping stones for the dogs to run on…hmmm

We mixed concrete and poured the stepping stones. I thought an impression of autumn ferns would add to the river motif, so we embedded some fronds in the wet cement.

Impression of autumn fern imbedded in a stepping stone using a whiskey barrel ring for a form

Impression of autumn fern imbedded in a stepping stone using a whiskey barrel ring for a form

We ran over to Willow Creek Nursery in good old Rome, Georgia. I told Adam I would put his picture in this article if his materials estimate worked out. He figured out the amount of stones I would need for the job. He got it right on the money—I had two rocks left over. CLICK HERE to “like” Willow Creek on Face Book.

At Willow Creek Nursery, Adam helped us with our stone purchase

At Willow Creek Nursery, Adam helped us with our stone purchase

We laid the rocks around the drying stepping stones. The plastic is there at this point for protection and to make wrinkles.

Rocks laid around custom made stepping stones

Rocks laid around custom made stepping stones

Here’s a picture of the project at the end of the day. We will leave the forms in place for a few days until the concrete cures.

Now the dogs can run through their path without hurting anything

Now the dogs can run through their path without hurting anything

We backed up to look at the job, a car drove up, and the dogs ran right over the rocks just as I had planned. Yay. Here’s the finished job:

aestheticsj, check. drainage, check. Dog damage? check

aestheticsj, check. drainage, check. Dog damage? check

Happy dog, happy wife—happy wife, happy life. Thanks for visiting Johntheplantman. Tell your friends about it.

 

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

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