Updated: Jun 1
It is that time of year when we start to see our gardens coming to life again – the birds are starting to sing, the sun is starting to shine and for those of us without a mature garden, we are planning what we can do.
I’m waiting for my lovely lady (Ivy/Evie) to arrive and I’m getting the garden ready in anticipation. I have a bit of a blank canvass as we haven’t done much with it since we moved in….so at the moment it is a ramshackle of grass and many things that need cutting down. This is in hand, so I’m busy planning what I want for Evie and me.
I decided my first task needed to be to look at what plants I could have in the garden that were safe for my lovely new lady. I have a few favourite flowers and plants, so I decided to look at which of these were going to be safe or cause problems if eaten.
I love these little white, purple and lilac flowers as they remind me of our garden when I was a child, spilling out over the rockery. They are fragrant and are perfect for edging, colour swathes, hanging baskets and containers.
They are a hardy plant, easy to grow and non-toxic to dogs and cats.
Sow Alyssum seeds from February to March indoors for container plantings or directly outdoors between April to May for general use.
These flowers always remind me of a happy, colourful face. Not toxic to dogs, but like anything, they are not good for them if eaten excessively.
They make good bedding or hanging plants and have an array of colours including soft pastels, reds, purples, blues, and yellows. They can be a colourful addition to your garden and are very eye-catching.
For summer flowering, sow these charmers from February to April. However, I have read that they are best grown sown June to July for the following spring/summer.
These bell-like flowers are sweet smelling and easily blossom
in containers and in garden beds. They are beautiful and vibrant, and it is okay if your dog takes a bite, although too much will cause stomach upset. Apparently as members of the nightshade family, petunia flowers are not a good choice for humans to eat though!
They should be sown from February to April to flower between June to September.
I love these flowers, with their bright yellows, oranges and reds – they just look like sunshine on a stem. They also help bring bees to your garden and protect your vegetables, should you have a patch! Just watch your friends don’t chase the bees.
Their strong scent deters beetles and other harmful bugs from infesting any edible plants you may have and your pooch will love sniffing them!
Sow February to May for flowering from June to September.
Hands up who took part in the ‘growing a sunflower’ competition at school or in your neighbourhood when you were young……surely not just me?!!
They are available in many sizes and colours, grow several feet tall, so make a great border along a fence to deter any Houdini’s, and are yellow happy flowers. They are safe for small children and pets. There is even a variety called the Teddy Bear – I’m ordering mine now so I can say I have a Teddy Bear in the garden!
Most varieties should be sown between April to June, for flowering June to October.
Quintessentially English and not hazardous to pets. That said, if you treat your Roses with insecticides or other garden products, please check the products before applying them. There are lots of safe ones out there, so research is always advised.
Rosehips, the fruits that come from rose flowers, are safe for dogs and people too. But the thorns on rose bushes can be painful, so don’t let your dog chew on rose branches.
Again, another lovely plant/flower that reminds me of my childhood, and in particular my Grandad who grew some lovely specimens. Ideal for hanging baskets with their elegant pink and purple flowers. They’ll be interesting for your dog to look at and smell but won’t cause any harm.
Geraniums are simple to grow and are a beautiful dense shrub which blooms with stunning purple, white, pink and red flowers – there are lots of varieties. They are an ideal addition to your pet-friendly garden and an English favorite.
Watch out for Pelargoniums as these can be toxic and dangerous to animals who eat them (picture below).
Polka Dot Plant
Now this is a slightly different plant, one that I have enjoyed as a house plant for many years. However, from my research I’ve also found it is dog safe, and that the low-growing, shade-loving plant can be put outside to add a splash of colour to your garden. It can be used in container pots or garden beds.
There are lot of varieties and selections of the Polka Dot plant and some hybrids that are available include these:
· Carmina - red dots and freckles.
· Pink Splash - leaves variegated in shades of pink and red.
· Confetti - a small-sized variety with green leaves spotted with red, white, pink or rose.
So pretty, wouldn’t you agree!
Just look at those colours! And who hasn’t made a Snapdragon flower speak….come on, admit it, we all have pretended the flowers can talk.
Snapdragons are easy to grow from seed in full sun, they are sturdy plants, and they make great cut flower arrangements too.
Sow them between January to April and they will flower between June and October.
So there you are! Just a few of my favourite flowers that won’t harm your precious ones. But like anything, always be careful they don’t eat too much of anything and that they aren’t allergic.
Always do your research to make sure your garden can be enjoyed by you and them.
If you aren't sure whether a plant is toxic, check the links below:
The Dog People Blog provides a comprehensive database of pet poisonous plants and you can search hundreds of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats. Each plant listed includes its type, a toxicity level, common symptoms and it’s Latin name. You can access this here.
Next time I thought we’d let you decide what you would like to see on the blog about gardens and plants – drop us a comment to say A), B) or C).
A) Creating a mini sensory garden or area for you dog.
B) Indoor plants – safe and toxic.
C) Having herbs and vegetables in your dog friendly garden
Thanks for reading!