Friday, 28 February 2014

Lock up your darlings

Suffering any type of theft or burglary is horrible - but when it's your dog it's even worse, and is heartbreaking. Sadly, dog theft appears to be on the increase, with statistics suggesting that it's up by 20% with one database recording 3500 thefts last year.
Some are ransomed, some stolen to order, others used for breeding in puppy farms. Most sickeningly of all some are stolen to use in dog fighting as live 'bait'. Many are never reunited with their owners - of those dogs which are stolen, statistics are again alarming, reporting that nearly half are still missing after 12 months. Dogs are often targeted by thieves, and there have been reports of marks being left outside houses indicating where dogs live: as well as being stolen from houses they have also been snatched from owners while out walking, stolen from cars and when left tied outside shops. And worryingly, also from gardens - it is not enough to ensure that your garden fencing is secure enough to keep your dog in - you also need to take measures to keep thieves out, and that is considerably more difficult.
The best way of keeping your pet safe in your garden is never to leave him out there unattended: even if he is just going out for a quick pee, go with him and keep an eye on him.
It is truly sad that things have come to such a pass.

Here are some links with further information and advice on keeping your pet safe which you may find helpful:

Click HERE for link

Friday, 21 February 2014

Blooming marvellous

Crocuses in the lawn

It has been such a horrendous winter for so many people - flooding, power cuts and storms have made life a misery for such a huge number. We had a glorious day of sunshine last Sunday, and it was such a lovely respite from the dreadful weather we've been having. The dogs pottered happily round the garden - warm enough for them to be out there without their coats on - while I did a bit of work out there. The snowdrops have finally appeared, while the yellow crocuses I planted last year are now studding the front lawn - apart from the tiny corner of it that is under water. Silvery pussy willow adorns the willow tree, and the frogs are limbering up in the pond ...
Yep. Definitely crocuses!

Out on our walks there are other signs of Spring appearing too. Although many of you are still dealing with flooding and its aftermath, hopefully the worst is behind us now and you will at least be able to look forward to getting back to normal in the near future.

And a surprise in the garden - two Alpine strawberries!
One each for Archie and Angel of course!

Click HERE for link

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Looking ahead

Spring is still a little way off, but it's nice to be able to start sowing seeds at last! The lidded plastic fruit containers from the supermarket have had some extra holes added to the bottoms for drainage and been pressed into service as mini-propagators: the lids also help to keep inquisitive doggy noses from poking about in there too. The Evening Primrose and Cape Gooseberries were sown a week ago, and I've just finished sowing a packet of Verbena, ultimately destined for a spot outside the kitchen window. My friend Julie always has a mass of them growing along the edges of her gravelled driveway, which self-seed themselves each year, and I'm hoping mine will eventually do the same.

In the meantime, Archie and Angel continue to show a distinct preference for staying warm and dry indoors to spending much time out of doors ...

Click HERE for link!

Friday, 7 February 2014


Checking on the parsley

Archie - and Angel especially - love to munch on parsley. In the summer I grow a big pot of it outside in the garden along with a mix other other herbs and grasses which they can help themselves to - a kind of doggy salad bar. In the winter I grow a regular supply of parsley on the kitchen windowsill instead which they can graze on as and when they feel like it.

At this point, purists had better look away ...

Shame it's such an untidy plant ...

Angel also adores cleavers, so having found a patch recently while out on a walk I gathered a small tuft up and brought it home and planted it. A month later it has flowered and set seeds ready for me to collect and start off a whole new batch. I had also collected a few seeds and they have shot up - although I'm keeping them out of Angel's reach at the moment until they have also flowered and produced seeds for me to collect.
Doing nicely!

As well as providing a small supply indoors for Angel to nibble on I'm planning on adding the seeds to the outdoor salad bar. Although it's impossible to prevent them from doing a bit of sampling of herbage while out on walks, I'm hoping they will do the bulk of their grazing at home where I know the plants are untouched by any chemical contaminants.

Click HERE for link!