Duty Done Outside

Today I had two tasks to do, because my partner who usually does them has something else he wanted to do.


So I watered the potted plants in the backyard (task one) and then I watered the canna lilies we have planted further down the back (task two), and I watered the mandarin tree (which failed in terms of fruiting this season) (task three – which was my decision, not a given task). I watered the mandarin because I want it to stay healthy, because I loved growing our own, when it grew its fruit in its first growing season.

Then I came back inside, for a definitely well-earned rest. So here I am writing about and thinking about gardens, and dogs, which of course is appropriate to do, on a blog with the title of Gardendog’s Blog.

Our dog Missy came outside with me, happily, not actually following me, just being present with me, more or less. She did her usual sniffing in her usual places, trotting along her usual routes, eating a little bit of grass, sniffing some more things, just checking out what was going on, in her yard.

Because, the backyard is an important part of where Missy lives. She loves sleeping on her sofa, sure, but she has her own duties, involving keeping us all safe from intruders, and searching out any other possible problems that may ‘crop up’. I don’t know what those problems might be, but Missy probably does. People and dogs know different things, do different things, care about different things …

So I’m back inside, and thinking about how the dog/human connections are so beneficial, how much I love having this mostly lovely but sometimes annoying hound in my life. She is a beautiful creature, she is affectionate, and does some funny things. It feels good to be caring for another, the way we care for Missy. She is grateful for all we do for her, we are grateful for all she does for us. Perfect.

Living with dogs can certainly be a good thing, I’ve lived with dogs for many years, I can barely remember how long ago it was, that we had a ‘dog free’ home. It was before I was married, I know that, so at least thirty-three years ago. I feel sorry for people without a pet in their life, although, I’m not sure that having a pet other than a dog, or dogs, but I certainly realise that we are all different, and like different things.

me and the boys

And of course, living with dogs has given me much to write about – the photo is one taken back many years, when I had put out my first book in the ‘Buster the Dog’ series, “Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs”. That’s me in the photo, with two of our first litter of Pharaoh Hounds bred. I’ve written and printed my third book in that series, and looking to get stuck into writing the fourth book in the series, where Buster the Dog must learn to live in a new home, with another person, and with that other person’s cat!

Oh dear, I hope Buster the Dog, and McTavish the Cat work these things out well, and in an interesting way! Cats and dogs can live together well, but certainly I would never consider bringing a cat into Missy’s territory, because she’s certainly shown us she definitely Does Not Like Cats!

If you have both dogs and cats in your life, I’d love to hear about how they get on!



Too Hot for Gardening!

Being out in the garden is lovely, almost all of the time. There are plenty of cool green things, grass, branches, leaves, and there is often a breeze that blows across the yard, for some extra coolness. But some days the yard can become a no go zone, except for letting Missy our dog outside and back inside, where the air conditioning is.


We do have a swimming pool in the backyard, but swimming in the pool just isn’t something I like to do, it appeals for more to my husband and our son. My main thing I do with the swimming pool is getting creatures out of it, if they fall in and can’t get out. There was a frog there the other day, and I was very glad to move it to a much safer spot. Apparently chlorinated water is deadly to frogs who are in it for too long …

We used to have a pond with fish in it, as well as the pool. The pond is still there, but the goldfish are well and truly gone now. When I get a frog out of the pool, I take them out the back of our place to the pond. The pond is a much same place for frogs!

goldfish piccapsicum

this was one of our home-grown capsicums, yum!

Anyway, after this weekend coming, it will be back to cooler weather again, with the slight possibility of some rain before the following weekend. I don’t know why it is, but the weather forecasts seem to be getting more attention than they used to. Is this because I’m getting older, or is it simply because I have that information close handy on my mobile (cell) phone? I know I look at the weather bureau app on my phone at least once a day, even though I don’t really need to know about the weather most of the time, because I’m inside, safe from the weather.

Looking after the plants, that’s an important thing, definitely. My husband does most of the watering, as well as almost all of the outside work. I’m a very lucky wife, and appreciate what he does! We both like our special plants, our bonsai and so on, which need special care in hot weather, because they’re kept in very shallow pots sometimes, which dry out quickly. Sometimes the watering gets missed for various reasons, but I’m glad that on the most recent occasion, the relevant plant has made a comeback. I hope we can keep this plant going for many more years!


this bonsai is in a deeper pot, which is more suited to its lengthwise growing style …

Our tomato plant though, that’s definitely looking weather affected … The leaves look battered and quite dry, with only few tomatoes growing on it at the moment. I’m not sure if those plants will make as good a come back, and I’m not sure what is planned for further ideas for our vegetable garden. We’ve grown carrots (many years ago) capsicums (more recently), the (cherry) tomatoes, and various others – baby spinach, herbs, and things I’ve forgotten … We’ve always had various herbs growing in pots here, in all of our years of living in the country.

The bonsai interest and the herbs are both things we brought with us when we moved from the suburbs. The interests ‘grew’ even more, and I’m very happy with out results. Between the plants, the property, and our dogs (now only one dog) we have plenty of living things in our lives. There are practically no plants inside though, just two bits of the herb thyme that I’m trying to grow from cuttings. We have a hanging basket with thyme growing in it, and I was wondering the other day if it might be possible to grow thyme in a tiny bonsai pot, of which we have many …

I don’t know whether these cuttings are going to ‘take’ and grow roots, but I’m working at remembering to keep both of them sufficiently watered. I might look into the idea of growing herbs as bonsai plants, it seems like a lovely gift to give to people, a growing thing that can help to heal them … Oh, I’d better head off and do some research, inside where it’s nice and cool!