A few weeks after my old dog, Star, died, I got a new puppy. I called him Buster and a more appropriate name I couldn’t have chosen if I’d tried. How could I have forgotten that puppies love to chew and dig? And Buster is really, really fond of playing in the garden.
Just when I was preparing a hanging basket of yellow pansies to brighten up a dull winter, I was called away. Buster ate them. I did my best to growl at him but when he rolled over and begged me to tickle his tummy, I just laughed. A happy dog is worth more than a hanging basket of seedlings.
In winter many of our plants die back and the garden looks bare and stark. But I like colourful flowers, so I cheat. Yes, I do. I buy fake flowers and place them amongst the foliage until the plant blooms again. The trick is to not go too flashy or too colourful. I choose small white flowers and unless you look closely, you can’t tell.
Oh dear, now I have a hanging basket to recover! I cut back the pansies, re-planted them, introduced some white daisy heads, hung the basket, cleared up the mess, tried to growl at Buster again (and failed). And nobody noticed I’d faked it. “That looks nice”, my mum approved. “I thought you’d like it.” I nodded and winked at Buster. He wagged his tail. Happy Gardening.