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Pet friendly garden

Gardening: Plants to include for your animals’ pleasure


Garden Editorial published in the August 2016 edition of The Billboard:

Some pets are attracted to plants, whether for their smell or medicinal value. Here are some plants to include in your pet-friendly garden. Pet grass, available in seed packets, can be grown in a patch in the garden or in a tray on a patio. Sow in spring, summer or autumn in a sunny or semi-shaded spot.

FELINE TREAT: Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) is a perennial herb that triggers a neurological response in some cats.  Over 80 percent of felines react to the nepetalactone found in the plant. Leaves are greenish-grey in colour and wonderfully aromatic. Plant in sun or partial shade. Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii) produces blue-lavender blooms

Lukas Otto attract bees and butterflies. Some cats enjoy rolling or playing in it. When crushed, the leaves release a heady aroma. A showy candidate for a mixed border or beautiful under roses.

While bees are vital visitors to the garden, avoid planting a bee-attracting groundcover in a garden where small dogs play. Some dogs will stand in the flower bed and continuously snap at the bees, with painful consequences. Medium or tall shrubs are fine, unless you have a large breed dog. Don’t place a dog kennel to close to bee plants.

Deep ponds and swimming pools should be kept covered with mesh or a safety net. If your dog enjoys a swim, teach him where the steps are and how to get out of the pool.

Never allow you pet access to a compost heap. Unless you have pet-stool composter, don’t add pet faeces to your compost heap.

10 safe plants for pets.

1. African daisy/silver arctotis (Arctotis stoechadifolia),

2. Alyssum,

3. Bee balm (Monarda fisulosa),

4. Cat/orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata),

5. Cat thyme (Teucrium marum),

6. Cockscomb (Celosia plumosa),

7. Impatiens,

8. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus),

9. Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus), and

10. Roses.

Common plants that are toxic to cats and/or dogs.

Lily of the valley, Easter lily, azalea, rhododendron, cyclamen, diffenbachia, arrow-head vine (Syngonium podophyllum), tulip, hyacinth, caster bean, autumn crocus, larkspur, yew and the sago palm. This list is by no means exhaustive.


Text supplied by Kay Montgomery

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