SUMMARY: Go to the garden center.
Having large, active dogs and a not very big yard don't mix well with having lush gardens like we used to like having before we had, like, large, active agility dogs and most of the yard cleared so we could have large, immovable objects like Aframes and dogwalks ensconced. So any pretty kinds of plants that we want (vs. large shrubs that can handle themselves in a scrap with an agility dog) go into pots, not beds.
Taj MuttHall especially likes hanging plants because they are mostly out of the way of the Squirrel Patrol. But inexpensive plastic planters, after they've been hit enough times by flying Jolly Balls or flailing agility handlers practicing their moves, plus being too busy to actually water the pots, makes them start to look less than optimal.
Plus the big houseplant that's eating the desk needs a bigger pot, since no one is eating his roots any more.
So off we go to the garden center. Now, the dogs don't go into the garden center, but they inspire me in terms of not buying delicate plants that won't last more than one direct hit of the Jolly Ball. What a surprise to be greeted at the garden center with a sign for dog food! Apparently gardens and dogs DO go together.
In fact, there is an actual genuine dog department here in the garden center with toys and leashes and beds and clothing for dogs who don't like to be completely in the buff when out in the garden, and like that.
If you're light on actual dogs, you can even buy your own, complete with breed-appropriate accoutrements, if you like them on the stony side.
Uzza wuzza wuzza, how could you almost not take those faces home with you?
If you want to know what your setter or maybe springer spaniel looks like surrounded by hummingbird feeders, this is pretty much it.
I note that there are no CAT sections in the garden store. Cats are not really friends to gardens. Obviously Mr. Garden Center knows that. Too bad for you, cats. But if your agility dog selection isn't sufficient to make your garden feel occupied, you can purchase a wide variety of additional occupants.
But, OK, on to the pots. Wow. I love looking at pots. Wonderful colors.
Today, though, we are looking for indoor pots. OK, not quite as bright, but still catches the eye.
We make our selection (a couple of the bluish ones) and start to head out towards the flowers. But look who has come in to the garden center to decide on her next stage of exterior decor: Daisy! Daisy is very busy examining everything in the store, too busy to have her picture taken by paparazzi who admire her little wire-haired dachshund eyebrows.
Fortunately, Daisy brought along Bob and Pam--apparently the chauffeur and the gardener--and they positioned her on a convenient table for some portraiture with a cheap snapshot camera that likes taking photos of pots, which hold still, but not of actual animated beings. (The SLR camera is too snobby to go to a mere garden center with me; it consents only to go along to actual, say, actual conservatories, where it can take artsy photos.)
Then daisy moves along--thanks, Daisy!--and we do, too, to the actual plantage area--and wow again, Taj MuttHall always has trouble deciding from among all those alluring colors. Easier pick: Which ones will die the slowest?
We had hoped that, since our lawn needs mowing again already, there might be some spring/summer plants. But no, it's still winter annuals. Which we decide is OK. But how come I'm all of a sudden craving coconut sorbet? Weird. Huh.
We pick from among the violas and the primrose and head home to throw the Jolly Ball for our own dogs into a pot or two of daffodils or maybe hyacinths.
And maybe someday soon I'll post something about agility again.