Open House: How Do You Deal With Pets in Your Garden?

My mother-in-law has amazing flower and edible gardens at her cabin on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington. She also has a very exuberant ball-fetching standard poodle named Zoe. When I visited the cabin last weekend, I walked around her property, stunned by the bursts of color from her rhododendrons, peonies, roses, lilacs, honeysuckle, and numerous other flowering plants. And then there was Zoe, who diligently followed me and dropped her ball at my feet whenever I'd pause.

Even though Zoe is a big, active dog, her damage to my mother-in-law's fabulous garden seems minimal at worst. There are several gravel paths, upon which Zoe usually travels when outside. Two grassy patches seem to be her preferred outdoor lounging spots, and she's well-trained enough not to tramp around in the surrounding flowering gardens or strawberry patches.

Do you negotiate the issue of shared garden and pet space? How do you deal with pets in your flower garden? Do you train Fido to stay out? Do you use fencing or natural deterrents to keep your pets away from your favorite plants? Tell me all about it!

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