The Q&A Archives: Flower/Greenery for

Question: I have a lab dog. He doesn't dig, but likes to lay in the plants for the cool dirt during the warm months. I'm looking to replace the thin flowers there now with something bulky so he can't walk on them. There are shrubs in the back that he doesn't touch because they're bulkier and not easy to lay on. I like color, but different type ferns is what I was told I need. I don't know much about flowers/ferns, so this will be my first attempt (pretty excited about it, actually). Is there something you would recommend? I basically would like it to appear more full, as of now, it looks smooshed and layed on. Thank you for your time.

Answer: You'll want to start with large plants (1-gal. or larger), so they will be mature enough to stand up to occasional tromping. It might also help to lay something like a piece of driftwood or other ornamental object in the bed where he likes to lay. This should discourage him. Some attractive, vigorous plants include peony, creeping phlox, verbena, coneflower, black-eyed Susans, Shasta daisy, Liriope, Russian sage, Mexican primrose. Other plants that resist breakage include serviceberry, ninebark, mock orange, dogwood, lilac, pine, butterfly bush and quince. Tough shrubs include escallonia, laurel, rhododendron, Pieris, evergreen huckleberry and viburnum.

Good luck with your garden!

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