Dogs and shade - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, IL
Question by dandmjj
May 28, 2005
I have 2 large dogs (140 lb. Bull Mastiffs)that like to eat any plant I put in my garden. Most of the garden is surrounded by an electric fence, but there is an area about 2 ft. x 70 ft. that gets less than 1 hour of sun each day that is too thin for the electric fence to work on. We have put in chicken wire that stops them from digging and am considering carpet roses (because of the thorns) to stop them from eating. I realize that the roses may never flower because of lack of sun, but at least there will be thorny foliage. Is there another shade plant that would do the same thing?

Answer from NGA
May 28, 2005


You're right - carpet roses won't bloom without more sunshine than the site provides. Additionally, they will be disease-prone. Have you considered planting Mahonia? This plant grows less than 3' tall and the leaves have sharp spikes. Another consideration is holly. Ilex x 'Mondo', the Little Rascal holly, grows only 2' tall and 3' wide (but can be pruned to fit your planter). Holly leaves won't be bothered by your dogs!

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