The day lilies I planted in the back yard this year look like this. Lovely, no?
The ones in the front yard, close to the side walk, not so lovely:
That is the direct result of being urinated on ever single day, several times a day, by passing dogs. In addition to several clumps of flowers, we lost three bushes on this same corner.
I really don't understand some dog owners. I mean, what makes them think it's acceptable to let their dogs stomp all over your yard and pee on the flowers? It's hard enough trying to keep anything growing under the parkway trees, and I'm almost ready to give up on those hostas. But what drives me crazy, what really makes me want to throttle people, is when they let their dogs wander all over our actual lawn and foundation gardens. Nobody needs to let their dog out on a fifteen foot retractable lead. I looked out the window of my basement office the other day, just in time to see a little white dog peeing on a flower next to my window. Yup, it had to wind it's way between some bushes, across a small grassy bit, to pee on the flowers in the foundation bed.
Some neighbors have the utmost respect for gardens; when they approach a house with landscaping they reel their dog in, make it heel, and walk by without letting the dog trample anything. One woman laughingly calls our place the "Leave It, Leave It House," because she's trained her dog to leave all the beds alone. When they approach, he automatically walks beside her. So a special thanks to the Leave It, Leave It woman and others like her.
As for the others, nothing seems to get through to them. Not polite requests, not yelling out the window. Nothing. I even caught a guy letting his dog pee on the "no dogs" sign in one of the flowerbeds.
And so we're trying a new strategy of setting up a low fence around the flower bed I'm currently working on. I've never been overly fond of such things, but I am tired of buying new plants all the time.
Remember the eye-sore I told you about a few days ago?
I raked up the rest of the grass and tried to even out the soil. Either the sidewalk had sunk over the years, or dirt built up, because pulling up the grass showed that the top of our lawn was--I'm not kidding--nearly five inches above the sidewalk.
The wrought iron fence I'm putting up is about 9 inches high, and very sturdy. We bought 55 feet or so of it, and I'll get the rest of it up tomorrow, going down the length in front of the purple Diablo Ninebark bushes. I decided to take it in a bit, rather than have it against the sidewalk. We get massive amounts of snow in winter, and I didn't want to be striking it with the shovel.
I would like to plant some kind of ground cover between this little fence and the sidewalk. Something thick and spreading and highly resistant to dog urine and trampling. On my next trip to the nursery I'll ask them for advice, but if anybody has a suggestion, I'd appreciate it. I was thinking stonecrop or something; just need to find out if it's pee-proof.