The bulk of the work on our garden is finally over. The firm we used – Howes Landscaping & Design – did a brilliant job.
We’ve now got a level paved patio, drainage to keep the garden from turning into a mud bath when it rains, and we’ll soon be getting a tree to give our two crazy Beagles something to chase around.
Beanie and Biggles have so far endured a month without their garden, and now that large parts of it have just been reseeded they face another 2-3 weeks of deprivation before all the bare soil is once again covered by grass. In a spectacular lapse of judgment, we took pity on them and let them onto the lawn “just this once”; after all, they’re usually disinclined to chase first thing on a morning, and with both of us out there they shouldn’t be able to get up to much mischief.
Amazingly things went well. They both insisted on walking over all the seeded areas and having a good sniff, but there was no digging or chasing. After about 20 minutes, we saw the first signs of Biggles trying to initiate a play session, so we rounded them up, locked them into deck area and erected a plastic mesh fence between the patio and the lawn. The plan was that for the next few weeks they could have the deck and the patio, but not the garden proper. The fence was neither high nor sturdy, but they’d never be out there unsupervised so surely it would be enough? Well, perhaps not too surprisingly, it wasn’t enough. Not even close.
The second I opened the gate and let them onto the patio, they made a bee-line for the ramp on the right hand side. Biggles was in the lead, and ran straight at the fence. He didn’t try to jump over it, or to squeeze under or around it; he just ran straight at it in top gear as though it wasn’t even there. The resulting impact pulled three or four of the fence poles clean out of the ground and left Biggles in a heap of tangled orange mesh about a yard into the lawn. The Bigglet appeared dazed for a second – I think he genuinely hadn’t even seen the fence – but when Beanie shot straight past him he immediately wriggled free of the mesh and joined her for a chase that made Bullitt seem tame. The running disturbed the bare areas of the lawn a bit, but if things had stayed at that level there wouldn’t have been too much of a clean up job. Unfortunately, or perhaps inevitably, the chase developed into a high speed play fight:
First Beanie, then Biggles, went “back surfing” straight into loose soil sending the seed flying.
Just when it looked like things were calming down and we might be able to get them on lead, Beanie did the one thing guaranteed to kick the play back into top gear.
They crammed a full four weeks’ play into that brief but impressively destructive romp, then grinning from ear to ear they took their dirt covered paws and tummies into the kitchen to turn that into a bombsite too. A bit of raking returned the lawn (more or less) to its former state, but I think the whole “we can confine them to the patio” idea has been binned. They’re just going to have to tough it out for another few weeks!