Dog Friendly Gardens, What To Consider…

It’s not just bark of the decorative variety that we need to consider in the gardens we design, it’s very often our clients’ prized pooches we need to incorporate. So what do we need to consider in dog friendly gardens? Well here are some of our top tips…

Elmo in the garden

Elmo going for a walk among the snowdrops

Keeping your pooch safe in your garden is really important. They will find the tiniest gap to escape so ensure your fence or boundary is in tip top condition. Make sure other animals in your garden are kept in a safe place from your pup too. We can secure existing fences or design and build new fences which will look great as well as be practical, perfect for dog friendly gardens.

Sula in her garden

Sula loves being outdoors in her garden in Bridge of Allan

Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is a wonderful solution for dog loving families. It overcomes many issues including muddy paws, digging holes in the grass and of course the issue of wee burning real grass. We have included it in many doggy gardens and it has transformed the lives of the pups and their parents!

Keava and Korah enjoy playing on the grass

Keava and Korah enjoy playing on the grass

Watch Their Routes

Watch what routes your dogs regularly take around your garden. These are the areas of grass which will quickly get worn and muddy so consider changing these to a more robust, solid path.

Monty in the garden

Monty loves a nice path in a garden

Digging Corner

We know how much your four legged friends love to dig. Instead of it being your lawn or your prized flower bed, try incorporating a digging corner especially for them. Hide some of their toys and treats in there to keep them interested. We can design this into dog friendly gardens so it is hidden away and doesn’t detract from the rest of your outdoor space.

Sandy loves being outside in the garden on a sunny day

Sandy loves being outside in the garden on a sunny day


It is really important to make sure the planting in your gardens is doggy safe. Many common plants such as pieris, hydrangea and daffodils are toxic to dogs.It’s not just the chewing you need to consider, a dog friendly garden often needs to have robust plants to save them from that crazy half hour many of them have, tearing around the garden!

Harvey likes hiding in some foliage!

Harvey likes hiding in some foliage!

We are happy to design a puppy safe planting plan which will look great and be safe for them.

Korah understands the importance of beauty!

Korah understands the importance of beauty!

Shady Area

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking but ensuring there is a shady corner for your dog to shelter in sunny weather is a good idea. This can be incorporated into a beautiful garden design and could be a pergola or sail.

A happy Flynn in the garden

Flynn enjoying some rare sunshine in the garden

Or perhaps you could treat them to their own home from home with these stylish kennels by William Peterson:

We love these kennels by William Peterson

We love these kennels by William Peterson

Marking Post

If you have a male dog you may want to consider a marking post for him to wee against. An old tree stump works well and won’t look out of place if carefully incorporated.

Dorey in her stripey jumper

It’s not just planting that can add colour in the garden, Dorey and her stripey jumper will brighten up anyone’s day!

Water Fun

Dogs love splashing about in water and, if you have space,your pooch will love you even more for incorporating an area for water play in the garden. It may be as simple as just having a large lawn area where a paddling pool can be put on a hot day. Water sprinklers are great fun for kids and dogs alike. Or, for those with the luxury of space, including a water feature cascading through the garden could be a real treat for everyone.

Max loves playing in water

Max loves playing in water

Drying Coats

After running around in that water (or realistically after most walks in our Scottish climate!) your pup will appreciate one of these amazing drying coats from our friend and local business Freckles Designs. She also does a wide range of other products including crate covers, blankets and personalised lead hooks.

Jess snuggled in her Freckles Design drying coat

Jess snuggled in her Freckles Design drying coat

And Finally…

We couldn’t resist this product. We know how much our baby Tilda loves bubbles in the garden so why not treat your pooch to the same pleasure with these doggy bubbles which are bacon scented! You can get cat nip ones too if you are a cat lover!

Bacon bubbles for your pooch

Bacon bubbles for your pooch

If you would like some advice on how to create a dog friendly garden please get in touch.

Thank you to all our lovely friends who gave us photos of their four legged friends for us to use in this blog.

All at Vialii

Ruby has Holly and Lottie over for a play in her garden

Ruby has Holly and Lottie over for a play in her garden


10 Super Easy Spring Veg To Grow

Saturday 19th March is the Spring Equinox and officially the first day of Spring yippee. That means sunnier days, lighter evenings and most importantly more time to play in the garden! It also means it’s time for me to get busy growing veg again so to help you along, here are my TEN easiest Spring veg to get growing…

Here we grow!

Here we grow!

Before you start to grow any veg, take a minute to remove any weeds or large stones from your veg beds and give them a wee hoe over. If you haven’t already added a soil improver over winter now is a great time to add some nutrients to help your veg grow big and strong (just like me!). Done? OK, let’s go…


This is one of my favourite root vegetables to grow as it is super-duper easy. Beetroot prefer a well drained soil so add some sand if yours is a bit sticky. Now, just sprinkle some seeds in a long row and gently cover. As the seedlings come through thin them out to allow big juicy beetroot to grow.


Now under the heading of “Salad” I am covering lettuce leaves, rocket and spinach as they are all equally easy to grow. I especially love the “cut and come again” salad leaves as they just keep on growing the more you eat them. Wowsers!


You have got your salad growing so you will need some radish growing with it. The best thing about radish is how quick it grows. Within a few days you will see it popping up. Sow successional rows so you always have radish to eat.

Prep your soil then sow your seeds in a nice neat row

Prep your soil then sow your seeds in a nice neat row


Another easy-peasy (ha, see what I did there?!) veg to grow and yummy to eat (it’s one of Tilda’s favourites!) If you don’t want to train big tall ones up lines then opt for a dwarf bush variety. I love popping the peas out of their pods!


An absolute staple in our garden and super easy to grow. Buy some seeds potatoes and let them chit on your window sill for a couple of weeks before burying them deep in your veg patch. Cover over the leaves as they pop through (this is called “earthing up”) and you will have a yummy batch of tatties come summer!


Another easy one, just buy onion “sets” which are teeny weeny onions and plant them in your veg area. They will soon grow into much bigger onions for you to pick.

Teeny weeny onion sets!

Teeny weeny onion sets!


Not only is swiss chard super healthy (it is full of vitamins and minerals) but it is also soooooo pretty. As well as growing it in your veg patch you can grow it in your flower beds where its colourful stalks will be a lovely addition to the garden.


If you are an expert like me then you can grow a wide variety of tomatoes in your greenhouse. But here’s a secret tip, choose a “tumbler” or “bush” variety and they will be super happy growing in a pot in a sunny corner of your garden. The bonus is you don’t have to “pinch out” this type of tomato or tie them up as they grow. And they will give you the most delicious cherry tomatoes you have ever tasted! And much easier than going to the supermarket to buy them!


This year I am growing both green and yellow courgettes. I have planted the seeds in little trays in the house and when they are a LOT bigger I will plant them outside in big pots where they will give me lovely courgettes all summer long. I’ll need to be fast though to beat the cheeky snails who love them too!

Here I am checking for courgettes

Here I am checking for courgettes


Well it wouldn’t be a Spring veg blog without a Spring Onion would it? Like beetroot, just sprinkle some seeds in a line and thin out the seedlings as they come through. Couldn’t be easier!

Happy growing readers!

Hugs & kisses,

Lulu xx

Love Local Mag

We were asked to contribute an article to Love Local Mag giving all the great reasons “why we should get outdoors…”

Love Local Mag March 2016