Tag Archive: pets

cat in cloverA few more clippings from a book I bought in a charity shop last summer ….

Mesh Maxim:

The best-laid schemes of mice and gardeners aft a-gley, especially where cats and kids are concerned. It’s one thing to install a cat-proof, child-proof seedling net. It’s another thing to prove to the cats or children that they can’t get through it.

Bamboo Laws:

1. Stakes to support floppy plants are used by children to break the floppy plants they supported.

2. Bamboo canes make more realistic spears than those sold in the toy shop.

The Cat Trap:

The only way for a cat hater to keep cats out of his garden is to get a moggy of his own.

Laws of Attraction and Repulsion:

1. Where dogs, cats and children are concerned, seedbeds and wet concrete have irrestible magnetic propoerties.

2. If you lay a path to protect the lawn and the flowerbeds  you are simultaneously creating a force field which prevents children and animals from using it.


Children are always on their pest behaviour in the garden.

children in gardenFrom : ‘Mrs. Murphy’s Laws of Gardening’ – Faith Hines (Temple House books, 1992)

Old School Gardener


My latest offering in a ‘mini series’ on pallet and other recycled wood projects for the big outdoors. This time a few cunning designs for your critters! All courtesy of the Facebook site 1001 Pallets.

Old School Gardener

family eating in the gardenYou might not think of ‘family gardens’ as a particular garden style, but there are some common ingredients needed for a successful space for everyone from the toddler through to parents (and possibly grandparents) as well as the family pet(s) of course! My latest ‘snippet on style’ focuses on what you might need in your family space.

Having said that there are some common ingredients in family gardens, in terms of its overall look these spaces can adopt almost any of the more common design styles such as formal, country, cottage etc., though the functional needs of the family garden do impose some limitations. The minimum requirements are usually to provide a flexible space for games (and scope for these games to change as children grow), room for entertainment and play, and an area for outside dining (maybe including an area for cooking the food too, such as a barbeque). The smallest gardens can accommodate a sandpit or swing, while larger plots have space for separate adult- and child-friendly zones. The key features often include:

  • Play equipment

  • Colourful materials

  • Dens and tents

  • Tough plants

  • Wildlife features

  • Easy care seating

For tips on including play opportunities in gardens see my earlier article ”Free range’ children? – seven tips for successful garden play’ and others on play.

Other articles in the ‘Style Counsel’ series:

Productive Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Country Gardens

Modernist Gardens

Formal Gardens

Mediterranean Gardens

Cottage gardens

Old School Gardener

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