Hewson on ... allowing dogs in public gardens

Hands up those of you who love plants and gardens.

I mean really love them, as in truly, madly deeply. As in I'd rather visit Nymans or Sissinghurst than date Cameron Diaz or George Clooney, although for me, Cameron (as in Diaz, not "call me Dave") would be a pretty hot gig.

Anyway, that's probably about 10 of you - maybe 12 on a sunny day when the Eucryphia x nymansensis 'Nymansay' is peaking. But I'm pretty sure most of you enjoy strolling round many of our splendid parks and gardens, if only to escape the football or Robert Peston.

I'm equally sure that many of you, like me, have a dog (welcome, Clyde). It is here that our problem begins, for it seems that dogs and gardens simply don't mix. I suppose all that barking and romping through the herbaceous border just won't do. So we must either leave them at home to chew the furniture (pointless and pricey) or sit them in the car pending our return (dangerous, especially in hot weather).

I'm minded to write this having been turned away from a well-known garden, albeit by a very nice lady in twinset and pearls. We thus decamped to the nearby pub, only to find it wasn't dog-friendly either ("but you can sit outside with the flies"). Oddly, children and the din that accompanies them are permitted, while Clyde is not, even though he'd happily reside on a leash under a table quietly sipping a half of best.

I can quite understand the concern over dog mess and mayhem in open spaces, but what's to be done for those missing out on gardens, of whom there are many? Some gardens (sensibly) do allow dogs in to smell the roses, and all credit to them. Providing they are on a leash, under control and "picked up" promptly (and to be fair, most of them are) I can't see the problem - and think of all that extra admission money from those presently deterred.

Anyway, one final plea to those who decide: please start using a symbol in your literature and on your websites to indicate whether or not your garden is dog-friendly, if only to spare us all a wasted trip.

Andrew Hewson is a freelance writer and columnist.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Continual learning is an essential part of the job and professionals should embed it in their work process, says Alan Sargent.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources