Saturday, 11 August 2018

One Dog, Six Gardens

Mr BigNose as we met him 10 years ago.
Last week, it was such a challenge to find six gardeny things for #SixonSaturday, I figured that'd be it for a few weeks.  Unless something interesting happened, of course.

Well, our ~15 year old dog, Mr BigNose, had a non-life threatening medical episode that's taken a fair amount of nursing.

I'd already been checking him for signs of life every morning, & now that he's sick . . . well, it got real special.

Spend time with an old friend, you spend time with memories.  I realised that, during our 10 years together, Mr BN has dug himself a little den in 6 separate gardens.

So this week, the gardens of Mr BigNoseDog.

1. Five gardens ago.

This is where we learned the personal quirks of Mr BigNose, including that he loved snow.  My favourite thing about this place was a small orchard that took up a quarter of the back garden.

Orchard in winter.

In spring, primrose, fritillaria, bee orchids, & leucojum bloomed under the trees.

Under the apple trees.

Montjak grazed that orchard, often enticing BN on a chase over the fence into the neighbour's garden.  Hard to believe Mr BigNose used to jump fences but, as you can see in the first photo, he once had a waist.

2.  Four gardens ago.

Comprised of grounds surrounding a 17th century rectory & 1950s era church, this garden had space enough for orchard, pond, wasteland, small meadow.  And beds?  O my, the beds, including but not limited to . . .

The Prison Yard.

. . . which was a walled laundry yard where the flowers we planted eventually grew hip high with only a small path to a breakfast nook.  Then there was the . . .

Church garden

. . . running the length of the church.  We planted a mix of flowers & veg with a good third devoted to the sweetest strawberries I've ever eaten.  Not that BN cared about them.  What he liked best was the . . .

Miles of dog-chasing lawn.

3.  Three gardens ago.

This garden came with the previous owners' cats, a stoat family living at the bottom of the garden, the marauding lop-earred bunny from the neighbours on the left, & plenty of shade cast by the right side neighbours' junk trees.

But it had a kickass pond.

Fish included!

Mr BigNose wasn't concerned about any of these things, as there was a new addition to the family.

The puppy who would grow into Mlle DoodleFace.

4.  Two gardens ago.

My favourite of the six gardens.  Even after years of neglect, the original design retained its visual artistry.  Because it bordered a small copse, we had wildlife in on a daily basis, despite the dogs & cats.

A fox family visited every night, alerting the dogs & subsequently everyone else.  Mr BN would then do his arthritic Hercule Poirot run up & down, up & down that fence, chasing fox scent to his heart's delight.

Bridge over a man-made rill connecting 3 ponds.

BigNose dug a record of 3 dens in this garden.  See how grey he'd gotten in 8 years.

Chilling by pond #1 w/the great, late Bast.

5.  Last garden.

So we went from my favourite garden to the only garden I can ever remember hating.

As I've said before, though, I'm a sucker for nearly any tree.  I fell hard for the apple tree right outside the back door with wisteria crazy-growing up it.

Blooming together

Both dogs shared my distaste for this garden, spending most of their time inside.  BigNose started watching for fox from the comfort of his green chair.

Sun struck.

6.  Present garden.

Another neglected garden - aren't they all when you rent?  Six months ago, the potential shone everywhere here, though . . . & then we got the drought.  I don't remember gardening through a drought before.

Feeling poorly on the burnt out lawn.

Some of your beautiful flowerbeds have shown me it's possible to get colour in a drought.  And while it's been an interesting learning experience, to be sure, I hope this summer's the last of my on-the-job training.

Decapitated mullein celebrates a 2nd bloom.

Trucking the moors.

There we have it, Mr BigNoseDog's six gardens.  Thanks for coming along while I visited the past decade with the old guy.

If you'd like to read more garden #SixonSaturday blogs, drop over to The Propagator .  He not only has useful guidelines to writing your own Six, but hosts links to Sixers from all over the world in his Six on Saturday comment section.

As ever, thanks for dropping by.  See you next week, if something interesting happens.


  1. Great post linking all your gardens to MR BN. What do you call your dogs for short? I like the photo of the mournful face looking over the bridge parapet!

    1. That face is why he's so fat - one look from those brown eyes & I cave. I don't use any real names in my blog - not people, not pets. Mr BN's name is only 5 letters, often shortened to 2.

  2. We've had a week of fretting over one of our cats; it's a reminder how much they mean to you when they're ill.

    1. Exactly. Even tho the vet said the illness wouldn't kill him, I had trouble believing my ancient dog'd get well. But he is. Really hope you have the same result.

  3. A wonderful post. You and Mr. BigNose have shared some fabulous gardens.

  4. I've thoroughly enjoyed viewing your past and present gardens through the eyes of Mr. BN. Great post, Lora!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Was good to memory-walk those gardens w/him while he's been sick.

  5. That first garden looks like a dog's paradise!
    I hope Mr BigNose is feeling better :)

    1. He's been pretty happy in 5 of the 6 gardens. As to his health, he's coming along. He thinks he's healthier than he is, & doesn't understand why his walk isn't all the way to the field yet. We'll get there, though. One day soon.

  6. you told us a beautiful story with these 6 gardens ... I hope your dog will be a little better soon even he's old.(#4 and #6 are my favorite pictures)

    1. Thanks, Fred. We've had some really wonderful & really awful gardens. Mr BN's really improved a lot, but it'll take a few weeks before he's himself. He's very impatient w/us for not taking him to the meadow!

  7. Hold on just a minute! The dog's real name is NOT Mr Bignose??? Shut the front door! An outrageous fraud has been perpetrated on the good denizens of SoS. All along I've been thinking, such quirky names for those dogs, how lovely! But no! I may never get over the deception. Sigh. 8-)

    I trust Mr Fraudy BigNose is on the mend. That church garden looks fabulous, my favourite. I would be very happy in that garden I think.

    1. Think you would've loved that whole garden, it was so huge. All your plants would fit there w/room for plenty more. As to my breaking trust w/the SoS community, totally unforgivable, it's true. However, the names I use here are the ones we use when we talk about the dogs in front of them, so they don't come running over to see what we want. Not much of an excuse, so I can only throw myself on the mercy of the SoS court.

    2. Am kidding of course, nothing to forgive. As judge jury and executioner of this here parish,i pronounce you innocent.

    3. You are most merciful for a hanging judge.

  8. Mr. BN - how perfect is that!!!!! What a wonderful trip down memory lane!