Today we installed the beginning of the Willow Bed at the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden. That meant 20 bags of shredded bark to keep the weeds from re-appearing; a stone path surrounding a beautiful relocated bench built by other Homeward Bound volunteers; and the first of many planned plants joining the Bearded Iris, Japanese Maples and Redwood including Japanese Forest Grass, Heuchera, and a few small compact bamboo shrubs. These will multiply, and will be accompanied by African Iris, Astilbe, Black Mondo Grass, Lily Turf and more.

It instantly created a welcome, shady spot at least 10 degrees below the surrounding sunny paths. How welcome? We saw more dogs and dog walkers in the garden today than we have in the past few weeks! Each stopping to rest on the bench, enjoy the breeze, and take in one of the best views of the Gardens.

When it is done, this will be one of my favorite beds. It is already dog-approved judging by Butterscotch’s reaction.  She decided to take a roll in the bark, like most dogs roll in grass. Butterscotch is not exactly a pure bred Golden – more like a “Golden Plus”,  but her volunteer dog walker Allie doesn’t mind. They make a great pair!

The Gardens were also packed with camera-shy volunteer Gardeners. Joanne came by before the dog training class. These dedicated volunteers increase the odds of placement by bringing out the best in each dog.  In fast order she weeded several of the beds. (How do you not love a volunteer gardener with a preference for weeding?!) Sue is in the same training class, arriving early to spend some time weeding and deep watering. She left with a surprise – more on that later. Vonnie and Randy came out with son in tow to add some more plants to the Butterfly Garden – over the very loud objection of the Killdeer Bird who guards her nest in their bed.

While we have attracted bees in droves, and spotted a few Hummingbirds already, Vonnie was worried about the shortage of Butterflies so far. Not to worry. This little white one was spotted not long after you departed. Perhaps a Cabbage White one? Please weigh in if you know your butterflies!  We’ll see many more, I’m sure.

It was a long, very warm, day in the garden…with lots accomplished including drip lines to three of the beds, thanks to Maria’s expertise. (I’m sure she left near sunset…again!) More pictures and stories to follow. One blog at a time!

Thanks to all the volunteer gardeners. Things are looking great in the Homeward Bound Memorial Gardens!

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

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