The virtues of dogs and gardens

Maria was out at the Memorial Garden today doing some January clean-up and bare root planting. I’m jealous; missing both the pups and the garden. Funny how I’m drawn to such seemingly different obsessions. Dogs offer unconditional love;


gardens require conditions that are just right for sharing their bounty with you. Too warm and they shrivel; too cold and they withhold; too wet and they wilt.


Dogs are grateful; give them food and water, an old blanket, a worn tennis ball, and a pat and they will reward you with devotion.


Gardens have never-ending demands. Water and feed precisely; weed continuously; prune judiciously; stake correctly; and divide appropriately to coax that hoped-for display.


Dogs are loyal; gardens plant their seeds with abandon and will turn on you the minute you take them for granted.


Dogs are defenders; gardens are thorn-bearers.


“Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is a triumph of hope over experience.”
~ Marina Schinz

Maybe that is it. Gardens are like the rescued dogs of Homeward Bound; an exercise in patience, the consistent the application of kindness, and most of all, hope. The reward: blossoming trust and love. Both leave me breathless.


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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.

12 thoughts on “The virtues of dogs and gardens”

  1. Maybe this wonderful combination of gardening and rescues is why this is such an uplifting blog to read. I look forward to each and every post and all of the handsome pups and beautiful flowers.

  2. what a beautiful comparison….funny how I love them both but if I had to chose give me the warm devotion of a dog any day because it is like having beauty of a garden at your feet

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