Merlin Style Gardening

There is no “The End” to be written, neither can you, like an architect, engrave in stone the day the garden was finished; a painter can frame his picture, a composer notate his coda, but a garden is always on the move.-   Mirabel Osler

Sometimes the garden is more about the animals than the garden.  At least on this homestead.  Take Merlin and Tucker.  Alpha dogs like no other.  Before Merlin, Tucker was my problem child.  Now it’s Merlin.  Merlin in particular can’t stand it when Tucker gets more attention.  If he does, Merlin intercepts in a way only Merlin can, by throwing himself at you.

The dog deck in Merlin’s Garden had actually been designed for Tucker as a way to prevent erosion on the first bank of our terraced yard, which he was slowly causing by his back kick “I am the king” stance usually in full swing when other dogs passed by on the street.  I had a carpenter build the deck with a railing along with a raised vegetable bed.  It worked pretty well on combating the problem.  Until, that is, Merlin came along.

The railing was not high enough for our agile young basset hound who gracefully leaps across it with a wild “no, I am the king” jump in defiance of Tucker and yours truly.  If I thought dogs possessed egos like us I could swear he was showing off.  He looks like a gazelle actually which for a basset hound is an astonishing contradiction.  I was able to deter some of that leaping tendency when I put a picket fence all along that first bank to prevent the boy from leading his other brothers through the area in a chase after his royal highness, or rather, royal pain in the butt.   When they couldn’t follow it wasn’t as much fun for Merlin.

The dog who would be king. Merlin and Tucker on the dog deck.

Garden design is perfect only on the first day.   Then you realize that one thing you missed in your plan.    I didn’t think when I had the dog deck built that I would soon gain a spirited lad who saw it as agility training equipment.  Of course, the perfect garden is for folks with no dogs, no weeds, no cats, no chaos.    On occasion, you wish you had less of the chaos, but you also realize beauty is nothing without the ability to laugh as well.  I call it Merlin style gardening.  Ever changing.  Always on the move.  Certainly worth a good chuckle now and again.

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