Project Casa-de-Nishi Commences

We recently moved into our new home. It was not really our choice to move out of our old apartment, nor was the current choice of apartment something that thrilled us to bits. I want to say, we did not have much choice in the whole matter. But I refuse to say that and there is a truck load of ranting that will unload if I decide to discuss this. I’m guessing no one reading this blog would care for that truck load. So let’s just move on…

Anyways, our current apartment is half the size of the old one and clearly anyone would wonder if we have suffered attack on our coffers. Steering clear of the coffers issue, let me assure you that the real reason we moved into this house lies hidden outside the house. Yup…you heard me, we moved in for what was out – the garden.

I figured that I am out of the house for 12 hours a day. Uttam will perhaps do the same. So the only person who will be at home most of the time is Nishi. Oh yeah, I did call her a person. Anyone surprised by that? If you have read any of my previous blogs, then I guess not. So back to this “person”, who spends most of her time at home, I figured, that a house that works best for her would work best for our family. The garden space here is twice that of indoor space and so far, this arrangement has worked great for us.

Now that we are here, with such a massive garden, we got to think of gardening right? So I have been doing intense research on dog friendly gardens. I think my name should be Binary. My erstwhile bosses have mentioned and my sister often teases me that if I take up something it is with all gusto else I don’t give two hoots about it – All or Nothing 🙂 So in my gardening “all”, I have picked up several tips that I think might be very useful for pet owners. I am going to combine that with the infrastructural availability in India to present what best we can do in India for our doggies.

Dog-Friendly Garden Tip #1:  “Go for Container Gardening“. Meaning: take off everything from the floor and put them in containers of different kinds. This tip was repeated in almost all resources I referred. There are far too many ways in which dogs can destroy lawns – they can just charge up and down the lawn, dig it up furiously looking for God knows what, crap on it (and then you have to spend hours inspecting every sq centimeter of your lawn). Plus, the way Nishi bolts in and out of the garden, she brings in half the garden into the house. While I love the concept of living outdoors, I think Nishi and I have different notions of bringing the outdoors indoors. So, a filler like wood chips, gravel, tiles, sand etc are highly recommended.

I’ll briefly visit why I rejected most of the suggestions and settled on sand. Anything permanent like tiles or mosiac was out, as this is a rented house. I don’t intend to stay that long. So making something permanent sounded absurd to me. Wood chips could be dangerous because some dogs tend to chew on it. Nishi herself might not. But I frequently have other dogs over and I cannot risk them choking on splinters. Uttam was quite partial to pea gravel, but for me it was a big no no. Given Nishi’s poor hind legs, I was keen on providing her a soft surface. Plus, when there is a dog “pawrty”, some dogs get too excited and poop on the party…or during the party…whatever. Cleaning it up from gravel when I am in pencil heels is not an option for me. So, sand was eventual choice. As I write this blog, sand is being packed into the garden. Let’s see how that works out. If it does not, do follow this blog and you will be duly notified 🙂  

Now we come to the containers – the most exciting part. Containers don’t have to be boring pots. Any area with barriers will work. We started building out our first “container” yesterday – A spiral garden. I bought 200kgs of rocks from the nursery close to home and it took Uttam, Nishi and I a few hours to build this last night. I don’t know about Uttam, but Nishi and I had a blast. Nishi kept trying to add her toys into the spiral garden. She would come, inspect, sigh disapproval and then leave only to return with a toy and chuck it in. After the whole thing I played a few rounds of fetch with her and we wrapped up nice and muddy. Just the way we all like it. Wonder how long this vacation period will last. But for now, we are having fun. I will post more tips as I “unearth” them 🙂

The Beginning of a Spiral Garden – Part of Container Gardening

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