Tips, tricks and lists for a pet-friendly summer garden

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With the RHS Flower Show starting next week you might tune in to find some inspiration for your summer garden. There are a few things to consider when picking your favourite flowers, bulbs and seeds when you have pets. The main thing is to make sure you don’t pick any toxic plants. Dogs and cats spend a lot of time in the garden and it should be as safe as possible so we’ve come up with a list of plants you should avoid for your perfect garden design.


The Wisteria pods are poisonous so it’s best to avoid this at all costs, whether your dog is at their chew-everything-in-site stage or a grumpy grandad. It’s better to be on the safe side as it can cause vomiting and tummy upset amongst other things.

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As perfect as these may be for your hanging baskets and corner displays, they are toxic to pets. It can cause skin rashes, lethargy, loss of appetite, and low blood pressure. Best avoid these!


Yet another favourite for hanging baskets and border bedding, but another toxic flower to avoid. Begonia’s can cause excessive drooling, swelling of the throat, and difficulty swallowing.


Lilies are poisonous to cats and dogs. They should be avoided in a vase on the windowsill and outdoors. The whole of the lily plant is toxic to cats, including the pollen. Lilies can cause nausea and vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite and if it’s left untreated it will affect the kidneys which result in bad news.

Whenever you buy planted flowers, seeds or bulbs please double check whether they’re toxic or poisonous. You can always check with someone that works at the garden centre, some shops even specify on signs or labels if they’re safe for pets.

Here’s a list of plants to use instead, safe and sound for you and your pets:

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Sunflowers – kids and bees will love these too!

Fuchsia – perfect for those hanging baskets!

Magnolia – the ever-green Magnolia is perfect all year around.

Petunia – another for hanging baskets and border bedding.

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