Dog-Path Garden Path

The main Dog-Path Garden path used to run right along the water race between Middle Bridge and Willow Bridge. Maintenance wasn't all that easy, though, as the water level rose and fell. Some months I thought I'd got it well weeded. Then soon after I'd realise I was wrong.

 That's Rusty the red Border Collie and Non-Gardening Partner.
Dog and Man on the Dog-Path

I tried laying weed mat over the path and covering it with small stones. Not really the answer - the weeds just grew happily on the top. I tried more stones, even sneaky applications of weed killer. But the water level in the race can rise when the Waimakariri river is in flood, and silt washes down the water, providing a great germinating ground.

 It's hard to keep this area weed free without spraying.
Dog-Path Garden Path - 2003

And then there was the small matter of plant size miscalculations. Oops. That's been totally my fault. My earlier plantings along the Dog-Path Garden path allowed a walker (whether human or canine) clear access. Tussocks used to flop over the small stone retaining wall, and the Phormiums were modest in size. But things changed. Many of the Phormiums (which love being by water) bulked out and blocked the path. And they are so gorgeous...

 Viewed from near my bonfire.
The Dog-Path Garden

So now the dog-path exists in small, discrete sections. The dogs don't mind - they just jump in and out of the water. Every now and then I'll dig out a Carex which has just become too old, or a Phormium which has got too big and messy.

Warning about weed mat...

And just a personal observation, which anyone reading this can take or leave. The weed mat was a dreadful idea, and I wouldn't ever use it again. I've ended up ripping all of it out. I've gone back my natural weeding regime, sloshing down the water race slicing out offenders.