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These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

You love spending time outdoors with family over tasty grilled delicious goodness and you love spending time outdoors with your dog even more. But before you turn your back for even just one minute, make sure you know what kind of plants live in your garden. Even common plants that aren’t poisonous to humans can be extremely deadly to your pooch.

 

Every dog owner should be aware of the plant life thriving in the backyard, because even if the plants look pretty, they can be very fatal. As a pet owner, it is important that you be familiar with the most dangerous of the toxic plants.

1. Tulips

1 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

Tulip plants could pose a danger to your curious pup. All plants of this species contain toxic chemicals that, if ingested by your dog, can poison him. Tulip bulbs contain most of the toxins in the plant itself, but there are still low amounts of these substances throughout the stems, leaves, and flowers.

The actual bulb portion of this plant can result in drooling, gastrointestinal irritation, central nervous system depression, cardiac complications, and convulsions.

If you suspect your pup has ingested any of your tulip plants, stems or bulbs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

2. Azaleas

2 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

The toxins of this plant can lead to severe consequences. Dogs that attempt to eat azalea may drool, suffer from vomiting, diarrhoea, central nervous system depression, and weakening, and worse, coma or death.

The effects of azalea poisoning are usually noticeable within a few hours of ingestion, and the severity of the effects depends greatly on how much of the plant your pet has eaten. The poisoning is actually caused by a substance known as grayanotoxin, which the azalea plant contains. With treatment, many animals that suffer from azalea poisoning recover fully, but you must seek a veterinarian’s help immediately and be sure to let them know that you suspect azalea poisoning.

Veterinarians treat animal grayanotoxin poisoning in much the same way as regular doctors do.  Veterinarians can flush your pet’s system with activated charcoal or saline to try to remove as much poison as possible from the gastrointestinal tract. The veterinarian will also likely administer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and low blood pressure.

3. Castor Beans

3 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

Another common ornamental plant, castor beans contain a toxin called ricin, which can cause severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and in more severe instances, twitching, tremors, seizures, coma, and death. The ASPCA warns that castor bean plants are highly poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses. The beans of the plant are particularly dangerous, although the ricin protein exists throughout all of its parts. This means that no one component of the plant is safe for a pet, although the beans are especially risky.

Seeds will burn a dog’s mouth and throat, and can be lethal, even if just an ounce is consumed.

It is vital to make sure your dog never goes near a castor bean plant, much less puts any part of it into his mouth. When a dog consumes castor bean plants, it may lead to a variety of extremely dangerous consequences, including seizures, coordination problems, vision dullness, fever, abnormal thirst, rapid heartbeat, sweating, irritation of the mouth, excessive salivation, and loss of appetite. In rare cases, castor bean consumption can even be deadly. In general, these symptoms do not appear instantly, but between 12 hours and 2 days of consumption. Even ingesting a very negligible amount of the beans can lead to severe results in pets. Any and all of these symptoms call for veterinary help as soon as possible.

4. Sago Palm

4 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

The whole plant of sago palm is poisonous to animals, and its seeds and nuts are the deadliest. This decorative plant has poisonous leaves, and not to mention, extremely poisonous seeds. A mere one seed can kill a dog.

If your dog gets into this plant, he might exhibit vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, seizures, and liver failure caused by toxins in the plant known as “cycasin.” It can be fatal, and even the smallest amounts ingested by your dog warrants for an immediate trip to your vet. This plant is one of the most toxic for pets with a mortality rate of approximately 30%.

5. Foxtails

5 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

Foxtails are among the most dangerous plants for dogs, and they aren’t necessarily eaten. This weed is primarily found west of the Mississippi River. Once the sharp, barbed seeds of the foxtail stick become imbedded in your pet, they can cause abscesses and infection. If a seed goes up your dog’s nose—a common occurrence when sniffing—it can eventually travel to his brain and kill him or her.

If you live in an area where foxtails are common, check your dog and yourself thoroughly and inspect the paws and face especially well. If you find a foxtail head, remove it with tweezers. If the area appears swollen or you can’t get the seed head out, take your dog to the vet. Dogs that have in fact inhaled foxtails may suffer nasal discharge or frequent sneezing.

6. Heavenly Bamboo

6 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

This plant may be called “heavenly,” but it’s far from it. Heavenly bamboo is a very popular landscape shrub in the South because it grows in sun or shade and is nearly impossible to kill. The plant bears large clusters of bright-red, long-lasting berries in fall and winter that are great for holiday decorating.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the plant, though, as it can kill your pets. The berries of the Nandina plant contain hydrocyanic acid and are poisonous to cats, dogs, and other grazing animals, and they can cause animals to experience seizures, comas, respiratory failure, and death. They are considered nontoxic to humans but may cause stomach pain if ingested.

7. Deathly Nightshade

7 These 7 Plants Could Kill Your Pet….And May Be In Your Own Backyard!

 

There’s nothing that says “pleasant” about the name “deadly nightshade,” and both the foliage and the berries of this plant are extremely toxic. Deadly nightshade has a long, colourful history of use as a poison, but what many people don’t realise is that the nightshade family includes common food plants, including potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants.

In fact, all of these plants contain toxins—usually in their foliage—that can be very harmful. In particular, both humans and pets should avoid potato and tomato foliage and vines in the garden.

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7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

Your backyard should be a safe haven for your family and pets where you can enjoy fun activities such as small outdoor barbecue parties or simple dinner, but all too often, you spend the summer months battling malicious mosquitos, deadly plants, and not to mention, sunburns and sun poisoning. As if that wasn’t enough, there may be larger dangers hiding under your bushes, too. Urban sprawl has eliminated important habitat for larger critters like skunks, possums, and even bears that may decide your oak tree, flower bed, or crawlspace is the next best thing to home.

In fact, your trash may attract wildlife in the first place, but after they recognise that your property is a nice place to hang out in, you could start seeing those creatures a lot more often. Not to mention, these critters can transmit potentially life-threatening diseases, and many of them will attack when frightened or challenged. A few may even view your pets as a potential food source. Animals aren’t the only problem, as everyday activities, such as mowing the lawn, could lead to a potentially-fatal injury, or worse.

These seven death traps may be in, or happen in, your very own backyard.

1. Ticks

11 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

There are more than 800 species of ticks on the planet, and some of them can carry life-threatening diseases, including Lyme disease and even Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks don’t usually hang out in open, full-sun lawns, but you might find plenty of them on the fringes in more shaded areas.

Ticks are transmitters of diseases to both humans and animals. Ticks can transmit disease to many hosts, and ticks act as transmitters when microbes in their saliva and mouth secretions get into the host’s skin and blood.

To avoid bites from these pesky creatures, always be sure to wear closed-toed shoes whilst doing yard work and spending time outdoors. It’s always helpful to perform a “tick check” when you are about to go back inside, as it may take you days to discover a tick on your body.

2. Lawnmower Incidents

21 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

Around 80,000 people are sent to the hospital each year by what many see as a routine activity: mowing the lawn. This usually happens after a stick or a rock ricochets off the spinning blade, flies through the air, and hits us right in the eye.

But other injuries are even more gruesome, including the occasional fractured (or severed) foot. Keep in mind that the majority of lawnmower injuries happen to children younger than 15 and adults over 60.

3. Fire Ants

31 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

Fire ants range in colour from red-brown to black, and build nests or mounds about a foot high, usually in grassy areas like lawns and pastures. Unlike most anthills, fire ant nests have no single entrance—rather, the ants crawl all over the hill. Fire ants are very aggressive when their nest is disturbed, and if provoked, they swarm on the perceived intruder, anchor themselves by biting the skin, and then sting repeatedly.

Usually, the painful sting of a fire ant, which feels like a lit match being pressed into your skin, won’t kill you, but every year, there are a number of fatalities resulting from fire-ant stings, due to either an allergic reaction to the ants’ venom or a high number of stings to those whose mobility is limited, such as the elderly or infirm.

4. Deadly Plants, including Water Hemlock

41 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

Deemed by the USDA as the most deadly plant in North America, the water hemlock contains a toxin called Cicutoxin, a violent convulsant, which acts as a stimulant in the central nervous system, causing seizures—which include loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions—and eventual death.

Water hemlock is different from poison hemlock (the plant which killed Socrates), in that it contains coniine alkaloids that kill by paralysing a victim’s respiratory system.

5. Venomous Snakes

51 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

Each year, approximately 8,000 venomous snakebites occur in the United States, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. And an overgrown lawn provides perfect cover for rattlesnakes and copperheads.

Snakes are classic agoraphobics, with a profound fear of wide-open spaces where they’re easily exposed, so the best way to ensure they stay off your lawn is to keep it well mowed. Snakes also love to hide out in woodpiles and wooded areas, which makes them hard to spot and potentially lethal. Poisonous snakes thrive in a number of areas of the U.S., but the distinctive rattlesnake likes to stay cool in shady areas, like under shrubs, during hot summer afternoons.

Other ways to ward off snakes is to purchase a scarecrow equipped with a motion detector that shoots water at them and other critters when they come onto your lawn.

6. Dog Poop

61 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

Hate cleaning up the lawn after your pet? Well, believe it or not, you might be putting your entire family at risk of acquiring intestinal worms. Roundworms are often found in dog feces and can easily migrate into whichever patch of lawn Scout prefers to do his business. The danger kicks in when, say, your son picks up a football that’s come into contact with the infected soil, then touches his mouth with his hands.

The roundworms travel to his intestines, lay their eggs, and spread like wildfire, leading to symptoms ranging from breathing trouble to weight loss and diarrhoea. What’s worse is that roundworms can cause ocular larva migrans, which occur when worm larvae attack the retina, leading to blindness.

7. A Lawn Fire

71 7 Things That Can Kill You in Your Own Backyard

A well-maintained lawn can provide an excellent barrier between a house and the surrounding woods when it comes to wildfire protection. But a lawn so dry that it’s turning brown can turn into a huge disaster from a tossed off cigarette or a wayward blast of lightning. This is especially true in drought-prone areas.

To avoid starting a fire, do not throw cigarettes on the ground, do not burn leaves or trash outdoors, and be sure to rake leaves and debris, keep your grass cut short, and keep extra caution with loose branches and debris in drier climates.

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Welcoming Spring: Your Must-Do Garden Preparations for the Blooming Season

 

Ah, spring! ‘Tis the season to wake up your garden to a new growing adventure. Spring in stores a lot of blossoming surprises that is why garden enthusiasts like you waited eagerly for this time to, well, spring!

But the full-blown garden scene has to come a bit later. Plenty of work has to be done first. So to get the best of this season, shake the long numbing-cold winter off and put the eager gardener in you to work.

Yard Tasks

First things first. Do the following checklist of tasks that highly need your attention once you step into your backyard.

1. Clean up the yard.

shutterstock 153715040 Welcoming Spring: Your Must Do Garden Preparations for the Blooming Season

Do a general cleaning by removing leaves and other debris from your lawn, taking note of areas that need reseeding. Remove the overhanging tree limbs from every plant or other structures. If you have perennials from last year, cut down foliage and reserve it for your compost bin. Divide clumped perennials for later replanting or sharing with friends. You can also start fixing fences, gates and trellis so you’ll have more time focusing on your plants after tidying up.

2. Wash and polish your garden tools.

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Your tools need some brush up too after months of non-use and hiding in the garden shed or basement. Shears and hand pruners may have accumulated dirt that, if left unwashed, could infect your newly-pruned plants. Almost all tools are easier to work with when cleaned and sharpened so take the time to hone those spades, trowels and hoes with a file and apply lubricating oil. A nice lawn or garden storage shed make a nice shelter for your ever-dependable tools.

3. Prune shrubs and trees.

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If you haven’t got around to pruning your trees before or during winter, now is the best time to do so. Remove damaged or dead, or worst, diseased branches from plants. But take note whether a certain plant is best pruned before spring growth or right after flowering. Fruit tree pruning is best done in late winter or early spring. Thin dead foliage too before new growth begins and thinning becomes difficult.

4. Track down garden pests.

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Slugs, snails, aphids and larvae may have been sheltering in the crowns or flip sides of your plants for the winter. Go after these hibernating pests before gardening in more plants. There’s a slew of pest control materials and methods to choose from but best to start with more natural means like homemade remedies or beneficial insects that will prey on the harmful ones.

5. Prepare the beds and reinvigorate the soil.

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It’s a lot easier now to pull out weeds so go through it and rake the mulch that remained on the bed over the winter. But how will you know if your soil is ready for gardening since winter weather takes a hard toll on garden soil? An easy guide is to grab a handful of soil, squeeze it tightly, then open your fist. The soil should crumble instead of forming clumps. Take a soil test for pH level if necessary and enrich accordingly: add dolomitic lime to raise pH or sulphur to lower pH. Add in some compost or well-rotted manure too, using a spading fork to mix in everything perfectly well.

Getting into planting

Everything is cleaned, treated and in order, so it’s time to get digging, right? Wrong. Take a while to picture in mind the kind of spring garden you want to achieve. That is, if the wintertime hasn’t stopped you at all from sifting through catalogues and seed-starting guides or from gardening indoors. But if not, decide on the feel you want for new growths or plants in seasons to grow.

To give you a lift, here are some of the viable plants to grow in your garden this season.

Spring Flowers

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Bulbs
Spring-planted bulbs are some of the most scenic and colourful garden flowers. Make sure not to cut off their leaves when they have finished flowering.

  • Tulip, Crocus, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Dahlia, Lily, Amaryllis

Shrubs. Some of these bushes have more visual impact than pretty flowers and produce blooms that are fragrant. Prune spring-flowering shrubs after flowering.

  • Rhododendron, Camellia, Viburnum, Forsythia, Lilac, Azalea

Blossom Trees. Deciduous as they may be, these trees give a year-round delight starting of course with dream-like blooms during spring.

  • Snowy Mespilus, Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Pyrus, Flowering Dogwood, Cherry Tree

Vegetables

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Garden vegetables are usually planted when the soil is warm but March can be a great time to plant cool-season vegetables that can withstand the last frost days of the month. You may opt to plant these vegetables directly in the soil, or underneath a row cover, or in containers. For a continual harvest, plant several varieties each.

  • Lettuce, Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, Turnips, Radish, Cucumber, Onions

Herbs

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Lend your springtime recipes with the unmistakable flavours and fragrance of herbs this season. Plus, some of these edibles are medicinal, too, which the professional “Wildman” Steve Brill loves to teach. You can enjoy these resources by dedicate a row or backyard for herbs or grow it on your kitchen windowsill for easy reach.

  • Chives, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Basil, Mint

Fruits

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Fresh fruits abound all year-round, but knowing and eating the kind of fruits that grow in a particular season give you the more nutritional edge. Spring-bearing fruits include:

  • Avocados, Blueberries, Lemons, Pineapple, Apricot, Strawberries, Kiwi

Shrubs and Trees

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Woody plants like trees and shrubs add character and practical use in any landscape. When thoroughly maintained, these plants will live through a background for a lifetime. The European Boxwood and Topiary Society is at the forefront of promoting the art and knowledge of keeping these plants alive.

  • Holly, Yew, Field Maple, Juniper, Sweet Briar, Boxwood, Woolly Willow

 

Spring highlights a variety of garden plants but you can always choose to plant perennials or your personal pick. Simply make your spring gardening inspirational and very soon you’ll enjoy the “fruits” of your labour.

 

 


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Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Spring is peeking from behind the curtains of winter and is ready to transform the entire environment into a non-stop giddy growth of all thing lovely and beautiful. We will see the grass grow green again and the flowers bloom. The leaves will begin to sprout and the small furry animals will begin to pop their head out of their holes to sniff and inspect the environment. And while you’re at it, you might also want to start setting up your gas barbecue grill as spring also means small outdoor parties. Or what do you say you take out your dusty backyard trampoline for your kids to play on? Oh the endless things spring can bring!


Why not jump on the bandwagon? Spruce up the garden with these simple ideas to turn your garden or patio spring ready. Spring cleaning is awesome and you’ll get more out of it than just cleanliness. Have a try at these and get your garden ready for spring!

 

32 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Repurpose the Garden Furniture by repainting with monochromatic colours.

You stored them away for winter, now is the time to bust them out of the storage. Why not give extra pizzazz by painting your garden furniture with what colour you like or what you think will blend well with your garden and paint everything with that colour.

You can paint it according to the appeal you want your garden furnitures to have. Red for strong appeal and excitement, paint it blue if you want it to look calm and reflective, and maybe even orange for fun and warmth.

You can learn more about the psychological properties of colour and you’ll know what perfectly matches your personality.

 

22 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Repaint with Rainbow colours.

If you can’t pick a colour, why not use all of them? Rainbow coloured furniture matches the energetic and vibrant atmosphere of spring. Blend all the colors you know and have a blast. Let the family in the painting too. This is a fun idea that you and your family will enjoy.

 

42 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Put up a patio dining table and enjoy fun family gathering.

What’s better than to bask in the warmth of the sun or the cool night breeze Mediterranean style? Have your lunch or supper and make memories with style. It’s a fairly simple approach yet it can work wonders in transforming your garden. We all know that good ambience will add flavour to any meal.

 

52 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Paint the old patio umbrella.

You can make stencils give the patio umbrella a new look and fresh design. Let the designer inside of you spring out. You can use stencils in designing the umbrella. Pinterest is always a good place to look for resources.

 

62 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Stain those massive wooden furniture instead of paint to bring out the natural colours.

Garden furniture, especially the big and clunky ones might have had to endure the effects of winter weather. Give those massive wood furniture some love by letting the beauty of wood grain pop out. Give them a fresh look as well as protection additional protection from the weather.

72 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Enjoy the spring by hanging a hammock.

Put up one and you’ll be glad you did. You can relax and at the same time enjoy time outside of the house. If you have kids, they would love this idea. Lie down and let the fun under the sun roll.

82 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Decorate around a couch.

If you don’t fancy a hammock and value the security of having a stable lounger, get a couch instead and decorate around it. Add lamps, put vases around it, or fill it with pillows. Design it however you want, the choice is yours. Make sure that the couch is weatherproof and can accommodate lots of people because it will be used a lot.

 

9 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Mix chairs with other chairs you have lying around or in storage.

You’ll surprise yourself with the satisfying effect of finding random design just fitting together. Just go crazy. Good times always start with a little insanity. Not only that, you also get to use any garden furniture that has been stored for a long time.

Another idea worth mentioning is that you can paint them with the same colours to make them match even more.

 

10 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Hang a canopy.

You can use canvas, silk cloth or even a blanket. It could be made from any material strong enough to block the sun and withstand the wind. Not only will it protect you from direct sunlight but also protects your garden from being boring. Now your garden has a cape, we should call it Super Garden.

 

111 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Install an outdoor bar and barbecue grill.

What better way could you celebrate spring? Celebrate with your family and friends. Get yourself a bar and a grill in your garden. If you’ve been looking to get a backyard grill, this spring, go get one.

 

121 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Light up.

Put lights in the most creative places you can think of. There’s nothing like properly placed lights. The lights will accent the beauty of your garden. Augment your favorite spot and make them look stunning by highlighting them with a bunch of lights

Bunny Guinness wrote an article here explaining the possibilities and range of garden lighting.

 

13 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Try out colourful lights.

Pop colours work best and never fail to impress the guests. You want your garden to be appealing to you and your guests. So don’t be afraid to try out the modern colours to make a good impression. Plan it out, play it out and let your creativity flow.

 

14 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Put up some lamps outside.

If you have an extra lamp inside your house, then it is time to put one outside. Your garden furniture will pop right out because of the warm feel that the lamp brings. You now have a fancy outdoor reading nook where you can enjoy your weekend and your favorite book.

 

15 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Light up the garden path.

Use any lighting materials. You can even use torches to add romantic Tropical effect. Or you can even hang lights on trees and make them look like fire flies. You’re hitting two birds with one stone: well lighted and beautiful pathway.

 

16 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Build a treehouse.

You may have one when you were young or you have yet to have one. Every day is a good time to have a treehouse. It is a simple getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The memories that will follow will make the effort worthwhile. Here’s a guide on how to make a simple one. Note that in the UK, you have to ask a planning permission before the build.

17 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Decorate rocks.

This is a pretty simple project you and your kids can do. Make this a bonding moment for you and your family. You can also paint the rocks the name of the vegetable if you have an allotment.

18 Spruce Up Your Home and Garden this Spring with these Simple Ideas

Purchase new garden furniture.

Sell the old ones and buy new ones. It is always great to have new furniture. Spring is about starting again and seeing new things. So why not invest in quality furniture this season?

 

No matter how long the winter was, spring always comes and it brings new life and joy to all things.Your garden can also find happiness with less than a little effort. Mix and match these ideas to make a new unique idea of your own.

What do you think? These are simple but can effectively spruce up your garden and make you feel better about springtime. Do you have any more ideas that you think should be included in this list? Tell us what you think in the comments.