“Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.”

                       — Lyrics from Over the Rainbow


I’ve raised the white flag.  But make no mistake.  I’m a dreamer, not a quitter.


I will have gorgeous gardens in my backyard – someday soon– once the poodle stampedes stop.   If only Maddie and Max could tip toe through the tulips.  But no–these dogs of mine were born to run—they prefer Bruce Springsteen to Tiny Tim. 


Maddie runs like a graceful gazelle—she flies through the air like Rocky, the Flying Squirrel, leaving Max, her faithful sidekick in high jinx, with the part of Bullwinkle the Moose.  It’s a part he was made to play, as there is nothing dainty about Max–when this moose runs, he lumbers full speed ahead, felling small trees and bushes along the way.  Timbeeer!     


All this destruction drives a master garden wannabe to wicked measures.  After loosing a once gorgeous Oakleaf Hydrangea, a Carl Whitcomb Crepe Myrtle and an antique rose that was suppose to one day climb over my garden shed roof, I’ve called in the white flag reinforcements from Invisible Fence. 


The garden flags are up, the dog collars are on.  I’ve split the yard in two – one part for me and the other for the dogs.  And being the smart poodles they are, Rocky and Bullwinkle are catching on quick to the new ground rules.  So far, they have no shocking powers in their collars – when they cross over to my part of Oz, their collars emit a little unpleasant noise and vibration.  All my yelling did nothing.  But a buzzing collar… now that’s poodle scary.  It’s just a tad ironic that my employees once dubbed me their Wicked Witch of the West – W3 for short — and my poodles fear a buzzing collar more than me?    


When you have a postage stamp front and back yard, like most homes in Mesta Park, every square inch of garden counts.  Thanks to John Fluitt – the wizard of Oklahoma gardening who is regularly featured in Southern Living magazine—I’ve got a black and white color palette in the front gardens.  But in the backyard, I want the gorgeous colors of the Land of Oz:  Peonies, hollyhocks, roses, wisteria, daisies – a veritable grandma’s cottage garden.  It will offer the best of The Wizard of Oz— black and white to represent everyday Kansas and riotous color for the Land of Oz, where witches reign and poodles don’t.  


Somewhere, over the rainbow, there’s hope for all my gardening dreams to come true.  And if those white flags and collars fail to stop those poodle jets, I may have to resort to sending in winged monkeys.