Advent-ures in the MSE Forum... Our Advent calendar is live, helping you discover a new corner of the community each day. Visit the homepage and scroll down

Advice on garden flower bed?

Hi there,
I recently moved into my new home. I have a small patch of garden to the front of my property.

To one side, I have small green plants, to the other...grass.
The local cats have taken to the grass and are leaving disgusting faeces all over it. It really doesn't make the place look very attractive.

I am thinking of doing something similar with the grass to what the builders have put in on the other side of my house.

Can anyone advise what sort of plants these are and I will get some and set to work with my trowel, spade and bark chippings?

Many thanks in advance.

Plants the builders put in:
..there is no cat poo here, as the cats must not like walking amongst these plants!

Cats' current toilet area/grass:


  • keith969keith969 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Plant anything prickly, for example pyracantha. Cats will then avoid the area.
    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.
  • The plants in the top photo look like some kind of euphorbia based on the foliage but hard to say which type until it’s in flower. Careful with the sap, it’s a skin irritant.
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    keith969 wrote: »
    Plant anything prickly, for example pyracantha. Cats will then avoid the area.

    +1 for pyracantha. Easy to maintain, grows fairly quickly, and has a network of stems that will prevent feline paws from reaching the soil to scrabble around. Also provides a little architectural interest and has berries for wildlife.
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • NileNile Forumite
    14.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Hi, we move threads if we think they’ll get more help elsewhere (please read the forum rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board. If you have any questions about this policy please email [email protected].

    I’ve moved your thread from the ‘In my home’ board to the ‘Greenfingered’ board, where it is better suited.


    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of

    10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. :j :cool2: I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
  • KatiehoundKatiehound Forumite
    6.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I also think you have some sort of euphorbia. I think the cats will keep well away from it.

    The wood chippings or gravel will be as enticing to cats as the grass! They also love freshly dug soil which is soft and crumbly! One of my friends spends her time drying and blitzing citrus peel to keep the felines off. They don't like that smell.

    A couple of different Euonymus would look nice. There are some pretty variegated varities, on flat ground they provide ground cover, if planted by a wall they lean up it. In time you wouldn't see the ground

    If you plant pyracantha and need to prune it- be warned- lethal thorns. I'm not so worried about the cats but you . When I had one I always managed to get the thorns in my fingers - even when wearing strong gardening gloves!
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    34.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Next to the wall will probably be quite a dry challenging environment which is why the builder has stuck a tough euphorbia there, but without thinking of the consequences for children picking it and getting skin irritation.

    Any low growing tough plants will do to keep the cats off; they don't need to be prickly, so long as the bare earth is covered.
  • FarwayFarway Forumite
    11.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Not sure what the box in the picture is, but if a meter or something that requires access by others then a prickly plant may not be wise

    I would avoid too low growing plants, IME cats will just poo on top of them

    Some ferns will stand dry conditions and neglect

    Have a trawl through the RHS plant finder select your criteria and choose from there
  • Jojo_the_TightfistedJojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite
    27.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Looks like the gas meter.

    I'd stick in something like lavender, rosemary or other woody herbs that thrive on almost pure sand (which is very likely what's underneath the lump of turf they've thrown in the space). They aren't harmful to any wildlife (or people) and I'm yet to find a cat doing anything other than sleeping amongst the branches as the plants get older.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
    colinw wrote: »
    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll :D
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Is your local HSBC closing?

114 branches to shut in 2023

MSE News

Advent Competitions

The countdown is on

MSE Forum

Baileys £10 for 1L at Tesco

When you scan your Clubcard

MSE Deals