Educate yourself on
popular dog breeds of the world:
Pomeranian is a breed of dog in the Spitz family, named from the
Pomerania region of Poland and eastern Germany. The name Pomore or
Pommern means "on the sea". It was brought to Europe to be employed to
herd sheep. The Pom ancestors weighed up to 30 pounds.
These sturdy little dogs got their immense popularity through Queen
Victoria. She was a Pomeranian fancier and even established her own
kennel for their breeding.
Pomeranian's intelligence and talent for showmanship have also made it a
superior circus performer. Today's Pomeranian is primarily a loving
companion and a beautiful show dog.
The Pomeranian is a tiny, fluffy dog with a wedge-shaped head and
pointed erect ears. All have bright, dark, almond-shaped eyes with an
intelligent expression. The nose is either dark or the colour of its
coat. They possess a distinctive feathered tail that fans forward over
There is an abundant ruff around the neck and chest area. There are
several colour combinations: black, tan, blue, chocolate, cream, orange,
red and sable. Sometimes the coat is parti-coloured with white markings,
black and tan, wolf or orange sable.
Poms usually weigh between 3-7 pounds (1-3 kg) and their normal
height is between 7-12 inches (18-30 cm). Their life expectancy is about
15 years. The Pom is a lively little dog. Very loyal to its handler and
family, these dogs are usually eager to learn.
Wilful, bold and sometimes temperamental, the Pom usually gets along
with other dogs and household animals without any problems. However,
some of them seem to think they are much larger than they actually are
and do not hesitate to attack much bigger dogs.
It is an excellent watchdog with a resounding bark. Poms have a
tendency to be reserved and bark at a stranger excessively.
Teach this dog early that it may bark a couple of times when the
doorbell rings or when there are visitors, but then to keep quiet. Poms
are alert, curious and busy little fellows, the most independent of the
They need a firm hand and will become too demanding if owners allow
it. Too much attention from children makes these dogs nervous and they
may become snappish. However, they can get along well with older,
well-behaved children. It is a good companion for elderly people as
The Pom is good for apartment living in the city. It is an excellent
dog for country living with its strong hunting instincts from its wild
ancestors. They are very active indoors.
As long as there is a small yard for the Pomeranian to play in, they
will get enough exercise on their own. They are able to walk a long
distance without becoming over-tired and would greatly enjoy a long
Regular grooming is needed for the Pom's very long, double coat. If
you work from the head, parting the coat and brushing it forward, it
will fall neatly back in place. This task is relatively easy though it
The undercoat is shed once or twice a year. It is unadvisable to
bathe Pomeranians too frequently as excessive bathing can damage their
skin and coat by removing essential oils. Dry shampoo when necessary.
Clean the eyes and ears daily and take the dog for regular dental
There are certain health problems that may affect Poms. Some
bloodlines are prone to heart and skin problems, and eye infections.
Since early tooth loss is a common problem, feeding dry food is
recommended to keep the teeth and gums in good condition.
Newborn pups are rather fragile and are so tiny that they can be held
in the palm of one's hand. Small females often need caesarean section
deliveries. When the dog is old, it may become moulted with bald spots.
Playful, friendly and almost childlike, these tiny companions are the
ideal gifts of love and comfort for a loved one.
Flower of the week:
is a small daisy with a rosette of irregularly shaped leaves; often
divided. The flower heads are made up of many, small, tightly clustered
flowers or florets. The flowers may be red, pink, orange or yellow and
appear from August through to December.
The shape of the flower head varies greatly. Many species have
button-like heads without showy ray florets, while others have ray
florets marked with spots to attract pollinating beetles, which they
The daisy family is one of the largest plant families in the world,
with over 23,000 species. It is one of the most popular ornamental
flowers in the world, both as a cut flower and as a pot plant. Plants
require sunlight and moderate watering.
Rot will occur if the crowns are buried or the drainage is poor.
Planting: propagation may be achieved through seeds, basal cuttings or
through dividing. Seeds are sown or cuttings can be inserted in sandy
soil until the saplings become an inch tall or the cuttings form roots.
Plants grown from deeds can differ from the parent plant and seeds,
which do not germinate within about twenty days, are likely not to
germinate at all.
Bougainvilleas - how to keep them flowering
are native to Brazil and grow well in many parts of the world. In Sri
Lanka, it is popular because of the ease of growing, floriferous nature
and the variety of colours of both 'flowers' and leaves. It is also used
as a protective hedge plant because of its thorns.
The showy part referred to as the 'flower' is actually a bract, which
is a part of a flower found at the base of most flowers. The true
flowers are found between the bracts and are not very prominent or
To ensure regular flowering, it must be remembered that new flowers
are produced only on new growth. This means that plants have to be
pruned regularly so that new shoots arise.
Flowers are produced at the ends of these new shoots. Observe a
bougainvillea in your garden and you will notice this.
This does not mean that the whole plant has to be cut back. One
suggestion is to divide the plant into three sections, leave one section
with a few branches with flowers, the second section will have new
growth, which will flower in due course, and the remaining section can
The extent of pruning will depend on the size of the plant and on the
size of the container. Try to maintain a suitable proportion between
plant and pot. Repeat this cycle, to ensure that there are flowers on
the plant at most times.
Of course, some plants will flower even without pruning, but these
tend to be large, overgrown plants, where flowers are seen at the ends
of long, untidy branches - this type of plant does not belong in a
Remember that gardening is not only about having colour but symmetry,
proportion and overall aesthetic appeal of all components are important
objectives we should strive to attain in a well maintained garden.
New shoot growth requires adequate nutrition (fertilisers) - a
balanced fertiliser containing all the required elements must be given
every 2-3 months, so that the plant can produce new shoots and remain in
Bougainvilleas grow and flower best in full sunlight. At least 8-10
hours of light a day is necessary, so if your plants are in a shady
location or do not receive a sufficient duration of sunlight, they may
tend to have more leaves and not flower regularly.
Plants must also never be over-watered - withholding water is one
good way of ensuring flowering in Bougainvillea.
Therefore, a heavy clayey soil or medium that remains wet for long
periods is not recommended to grow Bougainvillea - sandy, easily drained
medium is better. Depending on your area, watering every other day is