Saturday, 27 February 2010

A Bunch of Primroses for Peter Rabbit

Our garden is surrounded by open countryside, and so we are often visited/plagued by rabbits. Our dog, Mo has great fun chasing them off, but this is only ever a temporary respite since rabbits seem to have a similar short term memory to me and will just reappear the next day or even later on the same day.  I have non gardening friends who enjoy watching bunnies and even foxes running around the garden, and whilst this is lovely if you have a No-Gardening Garden, ie large lawn, the odd mature tree, few tough shrubs and a trampoline, if you have any kind of herbaceous or veg garden, to which rabbits have access, it will be decimated. I have even lost young trees to rabbits who have chewed away the bark all around the main trunk leading to death of the tree.

So what's to be done? I've thought of arming myself against the enemy so to speak, I could take to wearing a monocle and blasting my way around the garden with a blunderbuss, but although I am quite a good shot if I say so myself, it would clearly be somewhat dangerous for the neighbours, so here at Stalag Carters Barn we have opted for chicken wire all around the perimeter.We have to inspect and repair our fortifications each spring because Peter and his friends chew their way through it but in this way we usually manage to keep them out for at least the main growing season.

If you're in a rabbit area and can't fence them out for any reason, your only option is to either enjoy the wildlife display as my neighbours do, or to try to grow things that they won't eat. And there are some things that they don't seem to like as much as others. I was thinking that if rabbits ate primroses we would have none in the wild, so I'm guessing they don't like them for some reason, and hoping that this is the case I've planted up a little bed by the front gate that normally houses a weeping cherry tree and some snowdrops and nothing else, because, being outside the gate it's also outside the 12 foot razor wire/cctv/wailing sirens that constitute the Carters Barn garden boundary.  When I first came here I put some bedding plants in this little bed - big mistake. They were gone in a week. Anyway the primroses seem to have survived the first few days, so time will tell whether or not Peter Rabbit likes primroses for lunch, - let's hope not!

Please feel free to leave a note about this post by clicking on comment below. I enjoy reading your comments and always try to respond.

9 comments:

  1. I know exactly how you feel. Wildlife is cute and wonderful to watch, until it start messing with my stuff.

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  2. Becky, you are just so right about that!

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  3. Planting things the rabbits don't eat is a good plan! Wildlife and the chickens around here don't seem to want to eat plants that have purple flowers.

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  4. Well that's interesting Callie, might be worth a bit of research and trialling?

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  5. Apparently if you dip rags in vinegar and then hang them on your fences this will deter rabbits as they hate the smell.

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  6. That's another new one on me CS, the neighbours already think I'm a loony, so I've nothing to lose by giving it a try...! Many thanks for commenting.

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  7. agree. Rabbits hate the smell of eggs and vinegar. I don’t mess around with making my own solution though. We use DeFence. The stuff is amazing. It’s natural and organic. And really effective. Plus, it lasts a really long time. Directions say reapply every 3 months.

    Here's the repellent I’m talking about:
    http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/5600

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  8. I've had a look at the site Clara, but it seems not to be available in the UK, which is a shame, it sounds very effective. Thanks for the comment anyway.

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  9. This is the kind of thing I try to teach people. Can I expect a sequel?

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