Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Garden update......

I have spent the morning filling in holes. Holes in the lawn, holes in the borders and holes around the conifer trees. I am sure you realise that this damage is due to rabbits.
The frosts of the last two months have ended for the time being. Light rain today allowed me to walk the garden and look at the condition of the plants in the garden. The wisteria I am sure has seen its last bloom. The wood is brittle and there are no buds.....anyone who has a wisteria will know there should be buds galore at this time....

All the following plants have been eaten or damaged in some way......Pulmonaria


Viburnum Davidii.



Holly tree.
Foxgloves.
Primula vulgaris.
Hellebore buds have been badly damaged by mice.
Conifers. I can accept this damage and will sort it out given time. What saddens me is that most of the plants are early spring bloomers. They are my bee plants.. They supply the early spring risers with the nectar and pollen they need during the cold days of spring. My main reason for gardening is for the wildlife that lives here. Bees butterflies birds and bugs are my passion.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The following are doing well at the moment.
Arums are showing more and more of their lovely leaves.
White loosestrife.
Helleborus foetidus.
I am loving my ivy......
Pieris 'forest flame'
I planted Epemediums when I moved here. I adore these pretty plants and I have the perfect environment for them. Each year they are eaten. I have never seen them in flower. Mr P (darling man that he is) bought me two reproduction 'Victorian cloches'. Handmade from cast iron and glass they are just so pretty.
I can have them open during the day.......
and at night I can put their little roof on and keep those beastly bunnies out......
I really am so thrilled with these, they look absolutely gorgeous.....slightly rusting which in my book is perfect......
And finally, I am taking a blogging break....quite a long one actually. With a busy personal life.....an acre of land to sort out, and a huge rethink on the gardens I shall not be around for 4 - 6 weeks. I will visit my favourite blogs when I can and intend to stay in touch with those I call my friends.
And so I shall see you in the spring and hopefully be able to show you the garden in a different light.






40 comments:

Cheryl said...

During February Mr P and I will be taking a short break. Somewhere quiet, peaceful and calming.
Anyone who emails me regularly, don't worry if I do not reply straight away. I will catch up with you at some point.

Happy gardening.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Cheryl, I totally feel your pain when things are ruined int he garden! My "foes" are different--most of my damage is to young foliage by groundhogs and in June of 2006 I had huge damage all over due to a freak hail storm! Like you, I don't mind a nibble here or there that will right itself throughout the season, but if the nibble ruins the entire plant (especially with annuals which are killed altogether) it's very frustrating. But rabbits are also part of wildlife, maybe not the ones you wanted, but you ARE feeding them! I know, that's not very helpful and didn't make me feel much better about groundhogs, either. Have fun wherever you roam in Feb!!

Liz said...

A lovely update Cheryl, and I'm glad your frosts have ended - so have ours - rain for now is good, but I hear snow is a possibility... Not so good.

Such a shame to see all the damage and that your Wisteria has died :(

Have a lovely time off, I'm sure you'll be around lurking somewhere on the net!
I do hope you come back refreshed and I shall sorely miss your updates, stay well and have a wonderful holiday.

(btw, I love the little cloches! Very pretty)

ShySongbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShySongbird said...

Dear Cheryl, We will all miss you but take your time and only come back to us when you feel ready.

Oh dear! I do rather think you are a victim of your own success, your aim was to produce a wildlife garden, a sanctuary, a beautiful place to attract wild creatures and that is just what you have done but of course those naughty bunnies are taking advantage of your good nature! I think your idea of trying to use plants they are not so keen on is all you can do. What a shame they can't read, then you could have some signs saying 'bunnies in this part of the garden only' :)

Enjoy your break Cheryl, be well and happy.

Amy said...

Cheryl, You will be missed! Thank goodness gardens are resilient - like us I suppose! I share your passion of gardening with the critters in mind, especially the birds! Perhaps if you could neuter the rabbits (at least temporarily), then the balance could be righted in your garden. I know with my vole situation, I imagine they are cozy and dry underground doing what voles do, procreate (just like rabbits)!

Moonstone Gardens said...

Hi Cheryl,
Have a great rest. We will miss you, but look forward to seeing you in the spring.
Cindee

Dan said...

Hi Cheryl
Enjoy your break and your time in the garden. I didn't realise how big your garden actually was!!
By the way, thanks for the tip on the Ladybird Poppies. I don't have a cold frame, but my little glasshouse and a tray of compost will hopefully do the trick!
Is there any way you could distract the rabbits from your prized plants with some 'sacrificial offerings' which are easy pickings for them? Either that, or you'll have to entice a fox to take up residence!
Best wishes
Dan
-x-

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica....of course, you are absolutely right, rabbits are part of wildlife. It is just when the damage is this extreme and on a daily basis, it does become rather tiring.

I suppose all gardeners have something to complain about. Give me slugs and snails any day.....

BTW What is a groundhog??

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....thank you. The rain has been pleasant. At least it enabled me to be able to fill in holes and cut away some of the deadwood. I got a bit wet but that was fine. I do not mind getting wet.

Tomorrow I shall post the mexican fleabane to you. They are only tiny plants but they will romp away once planted. Hope they travel okay.....

Cheryl said...

Thank you Jan you are very kind. I think you may be right.....I have given them a five star restaurant.
I will sort it out, but this year has been the worse I have seen. I think it is going to take a lot of sorting.....but I will get there.

Hope that you are well and things are improving for you.

Cheryl said...

Hi Amy....your comment made me smile, tku for that.
I to have imagined the rabbits cosy and snug in their warren procreating.
On thinking about it, last year we had an extended summer, allowing them to have several litters. No wonder I am surrounded by them......ha!

Cheryl said...

Hi Dan....thank you so much.I am sure the ladybird poppies will be fine. It will give them a fighting chance. I have never quite understood why this particular poppy does not do well when scattered. Every other poppy seems to....

I love all wildlife but the rabbits are becoming a bit of a nightmare. I will try your suggestion and let you know, at some point, the results. I will probably end up with very large rabbits......

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That darling MrP really knows how to cultivate the heart. I wish I could send Luna over to get after your rabbits. What a curse. I had trouble with them for a few years and since Luna has taken over the garden patrol we don't have near the problem we once had.
Enjoy our time off. I can't wait to read what you will have been up to.

Cheryl said...

He certainly does Lisa, he is one in a million.

Luna would be more than welcome. Nella is worn out......she does catch them but there are just too many for her to deal with.

At this moment I do not know where to start with the garden.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cheryl, what a shame about the rabbit damage. We will miss your safaris and hope you get things sorted out and return soon.
Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....thank you. I shall miss posting but really do have too much to do......

Look forward to popping over now and then.....

Gigibird said...

Enjoy your break - I'm sure when we next see your lovely garden it will be bursting with life and colour.

kate smudges said...

Hi Cheryl... It was good to catch up with the happenings in your garden. I was sorry to see the damage left by various little critters. At least there are still plants that will be okay. I think you are so lucky that your garden isn't buried in snow, as is mine (until well into March). Just seeing the green in your garden makes my heart lighter. I hope you have a good break!!

Wendy said...

Hi Cheryl,
Oh, so sad about your garden. And the loss of early spring blooms. But I know when you come back there will be lots of new green life and blooms for the bees and butterflies.

Enjoy your time away with Mr. P. Such a dear man. I love those Victorian cloches. Will look to see if I can find any here.

Will miss you.

FIONA said...

It's so nice to know there is GREEN outside somewhere in the world.

We had 6 inches of snow yesterday, but I am busily planning my herb garden that I'll start indoors next week.

Those bunnies can be nasty little beasties. Thank goodness by pups keep most of them out of our garden.

beckie said...

Oh Cheryl, I shall miss your delightful posts, but know you will be busy in your gardens doing what you love.

I would be so disheartened by all the damage, but kow it will not deter you. Hopefully most will make a good recovery. Take joy in what is in good condition.

I love the Victorian Cloches! Mr P is such a sweetie. :) They look perfect in your gardens. And will only improve with age. So sad about your wisteria. I know you loved it.

Have a great get away and I hope you both enjoy the peace and quiet.

Hugs to you and yours!

Meems said...

Dear Cheryl,
I know how you feel about your beloved plants that are lost to winter's fury and the little animals we wish would not disrupt. But somehow it all balances out eventually and I just know your garden will flourish splendidly again in spring.

Love, love those Victorian cloches... too wonderful and a little rust is always better.

Enjoy your break with Mr. P. You will be ready to face the challenges better after some quiet and calm.
Blessings,
Meems

marmee said...

dear cheryl,

i hope you enjoy your sabatical from blogging and your trip with mr.p. you deserve it.
i finally read a few of your last posts. i am sorry for all the damage done by the rabbits...i am sure it is more than frustrating. i hope you do find the path that suits you and your lovely garden.
we have had a lot of water damage around here and it gets me thinking too about how i need to change things.
i will miss you and now will look forward to spring and your return.
i will be thinking of you often.
happy february, march ,and april.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Btw I forgot to mention, I’m loving your Elderberry banner photo – I’m surprised it hasn’t been stripped bare!

I’m glad you managed to get some of your jobs done – I need to get out there and cut back old growth now to allow the new… It was too cold this weekend gone to mess around cutting things. Do you plan on replacing the dead Wisteria?

I hope you didn’t have snow overnight, we had a sprinkling but nothing major, more is on its way. I walked to work in funky trainers today because they’re the only shoes I own with any grip… lol must’ve looked a little strange.

Thank you so much for sending the fleabane, you wouldn’t believe how much I appreciate it.

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, I will miss your posts, but I totally understand the need for respite. Enjoy and relax.

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....tku re header. The photograph was taken several weeks ago....the berries are long gone.

I am sure you looked very cute in your funky trainers....I always think it is nice to look different from every one else.....oh to be young again (but must confess I do odd things sometimes and my daughter loves that)......

No I won't plant another wisteria. The previous owner told me that the wisteria was a self seeder. I am now trying to commit myself to plants that are easy for this environment.
I have just bought a new book that deals with difficult plots and plan to use some of the advice in there. I am looking forward to see the changes.....

I am pleased to send you the fleabane. If they are not successful let me know and I will send you more plants during the spring/summer. Anything you see in my gardens that you like, let me know and I will see if I can send you plants, cuttings or seeds. It truly is not a problem, I love to do it for you.

I should have emailed......

Rose said...

Oh, Cheryl, I can understand why you get so frustrated with the rabbits--what a lot of damage they have done! I love the Victorian cloches, but I don't suppose you can cover your whole garden with these:) I am taking a Master Gardener's class every Tuesday now, which is why I'm always late reading Tuesday posts, and yesterday the subject of rabbits came up. Our instructor swears by a product called "Liquid Fence," and another classmate who has a huge vegetable garden says adding bone meal has helped keep the rabbits out of his garden. I suppose not everything works for everyone, though.

I'm certainly going to miss you while you take a blogging break, but a vacation with Mr. P. sounds like just what you need--enjoy yourselves! When you come back, I'm sure you're going to have lots of blooms to show us.

The Early Birder said...

Hi Cheryl. Sorry to learn about the bunny & frost damage. Can be heartbreaking after putting in so much effort but you may be surprised by what does recover.
Stay well, enjoy a rest & I look forward to catching up with you in the Spring. Cheers, Frank.

Gail said...

The rabbits are beastly! Here the chipmunks are digging under my plants...right at the base of the trunk...I so dislike them...more then squirrels!

Have a wonderful time...and we'll see you when you and the wonderful Mr P return to the garden! gail

CIELO said...

Have a wonderful time with Mr. P, where ever you go!

Blessings to you and yours my dear Cheryl!

cielo

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose, I was so delighted to read about your masters gardening class. This is wonderful. In my heart I always knew you were going to make your gardens your very own. Good luck.


Bone meal does work BUT only if you do not have a dog. They spend most of their time digging trying to find the bone. Ha! Not a good idea but tku so much for your input.
There were many things you could use to deter rabbits.....mainly liquids that gave a rather foul odour and kept the rabbits away.
A lot of good products were taken from the shelves due to the EU regulations. When I first moved here there was a bark mulch I used that detered rabbits and it worked.
That was removed from the shelves two years ago....since then my troubles began....

I personally wish we had never joined the common market......

LG said...

Thanks Cheryl, beautiful Arum leaves...what colours are the flowers??

One of reasons I wrote the blog was I still have issues surrounding such after the death of my mom, and now one of my best friends lost her mother this week, literally within the week to cancer (from finding out to death), and she is currently experiencing the circle that turns...

Nutty Gnome said...

Ooh dear , you have been well nibbled haven't you! My plants get eaten, dug up, pooed on or trampled on by squirrels, foxes and badgers - but never by rabbits!

Those cloches are lovely ..where did Mr.P. get them from?

Have a lovely break and come back refreshed and energised! :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz.....Mr P bought the cloches from a dealer in our village. He deals in various ornate pieces for the garden. I love going there but it is always a little too tempting for me.....

I am sure you would be able to pick them up on a website.....

Cheryl said...

Hi LG
The Arum's flower.....the spadix, is cloaked in a hood like spathe. It is mostly grown for it's beautiful leaves and the lovely stand of red berries in the autumn.......

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Have a wonderful break. I do understand the need for a break. I have thought about going somewhere to see butterflies and bees.
I am reading and reading and reading.....
Enjoy your time with your husband. The cloches are indeed lovely and are the perfect touch to your gardens.
I will miss you and hope to see you on Safari in March when the bees return.
Sherry

Naturegirl said...

Cheryl from what I can see you are further along in Spring growth than we are here in my world. My world is filled with sunshine and blue skies..a bit of snow but NOT enough for the bunnies to do damage.Lots of bird seed beneath the feeders I guess.
Enjoy your break.I recieved the GREATEST NEWS!!
hugs aNNa

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl... sounds like you need a break with so much going on... sometimes it's hard balancing everything... will miss you postings though.

Lovely to see all that's going on in your garden right now - do read my latest story... I think you might enjoy... take care and keep in touch Miranda x

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Mr. P always gives the nicest, most thoughtful gifts. The Victorian Cloches are just beautiful.

Those naughty rabbits! It is so frustrating to see beautiful healthy plants destroyed. I wonder if Mr. P could get you about a thousand Cloches? ;-)

I hope you have a nice restful time off, and take the time to be renewed and refreshed.