Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Rabbits and flowery meads.

Limiting myself to plants disliked by rabbits is no easy task. I went to a 'new to me' nursery yesterday....how many times did I pick up a plant, only to put it back. None-the-less I am determined to make this work........rabbits and me in the garden living happily together.
I have decided to have flowery meads around all large trees in the garden. Today I added plants to the area around the old apple tree.....spring flowers.

woodland primroses.......


spring snowflake.......
pulmonaria........
puschkinia scilloides........I have also added native ferns. Many of these plants were used during the medieval period.
Tomorrow I shall remove the turf and plant around the maple tree. Poppi and Riley's meadow........camomile, creeping thyme, and alpine strawberries. At the height of summer can you imagine my two little grand-children sitting amongst the camomile and thyme picking tiny alpine strawberries.......
If you have a moment would you like to come and see what I found by chance today. Please shut the gate behind you.
This sweet hellebore is blooming by the entrance to the warren. I really can't believe it.....do you think the rabbits have taken up gardening as a hobby!!!
BTW Nella has caught several rabbits during the last few weeks. I also have a fox visiting. Numbers are dropping slowly........



29 comments:

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Wonderful... So simple and quaint!

How very exciting, alpine strawberries, summer... Lots of fun and no worries... I cannot wait, and no doubt neither can your grand children :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a good doggie Nella is. You will have to take to cooking rabbit stew. At least Nella would like it.

I can just see the Grands eatting tiny strawberries. Those strawberries will go all over your garden. They do take over. I would like to try some primroses. I have an apple tree too.

I like your hellebore. It looks like my freckled hellebore. I love the idea that we are looking at the same plant at the same time while out enjoying our garden. Happy Spring.

Wendy said...

Oh my goodness, there is so much going on in your garden! I will shut the gate, I promise, but may we let some wee folk in to play too?

I think you must have enchanted those rabbits to take up gardening. Or maybe it was Mrs. Fox threatening to eat them up, if they didn't mend their ways.

So nice to see your garden full of fresh spring colour. I like your idea of enhancing the skirts of your trees with flowers. The old apple tree told me her skirt had quite worn out, and it was about time you gave her a new one. Now, of course, she will think hers is the prettiest!
Happy gardening. I enjoyed my visit!

Gail said...

Cheryl, That Nella is a good dog! I hope that between her and the foxes that the rabbits decamp to another part of the neighborhood. I've noticed that as i've added more tasty plants to the menu the rabbits have come a calling! Sigh...I need to borrow a dog! gail I can so see your sweet grand picking strawberries!

marigold jam said...

How lovely your garden is and many thanks for inviting us in - I did close the gate behind me! We have a similar problem but with badgers. I feel they were here long before we were so we ought to be able to live in harmony but they do make such a mess of the garden!

Jane

marmee said...

i can envision your sweet grands amongst the meadow...picking and eating wild strawberries.
you certainly have been tested with these rabbits...i admire your determination. i think you are headed in the right direction with these woodland varities.
glad nature is taking care of some of the numbers.
love the beautiful hellebore...i just noticed some of mine are blooming today.

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl - a few moments to catch up on one or two blogs before I head out to work - I feel like I've not stopped these past weeks - everything all happening at once!! Not complaining as it's great to have so much work at a time when so many people are struggling. Saw my first hedgehog in the woodland 2 nights ago which is also v. exciting. Butterflies starting to appear too. Love all your spring flowers and that little Hellebore is really dear... do hope you're having a good week and that you manage to continue to find interesting plants that the rabbits don't like... take care Miranda x

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cheryl, I know it's hard to limit your gardens to things rabbits and deer won't eat. Still, I think you made the best choice. More gardeners are starting to do that instead of the constant stress of battling the wildlife.

I had to eliminate roses, hollyhocks, butterfly bushes and other things from my garden because of the introduced Japanese Beetles. I will not use poison so the only alternative is to avoid the flowers they are attracted to.
Marnie

Jean said...

Interesting that you have "spring snowflake" but over here in the U.S. they call it "summer snowflake". I don't know why because it blooms only in spring! Lovely tour, thank you.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Cheryl,
As always I enjoyed the lovely photos of your splendid flowers. I guess it's hard to find plants the rabbits won't like. We're seeing a lot of rabbits now hopping around. Hope you have a great week.

FIONA said...

LOVELY.

I have planted lots of daffodils to thwart the bunnies.

Thanks for letting me stroll in your garden. I remembered to shut the gate

Susan said...

I always wanted some rabbits to take up residence in my garden...but maybe I should be glad they haven't found me yet. They are adorable, but they do like to munch, munch, munch. Looks like spring is arriving in your garden...very pretty.

Rose said...

With Nella and a fox nearby the future of your garden sounds very promising, Cheryl. Perhaps the rabbits will take the hint and move elsewhere.

The puschkinia scilloides is new to me, but what a lovely shade of blue! I wonder if it has another name here. I hope you'll take lots of photos of Poppi and Riley this summer in the alpine strawberries--I can just picture them enjoying themselves picking the strawberries.

Our weather turned from glorious sun to cold and rainy overnight, but then that's Illinois. Besides, it's given me a chance to stay indoors and finally start some seeds today--I'm going to have to go out and buy more grow lights!

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh the rabbits and the deer. What a challenge.

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa......I am hoping the strawberries will spread.....they are only small and I find them very pretty.....

Happy spring to you Lisa....

Cheryl said...

Hi Wendy...wee folk are always welcome here.

You could be right about the warning from foxy......one never knows quite what is going on out there, when we are sleeping.

The poor old apple tree does look tired. I have also put a gentle clematis to climb and mingle amongst her branches......it should look very pretty in late spring......

Cheryl said...

Hi Gail.....I have at last come to terms with the fact that I cannot garden the way I want to.
Having the rabbits in the garden has been a nightmare. I do not wish to harm them in any way but they have caused so much damage this winter. I have lost count of the conifers they have ringed. Digging the trees out as been hard work.......

But every cloud has a silver lining and I am looking forward to the challenge of planting a garden that rabbits will not eat!!!!!!

When I decided to plant a meadow for Riley and Poppi, I thought about what I liked as a child.......fragrance and food....perfect combination.

And a bit of advice.....get those beastly rabbits out of your beautiful garden......

Cheryl said...

Hi Jane....I love nature and wildlife but there comes a point when they do more harm than good. Rabbits destroy the habitat planted for the birds bees and butterflies......

I had badgers here a few years ago....they do make a mess but I have a soft spot for them.......

Cheryl said...

Hi Marmee....I feel that I am most certainly taking the right course with regard to the rabbits. It will be a fun project....it will be like starting again.

Look forward to seeing your lovely hellebores.....

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much Miranda.

Pleased to hear that you have plenty of work....it would be far more worrying if you did not.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....I agree I could not harm any creature, it is not in my nature.

I watched a programme the other evening which told of the japanese beetle and the problems in America. I had not realised how bad it was......sad you have to lose such pretty flowers, believe me I understand......

Cheryl said...

Susan, rabbits are without doubt cute....but trust me you do not want them in your garden. If you change your mind, let me know, and I will send you a dozen or so....lol

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose....hope you feel well rested after your break...

Perhaps the rabbits will take the hint and move to greener pastures....

I do not know of another name for the puschkinia......if I find there is, I will let you know.

Rest assured I shall take photographs of the children amongst the strawberries......

It is raining here and cold....not very spring like at all.
The red prairie clover is up, but I have found out that is one of the rabbits favourite foods....along with dill.
I am not hopeful......

Dan said...

Hi Cheryl
Good luck with the new approach to the rabbit problem! You've certainly been busy. It was good of them to leave you that beautiful hellibore!
Looking forward to seeing your garden in the height of summer. The strawberries and chamomile sound fantastic.
The little alpine strawberries were one of the few plants clinging on to life when we got the cottage, and I'm hoping they will appear again this year - they were tiny, but very, very sweet!
Best wishes
Dan

Naturegirl said...

Cheryl what a wonderful sight around your garden space! Adding some palnts..what a wonderful inspiring idea!
Here we are slowly showing signs of life..guess all depends on which direction the sun shines.
Nella catching rabbits!!! Guess there won't be that much of a bunny trail for Easter.
I'm leaving now and shutting your gate! smiles and hugs anna

Cher' Shots said...

Thanks for sharing all your wonderful signs of spring. Our snow is finally gone but there's still quite a chill in the air. Better days are coming our way! Happy Spring!

Amy said...

Cheryl, Your garden looks lovely - oh, I just LOVE pulmonaria! I lost mine last year - it's too hot here I think. Those danged rabbits are fortunate to have you in their world - I'm still fighting the voles but am trying to see the positive effects of their endless cultivating.

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Your meads will be so very beautiful! The children will always remember Grandmother's garden. Living in harmony with your rabbit friends will be the best for both of you. Nella is doing just the best of work. When populations get out of control is when there is trouble. Sounds as if you are helping to restore balance...
I love seeing all your flowers. My daffodiles are just now starting to bloom.
Spring is so exciting!
Sherry

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

What a beautiful thought of Poppi and Riley among the chamomile, thyme, and strawberries. A feast for the senses.

Good doggie, Nella! She deserves an extra treat for being so diligent on her Rabbit Roundup. I am wondering if you had cats if that would keep the numbers down as well. Of course, with Mr. Fox, you may not need any more help. I think nature takes care of itself...when the rabbit numbers go up, fox and other animals of prey will take care of things--just never quickly enough for us--or the poor plants.

You have so many lovely shades of blue in your collection. I do love pulmonaria. It does so well here--for others...I have managed to kill every one I have brought home. :-(