I had really planned to put up a different post tonight, all about gardening with children featuring my two year old daughter. Unfortunately that post will have to wait for tomorrow since I'm still seething over tonight's discovery, a rabbit attack. This wasn't some killer attack rabbit from Monty Python. On second thought maybe it was but plants, not people, were its prey. The rabbits didn't attack the vegetable garden. All the vegetables in the vegetable garden are safe and secure behind the rabbit fencing. The birdbath garden wasn't ravaged either. It was my newly planted shade garden. The one with the hostas and Japanese Painted Ferns. The garden with the heucheras and an oak leaf hydrangea. It was also the garden where I acclimate my cuttings to the hot weather...all my cuttings...
Bugs and his buddies took it upon themselves to feast on my Japanese painted ferns. They aren't dead yet but they were ravaged pretty good. Hopefully they will bounce back. I had a little hosta in a pot hiding amongst it's larger kin and it was swallowed as an appetizer. Several of the other hostas were nibbled and gnawed and one small heuchera was snipped. What I am the most angry about was my cuttings. Eighteen chrysanthemums are no more. Eighteen! I can make more but these were several weeks old. A tray of Russian sage is now a tray of dirt filled pots, devoid of vegetation. One salvia was in that tray as well and it's gone also. A salvia lyrata that I was bringing back to life had its new growth unceremoniously snipped. It wasn't even eaten, just snipped. If Elmer Fudd were wandering this way I would gladly lend him a hand. Of course he never did seem to have much luck.
After these discoveries I went inside and grabbed the cayenne pepper and dried red pepper from the spice rack and sprinkled it all over the plants. Maybe if the rabbit thought his feast was fulfilling he might return and find someone has flavored his buffet. Tomorrow I'll make a concoction of pepper spray to periodically add as a salad dressing for the rabbits.
I did learn something though that may be very valuable for selecting rabbit proof plants. Small plants no matter what they are are good game for the rabbits. They will try them even if they don't like them and leave the unwanted remains behind. This is what happened to the Russian sage cuttings and the salvia lyrata. The rabbits don't seem to have much interest in heucheras which is another great reason to plant more. They didn't do anything to the oak leaf hydrangea or the Soloman's seal. The hostas and Japanese Ferns seemed to be the primary targets of the attack.
There was a cat hanging around the last couple weeks and maybe he was keeping the rabbits at bay. He hasn't been around the last few days but I'd like him to come back, I would even start feeding him...do you think he would like rabbit?
I can really identify with Elmer Fudd right now...wascally wabbit. You want war wabbit, I mean rabbit, I'll give you war!
Labels: garden pests and rodents, wildlife