Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm thinking Rabbit Stew!

For quite a few days now Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" has been playing loud and clear through my mind with Elmer Fudd singing "kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit". Around this time of the year is when the Wolftrap Park is in the midst of their big summer season and often Casey and I go to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform such as Bugs Bunny at the Opera.

But I am not thinking of orchestras, I am thinking of that "wascally wabbit" because one has moved in to my garden. I have been gardening here since 2000 and have come to an agreement with the deer - they are welcome to help themselves to all the vegetation in the rear wooded half of our lot. In return I promise to only plant things in the front half that they do not like. Usually this works out just fine. I am used to seeing a rabbit or two visit my garden and usually I can be tolerant of that. But this year....well, I am ready to declare war. Or call in Elmer Fudd.

Look carefully here and you can see the pint sized problem eating the grass. I am happy for it to eat as much grass as it wants.


... right next to the steps to the front door we have what used to be a fine echinacea (coneflower) plant.

Out back we have what looks like a miniature tree felling operation where the rabbit has been "felling" the delphiniums.

Or how about here, where we can see the remnants of what were thriving parsley plants. The deer have agreed that I can plant as many herbs as I want as they do not care for them. But the wabbit? Well, it seems to love the parsley to the right and left. The dill in the center front has been mostly left alone and the mint is growing like crazy (hint to Mr Wabbit - there is more than enough mint for both of us).

On the plus side is this flower bed. I planted it ten years ago as a very pretty blue, yellow and white combination. Blue Russian Sage, yellow Heliopsis (false sunflower) and white Echinacea (coneflower). For a couple of years it was a very lovely spot. But then the rabbit thought it would be fun to eat the helopsis so there was no yellow flowers. The Russian sage quietly faded away without the yellow there to cheer it on. Pink (or to be more correct, purple) coneflower reseeded from other spots in the garden. And, lo, this year there has been a welcome return of the yellow heliopsis. I guess the rabbit was so busy elsewhere in the garden it forgot that this used to be the favorite spot.

This planting of Monarda (bee balm) has burst into bloom in the last few days. There used to be lots of white phlox interspersed here and the deer loved nibbling on that.

And finally there is this planter box. Last year a couple of "volunteer" tomato plants showed up here and despite all odds went on to produce fruit. In other parts of the garden the deer loved to nibble on the tomato plants. So a couple of weeks back, knowing it was quite late in the season to be planting annuals, I went ahead and put some in this planter box. Within a day the wabbit had pruned the annuals at each end of the planter box to within a half inch. But for some reason, this years two volunteer tomato plants were left alone as were the half dozen blue salvia planted between them. Why is this? Is it because of the decorative tiny blue birdhouses on a stem that moves? And how long will it be before either the rabbit or the deer decide to heck with it and close crop everything in this bed?

Watch this space for the continuing adventures.

1 comment:

  1. In a different era in a different environment, Rolo would be living outside to play the role of Elmer Fudd in your own Landscape Opera. Rabbits seems to be yet another part of the local wildlife population that does not venture up around our house much. But insects abound and I've just been told are eating our eggplant.


While I write this blog for my own fun, I would also love to know what you think about what I post.