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!

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