Good Fences Make Good Gardens – And So Do Bad Ones…

Cute? Maybe not...

Awwww, wook at the cute widdle bunny wabbit… Don’t you just want to hug him? (And squeeze him and call him George…) My Golden Retriever, Cleo, thinks they’re toys. She spent an hour last week chasing this little guy around, picking him up, putting him where she wanted him, and doing it all over again. The rabbit was mighty relieved when I made the dog come in for dinner. She keeps going back to the spot where she left him, confused as to why he’s not still there. Needless to say, this game doesn’t always have a happy ending for the rabbit – sometimes she plays too rough – but this one was in fine shape, if a bit damp from being in the dog’s mouth, when she left it.

Chloe, the Husky-mix, thinks they’re snacks.

I suppose that at some point in my life, I thought they were cute. We had a pet rabbit when I was a kid, and he had a sweet personality. But things happen in life to change your opinions sometimes…

GAAAAHHHH!!!

We have a rabbit infestation of epic proportions this year. They’ve nibbled the cukes. They ate the first planting of beans just as they sprouted. The verbena I set out in the front flower bed. The morning glories (but not morning glory’s near-cousin and horrible invasive bindweed – go figure.). But the last straw was the lettuce.

Tiny Lettuce

These should be ready to eat. The spring blend is bolting, this heat-tolerent mix is supposed to take its place. That’s hard to do when the leaves get nibbled on every night. It was time to take some action.

It Ain't Pretty, But It Works

Which is how my son James and I wound up in the garden on a 100-degree afternoon last week, putting a slap-dash fence around the vegetable garden. Not the most attractive, but the nibbling has ceased.

I’m not sure why the rabbits are so much more bountiful this year than in the past, but I do have my suspicions. For one thing, I have neither seen nor heard my coyotes since the early spring.  We’ve had two pairs living in the area for several years, and raising their litters every summer. I usually see their tracks down at the pond, and occasionally glimpse them at dusk going down for a drink. They don’t bother any of us, and help keep the rat and rabbit populations in-check. There’s been a Parvo outbreak among domestic dogs on the island, perhaps my coyotes were also victims. Or, they just moved on. Anyway, I miss their songs in the evenings, and I sure miss their vermin-extermination skills…

But Now You Can See the Tree

On the bright side, the fence forced the creation of a new path through an existing bed, so I can get a picture of the apple tree in the garden without standing on something. (Gotta’ find a silver lining somewhere…)

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6 thoughts on “Good Fences Make Good Gardens – And So Do Bad Ones…

  1. I feel your “pain” in re to rabbits in your garden and flowers!! My husband relocated one rabbit plus other creatures recently to the “country.” He wisely put up the fence after he planted the garden so our visitors did not get to those plants. However, the squirrel did jump up on top of the fence and tried to reach the plants!! Alas, our hot temps and lack of rain has made our garden go away. We did enjoy the fruits of his labor for awhile….hope you will now get to enjoy some veggies!

    • I’ve had this garden for 5 years, and never needed a fence until now. One year, a momma bunny dug a nest in the carrots, but didn’t eat a one. We would lose one or two things, but never like this year…

      Sorry your garden is done for the summer, but you guys get warm enough winters that you could almost grow salad greens through January. After it cools off. Maybe November, right? 🙂

  2. Sorry about the lettuce. I remember how wonderful it tasted. Hopefully the fence will do the trick and you will have salad from the garden again.

    • The beans and lettuces are recovering nicely. I hope they’re ready when our company gets here next week – that would be Ollie and his girlfriend, Fran. It would be awful to have to serve someone else’s greens at our table in the middle of summer!

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