Friday, June 6, 2014

High Clover

My friend, who owns the Green Hills garden I write about, has pet rabbits, so I need to be careful what I say about that branch of the Rodent-ry. Her indoor rabbits have good manners and are litter box trained. They sit on the couch out at my friend's farm up on the Plateau, and listen to her husband play the guitar. They eat special rabbit food, and never go near her garden.

The little beasts in Green Hills are not so civilized. They eat what I plant, and usually in the first days after I plant it. Blue Woodland Phlox. Purple Gomphrena. The Heart-leaved aster.

Nibbled to nubs.

Notice the blossoming clover in the photo. How abundant it is! How tasty it must be! But who wants to eat clover everyday, when there is a smorgasbord in the flower beds-

I asked my friend about rabbit repellant,but she was worried it might hurt them. Well then, how about the homemade concoctions that some other frustrated gardeners advise? Lovely mixtures that include dish washing detergent, red pepper flakes, human urine, crushed garlic cloves , and rotten eggs.

Or- I may try a method I used several years ago in my vegetable garden. I took plastic forks and knives and dotted them about with their business end up. Of course this is not practical in a long border, but it might give the rabbits second thoughts about chewing down certain plants.

Aversion Therapy.

In my other friend's garden in West Meade, there is no rabbit damage, nor do the deer I see on the lawn next door come near, for that friend has Shetland Sheepdogs who number in the double digits. But I am thinking of using the Fork Trick there as well, for nothing decimates the brittle stems of a salvia faster than a hound pack headed up to the wood verge at top speed.

Pestifers. That is what I call these four legged destroyers. Whether they hide in holes under shrubs or sport AKC registration papers.