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Rabbit Defences 001 Wm

 

Rosa ‘Desdemona’

 

There’s been a population explosion chez rusty duck. Fluffy grey things with white bob tails breeding like.. well, rabbits.

Alarm bells started to ring when my latest David Austin acquisition, Rosa ‘Desdemona’, had her bottom nibbled. The soft part of every leaf up to eight inches off the ground has gone, leaving only the midribs. I smelt a rat mouse but, no, this time they could not be held accountable. For that very same day I breezed past Desdemona’s corner hauling yet another trug full of weeds to the compost heap when what did I see? A baby rabbit scurrying off into the shrubbery. Immediate reinforcements were called for. Mr Fixit, a hammer, some bean poles and chicken wire.

And was that the end of it? Of course not. A couple of hours later and Baby Flopsy was on the run again. This time with a mouthful of Rosa ‘Hot Chocolate’. I suppose I can’t question her taste. Who doesn’t like chocolate? There’s a notable Swiss breed of bunny even made of chocolate. (Oh, the ears. Isn’t it wonderful when it’s your turn for the ears?)

I digress. Over the last few days there have been bunnies springing up everywhere. Grazing happily on Mike’s newly seeded lawn. In the vegetable garden. RIP Pea ‘Misty’. Three out of four of my melons have gone. Chewed down to the stalks. INSIDE THE GREENHOUSE!! The fourth plant may survive but for the moment it has lost all its blooms. Only last night I was sitting at my desk watching a rabbit feasting on the campanula that had turned the terrace wall into a haze of purple. That’ll be the top half of the wall now then. It’s enough to drive you to drink. And it did.

 
 

Rabbit damage 001 Wm

 
 

And then this morning. Ah yes. This morning. The batteries on the squirrel twirler have been run down (again) and Mr Nutkins is taking full advantage. Woodrow Woodpecker, denied access to his breakfast, sat chirping impatiently in the nearest tree. There was nothing else for it but to deploy the old fashioned method of hot pursuit. As I exited the kitchen door the squirrel leapt from the bird feeder and set off up the path. I increased my pace. So did the squirrel. Not that I’d stand the remotest chance of catching it but he’s not getting away that easily. At the end of the path the squirrel flushed out a rabbit. The rabbit scampered off up the hill with the squirrel inches behind and me puffing along a few feet behind it. It could be straight out of a comedy sketch. If I felt like laughing.

 
 

Rabbit Defences 002 Wm

 

Vegetable garden Fort Knox

 

The bunnies have been keeping me under surveillance and know exactly where I’ve been working. Over the weekend we divided, with considerable effort and to the detriment of a garden fork, a huge clump of Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’. One of my favourite grasses. I replanted five large portions up on the bank. It’s a bit late to do it. OK, it’s very late to do it and something of a risk. But I didn’t have anywhere to put them until now. True, they had taken on a somewhat crispy appearance even after copious amounts of water but they might have picked up. Will they now though, grazed to a couple of inches off the ground?

I may recount these tales lightheartedly, as is my way, but it is becoming a serious problem. If it’s not one thing it’s another, eh? Rabbits, deer, squirrels, mice, slugs. Some days, and this is one, I just want to concrete the whole patch over. Or turn it all back to grass.

 

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An update on the garlic wash for slugs.

Mixed results so far. It does seem to be making a difference on some plants, irises for example, yet others appear as irresistible as ever marinated A La FranΓ§aise. Agastache and Rudbeckia have succumbed. In the veggie garden the plants aren’t doing too badly, touch wood. Mangetout peas and even lettuces are still unmolested, the normal peas having been nibbled by the rabbits, as above. We’ve had little rain but after a brief passing shower I sprayed again. What is clear is that the garlic concoction has to be fresh. The second time around using some left over solution the aroma was a lot less pungent to me and clearly the slugs agreed. It casts doubt on the efficacy of freezing the surplus, as Bonnie correctly surmised in her comment on the original post. I shall try a couple of the ‘ice’ cubes as an experiment, possibly at double the recommended strength.

 
 
 
 

2017-02-14T21:52:22+00:00 June 7th, 2016|Tags: , |

101 Comments

  1. Marian St.Clair June 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for letting us know. I’m purchasing stock in chicken wire today!

    • Jessica June 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      So is Mike.. in both senses of the word πŸ™‚

  2. M. L. Kappa June 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    It seems to me you should think about employing Mr. McGregor, at least,on a part-time basis!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      I think you’re right. In the meantime chasing them off is keeping us fit at least. πŸ™‚

  3. Brenda June 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    If you come up with some form of peaceful coexistence between gardeners and bunnies, you might win the Nobel. In the meantime, enjoy your drink.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      I thought the same about the slugs and the garlic wash. If there was a 100% guaranteed effective solution out there someone would have already won the Nobel and be very rich.

  4. Vera June 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Oh Jessica, Jessica……….I am so much in sympathy with you, and yet I was almost doubled over with laughter. It’s the excellent way you write, that’s the problem, and even though I understand your frustration about trying to form a super duper garden, and feel mildly envious that you take such fantastic photos and that you know the proper name for all those wonderful plants of yours, I still laughed. I am not sorry for laughing, though, because laughter is such a precious gift to give to someone, so thank you for that. Meanwhile, hope the chicken wire works. Lester has a gun. Does Mike have one? Just saying.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      I have enough to worry about with Mike having a chainsaw, a flame gun and all his other potentially lethal toys. No, he does not have a gun! πŸ˜‰
      Thank you for your kind words Vera.

  5. Mark and Gaz June 7, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Rabbits, yikes!! Hope the chicken wire works!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      So far so good. But I can’t cover everything up and worry that the rabbits will just move on to something else. They’re a right pain.

  6. Simone June 7, 2016 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Forget gardening Jessica! All the signs are telling you to open a wildlife refuge !!! πŸ™‚

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      As far as the wildlife are concerned, I think they’ve decided that I already have.

  7. Jo June 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    You know how to attract them! xx

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Now I need to learn how to repel them!

  8. Christina June 7, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, so sorry to hear about the rabbit problems in your garden! We had rabbits digging one night underneath our fence and coming in and feasting on my plants. Next thing I know there were no day lily buds anymore (plants were small, so buds were low to the ground level). But we could place a big stone were they had dug a hole and peace was restored in the garden, again! At least until next time…
    I often wonder how the big public gardens protect their plants from the rabbits. Their plants look always perfect! Maybe you could get advice from them (Rosemoor)?
    Alternative you could build a stone wall around your property, like they did in the old times. With your energy level your certainly could get that done, couldn’t you ;-)?
    But seriously, I really hope you find a solution for your problem!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina. When new shrubs are planted in the more open areas of Rosemoor they are surrounded by chicken wire, presumably to protect them from rabbits. Next time I go I shall most probably ask them for advice. But a search on the internet suggests that other than physical barriers there doesn’t seem to be much of a solution, other than gassing them in their burrows which I don’t feel too comfortable with. Yet.

  9. Amy at love made my home June 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Oh no!!!! Well, you must have the most wildlife per square inch of any garden and some very tasty plants! Hope you can sort out the new trouble makers and get some new batteries for the twirler!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      This one may be the most difficult problem to solve yet. I can’t see us realistically fencing off the whole garden. That will mean doing only parts of it, which won’t be very pretty.

  10. Linda aka Crafty Gardener June 7, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Those darn pesky, but cute, rabbits. Life is never dull at the rusty duck residence.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      They are very cute, especially as most that I’ve seen are youngsters. But, as with the deer, squirrels etc. I’m locked in the same inner struggle. If they all stay around I won’t have a garden.

  11. Anna June 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I thoroughly sympathise Jessica. There is a flopsy bunny terrorising our allotment site at the moment. Following torrential rain on Saturday night a Sunday morning visit to the allotment revealed damage to shallots, sweet peas, cornflowers, glads and scabious. I initially blamed slugs and snails but then after talking to my plot neighbour realised that the molluscs were not the culprit. The battle is on!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      Good luck Anna. If the allotment is unfenced it will indeed be a battle. They seem to home in on anything newly planted. The tender young leaves I suppose.

  12. Bumbleabdme June 7, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Oh how I sympathise!! It’s chickens with me……… They’re digging up all my beautiful new plants! As you say, you can’t complain about their taste in plants, but boy it’s frustrating! Our chooks will be moving down with the others at the weekend! You’ll have to do a Mr mcGregory scarecrow affair, see if that deters the little blighters! Xxx

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      These bunnies are totally fearless. Even I don’t scare them. I march down the garden and they just sit there watching me until I am almost on top of them.

  13. justjilluk June 7, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I really is time you go a cat – or two. Rabbits are all around us. But not in our garden.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      I am still resisting..

  14. snowbird June 7, 2016 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    You have my sympathy….sometimes I want to throw the trowel in too…..I am beset with every insect known to man…..xxx

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      It’s SO frustrating isn’t it. I really do wonder why I bother sometimes.

  15. wherefivevalleysmeet June 7, 2016 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Do take care whilst in hot pursuit Jessica we don’t want you tripping and hurting yourself – I used to do the same but now have an old biscuit tin which I bang with a wooden spoon. It is amusing watching the squirrels fly up the trees and somersault down whilst escaping and helps vent my feelings.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      The venting of the feelings bit appeals to me most..

  16. Sue Garrett June 7, 2016 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    You could gb the next Beatrix Potter

    • Sue Garrett June 7, 2016 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Should say be not gb.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      I’d love to visit her house, it looks idyllic. But possibly prone to rabbits..

  17. Kris Peterson June 7, 2016 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    You do make your story very entertaining but I can appreciate your “dismay” (probably a mix of outrage, disgust and murderous fury). I know I periodically throw up my hands after a series of raccoon rampages. Hopefully, your reinforced defense systems will send the devils elsewhere in search of easier pickings.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      The garden is slowly becoming encased in chicken wire. It’s not a good look. I have come to dread the morning tour of inspection so can understand exactly how you feel about the raccoons.

  18. Kris Peterson June 7, 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    P.S. I’ve had difficulty connecting to your blog, as well as posting today’s comment, receiving an initial response indicating that the site can’t be reached. However, I was able to get through after repeated tries.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks for that Kris, useful information.

  19. Virginia June 8, 2016 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Why has no-one suggested a dog? or two? Of the rodent catching variety… terriers perhaps

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      It’s tempting isn’t it. But to have a dog here would mean investing a huge amount in fencing and with sheep often in the fields around us I wouldn’t want to risk it otherwise.

  20. Jayne June 8, 2016 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Oh dear, not funny. Not funny at all. And expensive. And bluddy demoralising when the dratted things only eat your most choice specimens . . .

    I was thinking on the same lines as Virginia – dog or cat time. Assuming you can guarantee to find one (or the other) which will actually work for its keep {chuckle}. Failing that, an air rifle? Assuming Mike is happy to sit camouflaged behind a bush for hours on end waiting to get the little buggers?

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Don’t encourage him Jayne, please.. πŸ˜‰

  21. ginaferrari June 8, 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I laughed at your telling of the tale but I do sympathise. My on going war against the pigeons continues and many a morning I’m to be seen running ( well, hobbling) into the garden in my dressing gown, arms flapping, trying to shoo them off my lettuces. I fear they may be winning.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      It really is a case of if not one thing it’s another. It’s a miracle homo sapiens have been around for so long, given how hard it is to grow anything to eat.

  22. Mrs GH. June 8, 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Pine martins….you need pine martins!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Stoats? I can do stoats. Strangely not seen any this year though. Or owls for that matter. Hmmm..

  23. Sarah Shoesmith June 8, 2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Argh rabbits. I spent my entire garden budget on rabbit fencing the other year. It works very well until someone leaves the gate open. I’m sorry I laughed at you in hot pursuit of the cute, fluffy imposters… I know how frustrating it is, but I’m not convinced that running around like a Keystone Cop is an RHS recommended method of control. It’s pretty good aerobic exercise though and if you were carrying your phone, you could check your step count, congratulate yourself, and celebrate with another drink.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      I’ve been thinking of getting one of those fitbit things but I would want extra points for hills and I’m not sure it’s calibrated to do that. Good move with the fencing. It may well turn out to be the only solution here too. I dread to think about the cost.

  24. Anne June 8, 2016 at 10:04 am - Reply

    And soon Flopsy will have grandbabies! Our vegetable beds are swathed in chicken wire to keep out the guinea fowl (a self imposed punishment) but there are oak and horse chestnut seedlings coming up all over the place, which I blame entirely on the wretched squirrels. A friend had her roses munched down by roe deer last weekend, so I count myself lucky that we only have muntjac that can’t reach very high.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      My sympathies to your friend. I’d have thought roses were naturally immune, but I’ve seen a deer with a mouthful of the ‘Lark Ascending’, thorns and all. There’s no stopping them.

  25. AnnetteM June 8, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

    I feel for you Jessica. And I will stop complaining about my snails – well for this week anyway. You do help get my garden problems in perspective. I think I would have given up long ago, but if anyone is up for a challenge it is you and Mike. You definitely need some four legged help here. Could you not borrow one from a local rescue centre for a while?

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      I do often feel like giving up, but then I think about all the things I wanted to achieve and can’t quite let it go. And so we soldier on. The garden is open to the countryside, so having a dog would need quite a bit of infrastructure. One day we will have to bite the bullet, even if it is only rabbit fencing!

  26. derrickjknight June 8, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Your wildlife would send The Head Gardener into apoplexy

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      It does me..

  27. pollymacleod June 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    oh dear Jessica, I’m so sorry, it sounds like a war zone!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      It feels like one of those westerns where you can see the enemy forces ranged on top of the hill waiting to descend.

  28. Marianne June 8, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    ‘Tis the season, eh? Seems like just as we get all that lovely groundwork done, the hordes move in. I sympathize and am dealing with the same issues at precisely the same time – groundhog style. Column this week was about that very thing – funny to see you fighting it so valiantly on the other side of the Atlantic.

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Groundhogs? I kind of feel sorry for those guys. Hauled out of their burrows when they’re trying to sleep just to give a weather forecast. Now I understand. It’s all about revenge.

  29. Ann @Ann Edwards Photography June 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    we have baby rabbits in the garden here in our new home – I am very worried for my roses now!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Oh no. They are not things you want to have, however cute they may look. Not unless you keep them in a hutch or well fenced in. Last year I thought we had just the one and it did no damage. Well obviously there were two. And now look!

  30. Ronnie Tyler June 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Oh my word, it really is a war out there! Do you black up at night like a commando? I think I have problems with my marauding molusces, cats, and foxes but luckily I don’t have to contend with rabbits and squirrels. Thank heaven for chicken wire

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      I suppose I should have known what was coming when we put the field camera out at night last year. There were quite a few rabbit sightings then, now I come to think about it.

  31. Karen gimson June 8, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Trying again with this comment box. your blog has made me laugh. All the best- Karen

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Karen, sorry you’ve been having problems commenting.

  32. Sam June 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Gosh, having just posted about dastardly slugs and snails, I’m now thinking I’ve got it easy. Flipping rabbits. And squirrels. Fingers crossed for the Pennisetum!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      And the Panicum.. which they had the following night πŸ™

  33. Alain June 9, 2016 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Better be your Flopsy than mine! I have not seen her nor Peter in several weeks. I wish you the same!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Alain. I am fervently hoping they will just go away, but it is probably too much to ask.

  34. Janice Cooke June 9, 2016 at 9:44 am - Reply

    What do you expect if you will provide such a delectable array of flowers and vegetables? However, seriously, I can imagine your irritation!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      Yes, irritating in the extreme. I know they are only trying to feed themselves.. But!

  35. Jackie June 9, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    As Derrick’s ‘Head Gardener’ I have to say that your latest problem would have sent me into a state of apoplexy. Slugs and snails, next door’s cats, and the moles and rats too, get me close to a breakdown but deer and bunnies!! Had both at a previous garden and used to wake up at night convinced I could hear them chewing at my plants, or their ‘Salad Bar’ as they saw it!

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      Late night rustling is worrisome indeed! There seem to be fewer owls around this year which may be something to do with the increased baby bunny population. I suppose that will mean more mice as well..

  36. Cathy June 9, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    You would have to find something else to entertain us with if there no rabbits… or squirrels… or pheasants! I can count myself lucky with just a hazelnut-burying squirrel and the usual slugs and snails ????

    • Jessica June 9, 2016 at 11:17 pm - Reply

      I’m waiting for the Beast of Exmoor now. I think we’ve had everything else.

  37. Josephine June 10, 2016 at 1:50 am - Reply

    We have a new fawn…..the herd continues to grow, and more of our shrubs and flowers continue to be devoured πŸ™‚
    It’s a never-ending challenge, but I wouldn’t change any of it !
    I feel your pain, and delight.
    ~Jo

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Something has started to strip the bark from a gorgeous Acer. The deer are in the frame. It’s a mixed blessing isn’t it!

  38. SeagullSuzie June 10, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

    I was reminded of Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit as I read about the bunny explosion! Oh dear poor you trying to garden in peace and being sabotaged at every step. Cats and a dog would see off these garden beasties-but I know you have to face the consequences of the bird v cat problem-and it’s not nice at all.
    I am reminded of my lovely old cat Rodney and dog Dillon, who loved to chase squirrels out of my North Yorkshire garden. I would say the word squirrels and open the back door-the two of them would fly out together and chase them away. Obviously I would never have done that if they’d have had any chance of catching one!

    Not having a problem posting a comment-but I did get an error message ‘website unavailable’ and then it went on to connect anyway!

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Even the birds are squabbling amongst themselves now. This year we’ve had jays nesting and they seem to be picking fights with everything else, even the woodpeckers. Nature is not easy. I can just imagine Rodney and Dillon!

  39. bittster June 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    In the greenhouse? Really?
    Your fortifications are impressive, and I think I’ll need a few of the same here since things are going downhill fast. I’m afraid I don’t have the constitution for this though. I stumbled upon a sleepy baby groundhog the other afternoon and as he bumbled his way out of the broccoli I did think he was fairly cute. I must steel my resolve.

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Everything is out to get us Frank, everything. I never used to be paranoid before we moved here.

  40. Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams June 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    As much as Floppsys are cute with their cotton wool tales and fluffy ears, they are little devils!! The barriers we put up don’t make the garden the best looking but hopefully yours will soon be protected enough to deter the critters πŸ™‚ xx

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      I can only hope that when the new plants toughen up they’ll be less attractive for nibbling. Otherwise I really will be living in a chicken wire world.

  41. hb June 11, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Here they mowed my Nemesias to the ground, so I have those poultry wire constructs everywhere, too. The roses are their favorite.

    We have what you don’t, though. Coyotes. I’ve found a Floppsy-cousin’s hind leg, and there are a couple of ears missing a head down the road. One’s heart becomes hard.

    You might think about adding what “agrowingobsession” blog has, a “please check to prove you are not a spammer” check box–that’s so clever!

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Difficult to know what to do about the roses. I’m presuming once they get a bit leggy they’ll be safe because the bunnies won’t be able to reach the leaves.

  42. Spade & Dagger June 11, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    On a recent TV prog, a year in the life of a Scottish country house & gardens open to the public, the owners explained that they had resorted to fencing a small central area which contained all the prize garden plants, and managing the surrounds with large plantings of tough fast growing shrubs & trees. Originally they had plans to turn large swaths of the grounds into proper gardens, but realised that the sheer amount of nature roaming the outskirts was never going to let that happen. So they invested in an affordable amount of top quality fencing and made the garden a haven of choice plants, and had come to like the surrounding mass plantings which were thoughtfully chosen to be tough & attractive all year.

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      It sounds like a good strategy and one that I’ve been trying to sell to Mike. Our challenge will be to hide the fence somehow. On a slope that’s not so easy. Plus it will need to cross the drive in at least two places. It could mean a lot of gates.

  43. Suzanne June 12, 2016 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Add some cayenne pepper to your garlic cocktail. Maybe spray this on the rabbit food plants?

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Now there’s a thought..

  44. Island Threads June 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    oh dear sorry you are having such a problem with wildlife Jessica, baby bunnies like lambs are worse than the parents, I was amazed at the cheek/daring of rabbits, they clearly seem to know when you won’t actually do them harm as I had a pair one year try several times to dig burrows under my house and yes by the side door when I was going in and out of it to work in the garden, I eventually filled the area with stones and pushed very thorny/spiky shrub cuttings into the ground around some shrubs, like a hebe they had taken a liking to, I read to do this as they will be put off by the thorny material, it worked for my hebe, I’ve had days like this with the weather as well as wildlife, as a chocoholic I hit the chocolate! good luck and best wishes, Frances

    • Jessica June 12, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      You’re right Frances. They don’t respond to “Boo!” as the squirrels do, or even to stones thrown in their vicinity. The only thing that will shift them is physically going down the garden to chase them off. More exercise. At least it will burn off the chocolate πŸ™‚

      • Island Threads June 13, 2016 at 8:31 am - Reply

        so you are a stone thrower too, I guess it gives us a bit of over arm exercise, I remember years ago a lady on GQT asking how to stop rabbits, she said when she chased them off they went through the fence then sat in the field watching her and the minute she went back in the house they were back through the fence, Frances

        • Jessica June 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

          It’s Mike who is the stone thrower. I worried that he might hit a rabbit and injure it. But his aim is not that good πŸ™‚

          • Island Threads June 14, 2016 at 9:31 am

            I don’t aim at the rabbits just near to, hopefully, scare them off, otherwise they just don’t move until I am nearly close enough to touch them, no fear at all!

          • Jessica June 15, 2016 at 11:39 am

            Mike does the same… I hope! The next thing, he will be complaining there are stones all over the lawn blunting the mower blades. If we ever get to mow again that is.. the rain has become biblical over the last couple of days.

  45. casa mariposa June 13, 2016 at 3:15 am - Reply

    I rabbit proofed my garden a few years ago and so far it’s been working. One of my dogs has eaten a few rabbits, too. But I still see them eyeing the flowers through the fence. Every now and then one gets in but the dogs usually chase it off. They would be easier to hate if they weren’t so cute!

    • Jessica June 13, 2016 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      They are doing so much damage that even their cuteness won’t save them. Every morning there is something new. The beans have had it now. πŸ™

  46. Caroline June 20, 2016 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    I could loan you my cat. He’s a very good rabbit hunter, although you will have them left in the hall half eaten as a gift! We used to be overrun with rabbits but i’ve not seen one in our garden for years. My neighbour also loves my cat since he eradicated her rabbits too. He doesn’t charge much, just a comfy place to curl up for a nap πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica June 20, 2016 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      It’s the half eaten gifts that put me off if I’m honest! That and having animals to worry about if we went away. But we do have to do something to restore the balance. Rabbits, and the mice, are taking full advantage of the predator free zone.

  47. Peter/Outlaw June 27, 2016 at 4:55 am - Reply

    I’m sorry to laugh at your pain but the thought of you (or anyone) chasing the squirrel and bunny made me giggle. Sorry that the pests are molesting your plants. All gardeners can empathize with your thought of pouring concrete over the whole plot and giving up. Things will get better or maybe worse. Drinking is always an option!

    • Jessica June 27, 2016 at 11:22 pm - Reply

      My plant options get more limited by the day. Perhaps I should start a demonstration garden with plants that bunnies, slugs, deer etc. leave alone. It may be quite restricted. An eryngium garden maybe? All things spiky? Most of them would be defeated by the rain.

  48. Laura June 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Blood meal? Plantskyd? That’s what we use at the garden centre…in bulk.

    • Jessica June 27, 2016 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      I had to look up Plantskyd, don’t think we have it over here. If the testimonials are anything to go by it sounds great. I have been meaning to try something similar though, called Grazers.

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