Rabbit Pie

 

Echinacea pallida. Munched. Behind a somewhat belatedly bolted stable door.

Flopsy bunny is indeed fortunate. As an animal lover and aspiring vegetarian I could no more prepare an animal for the pot than I could shoot it in the first place.

 

 

And thus Mike is in full-on cage construction mode and we are back to chicken wire Fort Knox. Does it add to the aesthetic appeal of the garden? Not a jot. And it’s so unfair. The garden is full of weeds. Burgeoning, lush, organically grown, surely supremely tasty weeds. Enough to support a bunny for the rest of the summer should it be inclined to hang around. So why pick on a tiny plant, with as yet very few leaves, only purchased in the last day or so at considerable expense?

 

 

The gardener really should get those docks out before the root goes down deep. Then it really will be a struggle won’t it.

 

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'

 

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’

Everywhere at the Chelsea Flower Show. Occasionally also in Devon. Except that in Chelsea they weren’t blown horizontal by the wind.

 

Cercidiphyllum japonicum

 

Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Alas and alack, munching critters haven’t been my only challenge this month. There’s also been the weather. Just about everything has been thrown at us lately. At the beginning of May it was two nights of killing frost. At only a couple of degrees below zero not especially cold but the timing couldn’t have been worse, just as the leaves were emerging on the trees. Many of the garden ornamentals are looking rather sad now. The lovely Toffee Apple tree, above, would have us believe it is autumn already.

 

Davidia involucrata

 

Davidia involucrata

I’ve waited ten years so far for the handkerchief blooms. It won’t be this year either. There are barely any leaves. Thankfully there were a few shoots left in reserve so perhaps not all is lost.

 

Magnolia sieboldii

 

Magnolia sieboldii

Burned leaves and wizened blooms.

 

Rosa mutabilis

 

Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis’

Now that’s more like it.

 

Following the frost, a dry spell turned our clay soil into something resembling concrete. Just as the irrigation system broke down. And then, this last weekend, a thunderstorm such as I’ve never seen before. I awoke to a room alive with flashing lights. (Not helped by the fact that the bedroom blinds still haven’t been made, in spite of Mike’sĀ nagging frequent helpful reminders. I’ve ordered the fabric now at least. When it arrives, on a roll, there’s nowhere to put it. Which should focus the mind somewhat.)

Strangely, the lightning had no thunder to accompany it. From the southern horizon the flashes across the sky were not just every few seconds, they were continuous. It was spectacular enough to take me back to Sydney on New Year’s Eve. There is an internet site which displays, in real time, every lightning flash anywhere in the world. Incredibly the storm we were watching was still almost 50 miles distant, the thunder too far away to hear. We tracked it approaching us for over an hour, watching the strikes on the map and the sky getting correspondingly brighter as every minute passed.

 

 

Lightningmaps.org (here)

The observant will have noted that this is not Devon. But the following day on the desktop computer this was the nearest thunderstorm I could find. The red and yellow spots are the most recent strikes, making it possible to track which way the storm is heading.

Take a look, it’s fascinating!

 

Arisaema ciliatum

 

Arisaema ciliatum

Purchased at the Little Ash Farm NGS Open Day last year (the next one is this coming Sunday) I’m delighted the arisaema has returned, guaranteeing it pride of place alongside the new woodland path. Isn’t she a beauty?

And she isn’t the only new entry this week..

 

Itoh Peony 'Pastel Splendor'

 

Itoh Peony ‘Pastel Splendor’

At last.

The colour is exquisite. More of a coral than a pink, with undertones of grey and a flush of gold she is the Farrow and Ball of peonies. Just as well. I’ve never before spent even half as much on a perennial, especially for a bloom unseen, and probably never will again. Although as a hybrid between a tree and herbaceous peony perhaps she is something a little out of the ordinary.

 

Itoh Peony 'Pastel Splendor'

 

Splendid indeed

 

For more end of May floral delights click through to Sarah’s Through The Garden Gate (here).

2017-10-26T10:10:02+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Tags: , |

90 Comments

  1. Julieanne May 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Curse those rascally wabbits! I hope your Echinacea bounces back. The winds have been high here and we had to move an Acer that was getting burnt. But it sounds like it’s been much worse in Devon. It’s good the frost/weather didn’t get your Peony so you got to enjoy it. Very pretty.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      The peony opened the day before the thunderstorm! I thought it would get smashed, but it didn’t. They are tougher than they look!

  2. SmallP May 31, 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Well aren’t those bunnies just a discerning bunch. None of your average weeds for them, only the very finest tips! Apart from the missing plant tops, your flowers and photos are beautiful! That cirsium is glorious…I might have to invest in one although as the owner of the world’s smallest garden I am running out of space. That storm was amazing but the dog wasn’t impressed!! xx

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      The cirsium is described by the RHS as an ‘upright’ perennial, into which I’m reading tall and skinny.. hope you can squeeze one in!

  3. New Moons For Old May 31, 2017 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    It’s uncanny that your weather, at pretty much the absolute other side of the country from me in Kent, has mirrored ours so closely. We had one of those electrical storms a few nights ago, too. The sky was just constantly flashing along the horizon, in the most astonishing (and fashionable) copper shades. It must have been a little closer than yours – I could just hear the thunder. Then, about an hour later, it broke overhead!!

    I’m sure one of the reasons your blog is so popular is that you have always been willing to share the gardening trials as well as the triumphs, and although you are so good at making light of them, I do feel your pain.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      There are plenty of gardening trials to write about! And failures. I wish I knew why I seem to have more than anyone else.
      Having just watched part of a certain person’s speech on climate change (I had to switch it off long before the end for the sake of my sanity and to avoid hurling things at the screen) it sounds like we may need to get used to spectacular storms.

  4. grammapenny May 31, 2017 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    i see you have also gone with the chicken wire cage method.. it is the only thing that is keeping my plants from being munched these days.. the dog, the traps, the sprays…. nothing else works. grrrrrrr… so my garden is a jumble of little (and big) wire cages now

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      I even had underground cages (for the mice) but today I dug up two of them where the bulbs appeared to have died only to find that something had chewed through the bottom. Chewed through wire!

  5. bitaboutbritain May 31, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Beautiful shots. I was troubled by bunnies in a previous life; they used to excavate little burrows, like defensive ditches, in unexpected places on the ‘lawn’. When the front wheels of my then pride and joy, the ride-on-mower, the predictable result was to raise my voice several octaves. I think you fared worse on the frost front than we did – our major loss was the pieris, but it was just badly wounded.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Yes, the pieris went here too but that often does. It probably wasn’t so much that it was colder here, maybe just that being further south the tender young leaves had opened more. We will certainly have some very odd looking trees this year but as long as they survive and next Spring’s weather is kinder, that’s the main thing.

  6. bumbleandme May 31, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Beautiful photos, shame about the bunnies. I too watched the thunderstorm (well lightening) dancing across the skies a good four hours before it reached us (which gave me time for a little snooze!). It really was spectacular. When it finally reached us it hit the BT lines and blew up our wifi box! Definitely a storm to remember. X

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Some of my friends in the village also lost broadband. It seems BT have had a busy week!

  7. Peter Herpst May 31, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    As a fellow vegetarian, I feel your pain with those silly rabbits. They’re such cute and docile animals, too bad they also have an appetite for your favorite new plants! The foliage and colors of the blooms of Itoh peonies are opulent and make them worth the price. They’re getting a bit less expensive here now that they aren’t brand new anymore. Sorry about the crazy weather that’s done such a number on so many of your plants!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      I bought the Itoh when I saw one for Ā£10 less than the previous year so maybe the same is happening here too. Just as well, I’m hooked!

  8. Backlane Notebook May 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Sorry about the bunnies and the need for cages and yes it’s a sad day when one realises the pesky creatures will always win out. I am considering sowing carrots and parsnips one last time although I fear the badger will claw them out as he has for the last three years.
    Love the weather description-we only had ten minutes of it.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Watching the storm developing on the internet site it seemed to kick off west when it reached Dartmoor so I can understand how it might have missed you. Badgers are worse than rabbits. There’s always something isn’t there.

  9. Mary Jenkins May 31, 2017 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Who’d be a gardener? I have never been successful with Echinacea either.
    Just yesterday I was admiring my alliums and today they (and penstemon and aquilegia) were trampled by my two huge dogs on an urgent errand – chasing a fox through my garden! The fox managed to get away over the fence into next door’s garden, dislodging my climbing rose from the trellis as it did so.
    So animals 1, Mary 0. I feel your pain Jessica – and am in the process of fencing off the flower beds yet again.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Nnoooooo!!!

  10. wherefivevalleysmeet May 31, 2017 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Love your Arisaema ciliatum – that is my kind of flower – something a little bit different.
    We are fortunate that we do not having rabbits, it took me a while to realise why, but it is because we live on oolithic limestone and they cannot make burrows – the reverse side of the coin is that it is difficult to plant flowers in it too.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Having been literally hacking into solid clay in order to plant today I get a feel for how difficult that must be. But your garden looks gorgeous so you have obviously been successful. And no bunnies..

  11. Linda aka Crafty Gardener May 31, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Darn rabbits, but they are so cute. They don’t munch my veggies anymore as I use raised platforms and grow in huge tubs.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      They are cute. Especially the babies. But there are so many of them..

  12. Freda May 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I will find a place for Rosa mutabilis. Battle on Jessica – when you do get results you get marvellous ones!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks Freda. Rosa mutabilis is new, only planted this winter from bare root. But it looks to be a cracker. Find a big space, it can grow to 2.5m across. My space isn’t quite that big, I’m hoping I can trim it a bit..

  13. kate@barnhouse May 31, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Rabbits, killer frosts and lightning strikes aside your Itoh peony in bloom is a sight for sore eyes. Thanks for the link, next storm we shall know what to watch while the supposedly bomb proof dogs cower in their beds!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      It can’t be nice for dogs. I wish we could explain..

  14. justjilluk May 31, 2017 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Such beautiful plants. . One day Jessica you wont have to squint, it will be ALL beautiful!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      That day is a long way off!! šŸ˜‰

  15. Kris P May 31, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    I had some trepidation when your post’s title appeared in my feed, thinking “she doesn’t seem like someone who’d bake a troublesome rabbit in a pie.” I’m glad you didn’t, although I certainly understand the urge. The downside of my “squirrel buster” bird feeders is that the furry-tailed rats now spend a lot more time munching my Gazanias. But the Itoh peony must make up for the rabbit and weather complaints. What a gorgeous color it is! Mine has chosen not to bloom again this year, despite our good winter rains.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      The Itoh has cheered me up hugely this week. I only wish it lasted longer after the six week build up since I first spotted the bud. Squirrels bear a grudge, I’m convinced of it. And the woodpecker was taking divots out of an oak tree branch today as we dared to be sitting between him and ‘his’ nuts.

  16. Beth @ PlantPostings June 1, 2017 at 2:34 am - Reply

    Oh, yes, that Peony is special. And the Arisaema, too. You’ve had some wacky weather ! I thought ours was crazy, but not quite this outlandish. Happy summer!

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      It’s very rare to get such a late frost here and the garden has definitely suffered. Yes, I wonder what’s next!

  17. Linda from Each Little World June 1, 2017 at 3:44 am - Reply

    Lucky you to have a cage maker on site. I usually have to make my own. My garden is full of them. Flopsy just ate the first two new lilies that pushed up before I’d even seen them. Just got to see the nice buds on the ground, though I did get the remaining ones caged.That Itoh is a beauty.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      They always go for the choicest plants. Slugs just got some special digitalis I grew from seed. I thought they were poisonous..

  18. Virginia June 1, 2017 at 5:15 am - Reply

    For goodness sake Jessica! You are tempting fate praising that beautiful Pastel Splendour Peony! The voracious bunnies will have heard you! Mike’s cones of mesh will be needed, pronto. Isn’t it disheartening when the wind damages the foliage at its most fragile stage. Hopefully it will recover. I must look and see if that lightning site covers little old New Zild! Bet we’re much too small and insignificant.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 11:16 pm - Reply

      It does cover NZ. There was even a storm registering on Lord Howe Island whilst I was on that site. It may be seriously tempting fate, but the peony seems resilient against all my usual enemies.. needless to say I have spare mesh on standby!

  19. Island Threads June 1, 2017 at 9:07 am - Reply

    sorry the rabbits are back Jessica, last Thursday night I walked into my kitchen to see a ewe in the garden, never before in the 15 years I’ve been here but new people have taken over the croft field that surrounds 2 sides of my garden, and they are new to crofting/sheep keeping, like you it always maddens me that they don’t seem to get the grass and native weeds, when I had the problem with sheep on Scalpay I was told that they like to try new plants, this was echoed on GQT a few years ago, I suppose it is like us when we try something new, though this doesn’t help, I hope they didn’t like the echinacea, your brown foliage looks like some of mine but living with wind I have got used to it, they look totally brown from your photos so from my experience they should be fine, oh, just remembered I read and tried prickly twigs pushed in around plants to stop rabbits, it worked and looks more natural, also can act as a support, best wishes, Frances

    • Island Threads June 1, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

      oophs, that should read ‘they don’t look totally brown’

      • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 11:36 pm - Reply

        šŸ™‚
        I think (hope!) the tree will survive. It just looks rather sorry for itself.

    • Jessica June 1, 2017 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      Frances, I hope the ewe didn’t do too much damage! When they got in here it was more from the trampling than the nibbling, but then it was the whole bloomin’ flock! I think I have lost the echinacea, what’s left of it seems to be withering away. When I replace it I’ll add prickly twigs!

  20. Jo June 1, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

    I thank my lucky stars that I’m not plagued by rabbits. What a gorgeous peony, it’s such an unusual colour. It’s something that I’ve never grown myself but I remember my mum having one in her garden, a gorgeous deep wine colour, and I was always fascinated by the buds, they were so tactile for little hands.

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      The buds on herbaceous peonies fascinate me too. So round! They’re all over so quickly though. Most of mine have now succumbed to last night’s rain. Hey ho. Next year. And I still have ‘Bowl of Beauty’ just about to emerge.

  21. Anna June 1, 2017 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Oh those dastardly bunnies Jessica šŸ™ Why they turn their twitching noses up at those yummy weeds is beyond me. Rabbits have arrived at our allotment site in increasing numbers over the last five years or so. Himself like Mike is becoming more and more creative in the chicken wire creation department. Sorry to read about the frost damage which seems to have hit the south of the country severely. Likewise the thunderstorms last weekend – not as much as a flash here. Your new peony is absolutely exquisite.

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      I suppose it’s only right that the south gets its share of bad weather occasionally. The frost caught me by surprise. Not that I could have done much to protect trees. The bunnies are getting shadier in their dealings. I think I’ve only seen one this year and was quietly hoping they’d gone away. Some chance.

  22. Cathy June 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I talk to the slugs sternly about the luscious weeds there are around the garden but, like your rabbits, they don’t really listen! You really are up against it in your garden, so a single bloom on your expensive Itoh peony is indeed a real triumph!

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      No, they don’t listen. Slugs and rabbits will do what slugs and rabbits do. More and more I am thinking that I should just restrict my plants to the critter resistant specimens. Trouble is that would really reduce my choices. Much as I love persicaria, a garden full of it would be a bit boring.

  23. frayedattheedge June 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Isn’t it just sod’s law that the nasty little bunny eats the wrong plants!! I have been writing a wish list for our new garden, which at the moment is mostly grass, grass and more grass (which is full of buttercups and daisies!).

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Look forward to seeing which plants you choose!

  24. Brian Skeys June 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    The late frost caused a huge amount of damage to the young emerging foliage. Thankfully we don’t have rabbits visit the garden and the badger is happy (so far) with a bowl of bird food.

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      I haven’t seen a badger here and I’m hoping it stays that way. There are plenty around though, according to the farmers.

  25. ginaferrari June 1, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Shame about the rabbits but I do enjoy reading about your garden. Makes me wish I knew more about the plants in my own.

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gina. The internet is a great source for identification. Start with something like ‘tall pink plant flowers in June’ and click images! I use it all the time and found many Australian plants that way which clearly I knew absolutely nothing about beforehand.

  26. offtheedgegardening June 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    I have bunny problems too, at one of my jobs, every week I return to see what the little blighters have deigned to leave behind. Soul destroying. But like you, I can’t bear to hurt them. I don’t mind sharing, just don’t take it all. The peony is a joy. x

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      I’ve taken that approach for salad leaves this year. Really gone for it big and hope whatever is eating them can’t manage them all. Now all the bunnies are on facebook inviting all their friends and relations around..

  27. Diana Studer June 2, 2017 at 12:42 am - Reply

    mutabilis is lovely, with the changing colours

    • Jessica June 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      I’ve been wanting one for ages having seen it on so many blogs. It doesn’t disappoint.

  28. karen June 2, 2017 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Oh those blooming rabbits. Can you imagine having to work as a gardener! I have nightmares about them. We are trying out a new solar powered thing that switches on a radio when a rabbit walks past. That sends them scampering. And lights also set in the beds which work the same way. I love that peony and the Rose mutabilis. Such beautiful colours.

    • Jessica June 3, 2017 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      I like the idea of the solar powered lights, especially as presumably you can move them around each night.

  29. Sarah June 2, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Oh no I thought the wildlife around you had been a bit quiet lately! It is such a shame that some of your plants have been damaged and they look as if it is Autumn already. We slept through all the lightning and were quite surprised when everyone mentioned it, when we were in town the following day. Your peony is such a beautiful colour. Thank you for joining me again this month, I hope next month is more fruitful in your garden, Sarah x

    • Jessica June 3, 2017 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      If the wildlife are quiet that usually means they are plotting! Yes the thunderstorm was quite spectacular, for the flashes rather than any booming. Once I get the blinds made perhaps we have a chance of sleeping through the next one.

  30. germac4 June 3, 2017 at 6:29 am - Reply

    You poor thing having frosts so close to summer, really not fair…….but isn’t that peony fabulous?? great photo!.Your thunder storm must have been a bit scary….Australia specialises in them….usually when everything is about to flower.

    • Jessica June 3, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      The frost was a bit of a shock, or at least the extent of the damage was. The peony is fabulous, but shortlived. It got hit by the thunderstorm the first day it opened so I don’t suppose that helped!

  31. Sam June 3, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I feel your pain. It’s pigeons here… Grr to them all. We had an amazing lightening storm here last week, too. The whole Channel was lit up and it felt rather eerie. Our eldest son thought it could be aliens or the world gone mad but he’s been watching a lot of films lately.

    • Jessica June 3, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      It did feel strange having the sky light up like that, without the sound of the thunder. And the previous week our alarm clock went off in the middle of the night for no reason. Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?

  32. Indie June 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    There must be something about young Echinacea pallida plants and rabbits. When I planted mine last year the rabbits wouldn’t leave them alone. Thankfully this year they must have toughened up or something since the bunnies seem to have returned to the weeds (knock on wood). That is quite the rollercoaster of weather you’ve had! Your Arisaema and tree peony are gorgeous!

    • Jessica June 3, 2017 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      I do think there is something about new plants that attracts all of the nibblers. Perhaps because they have usually been raised in polytunnels so the foliage is softer. I’ve also noticed that if I do manage to keep something alive over winter it gets bothered less the following year.

  33. CherryPie June 3, 2017 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I don’t have rabbits but I do have lots of slugs and snails. There are some thing that there is just no point in planting in my garden.

    • Jessica June 3, 2017 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      I persevere with some of my favourites, like the Echinacea, hoping that I manage to find a solution to keeping them alive. But there are a number of instances where I’ve had to admit defeat. I have two hostas in pots but planted in the borders, no chance!

  34. Amy June 4, 2017 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Oh those rabbits! This year’s youngsters are frighteningly tame… I had hoped that BettyTheDog would keep them at bay; but while mice and rats elicit a definite bloodlust, rabbits merely call forth the pleasure of the chase. She likes to bounce them out of the rosemary and watch them run… Many congratulations on the peony – what a beautiful thing! And too bad about the weather, especially that late freeze. I hope all your plants bounce back out of it. The lightning tracker looks intriguing, but I refuse to check it in June. I’m keeping my eyes firmly fixed on next month, when the chances for rain arrive again…

    • Jessica June 7, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      The chicken wire cages are working so far. But we will need an awful lot more. I have commissioned another one just this evening.
      Aaah, rain. I have plenty of that to go round if you would like some. Last week I too was looking for rain and now I have quite enough, thank you very much. Time to turn off the tap and give someone else a chance!

  35. Brenda June 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Maybe your bunny felt a cold coming on.

    • Jessica June 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      šŸ™‚
      If it had knocked on the door I would have willingly given it some Vitamin C.

  36. Jacqueline June 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    It’s not been your week has it Jessica ? !! Naughty little bunnies !! The peony is beautiful as are all of your plants …. you really pick some gooduns !!
    I like the look of the lightning tracker …. I’ll have a look later. XXXX

    • Jessica June 7, 2017 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Did you see the baby bunnies on Springwatch? Like butter wouldn’t melt.. šŸ™‚

  37. Sol June 4, 2017 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    You have wild rabbits that do that, I have a puppy, who leans on the chicken wire till it touches the plant she wants and then she munches through the wire! I hope it all recovers.

    • Jessica June 7, 2017 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t put that past the bunnies either. I suppose I should be grateful they don’t just burrow underneath the wire.

  38. hb June 6, 2017 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Rabbits here do the same thing. Mostly they hide in my yard and make up the hill forays to eat the neighbor’s water-fat lawn. So happy I got rid of my mine. They have no taste for leathery Proteas when there is Fescue to be had.

    The peony is wonderful!

    Aside: Sincere sympathies for London and Manchester; apologies for the stupid things our White House Occupant is blathering–if he would confine his harm to those who were foolish enough to vote for him, the damage would at least be contained.

    • Jessica June 7, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      Yes, the rabbits go for all the soft stuff. If only I could grow agaves and proteas!
      Fear not, I have given up listening to the current occupant’s blatherings. After the climate debacle last week I’m afraid I don’t hear him anymore. If I ever did. Tomorrow will be interesting though..

  39. Jane H June 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Oh I share your pain, most of our shrubs are surrounded by chicken wire and all the new trees have tree guards on them to prevent the rabbits and deer killing them. Our new hedging suffered badly last year because of the rabbits but after we installed some guards in the autumn they have (almost all) recovered well. I couldn’t believe the rabbits would nibble through the spiky hawthorn and roses but they did.

    • Jessica June 7, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Jane and welcome!
      Yes, they eat anything. Once I caught a deer red hoofed with half of my Lark Ascending rose in its mouth. Thorns and all. What can you do? šŸ™

  40. Rosie June 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Beautiful poppy. Shame about the bunnies they will insist on nibbling everything. Some of our strawberries are ending up half eaten in the middle of the lawn – not bunnies but I’m sure it’s squirrels:)

    • Jessica June 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      The squirrels are just as bad.. if not worse!

  41. welshhillsagain June 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    So very many things I have bought and lost up here! Rabbits, slugs, mindless death wish. ..

    • Jessica June 11, 2017 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      I never realised gardening in a true rural environment is so hard. There is also the wilderness which constantly seeks to reassert itself. Only June and already the thistles are taller than me.

  42. woolythymes June 12, 2017 at 4:45 am - Reply

    my gardening lately seems to be confined to books….but I bet you would love both of them….The Hidden Life of Trees and The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (just about my favorite book of 2017 so far!!!!!!) That Itof is a real stunner!!!

    • Jessica June 15, 2017 at 11:06 am - Reply

      I’ll take your word for it on the second one.. will the wild snail be munching on my plants?! šŸ™‚

  43. Rick June 12, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

    I set out my Arisaema ciliatum plants which I had grown from seed at the end of summer last year and had begun to think that they had gone to the great compost heap in the sky, when, two weeks ago, there they were what a lovely surprise, a whole group of them. I am also despairing of my Paeonia delavayi, again from seed, ever flowering, every year the lead shoots get frosted even in the mild winter we have just had. Shame about the gourmet bunnies rd luckily it is one pest I do not have to contend with.

    • Jessica June 15, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

      I’m tempted to try Arisaema ciliatum from seed. My one looks very lonely and that would be a satisfying (and cheap!) way of raising more.

  44. restlessjo June 12, 2017 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    That peony is truly fabulous! šŸ™‚ We have some plummy pink oriental poppies that I’m very taken with, but they won’t last long, sadly.

    • Jessica June 15, 2017 at 11:11 am - Reply

      The peonies don’t last long either, sadly. But like the poppies they are so lovely that it’s worth waiting 51 weeks for them each year.

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