Sunday, April 7, 2019

Danged Wabbits!

Danged Wabbits!

The rabbits around here have caused more damage to trees this winter than I can remember ever having before. The Bruns weeping Serbian spruce shown above is disfigured beyond saving.

So much for this apple tree -- and not a small one either!

And this weeping Norway spruce was just starting to
look good last year. Grrr!

Numerous other shrubs and trees have been chawed too, but some of them might recover -- we'll just wait and see about those. But we'll be re-thinking some whole garden areas because of the removals.

We had wrapped chicken wire around the trunks of some of our trees in previous years, in order to protect them from our outdoor cat, Little Kitty, who liked to sharpen her claws on tree trunks (she actually killed a magnolia tree that way). That protective wire was still in place, and it protected those trees. We'll wrap more tree trunks this year, to protect them from future rabbit damage.

Most of the tulip foliage that has emerged from the ground has also been gnawed by the rabbits. To protect my flowers, I'm trying to make an off-limits area inside our white picket fence. Last year, I started stapling chicken wire to the bottom of the picket fence that encloses the little yard in front of my house, in order to protect my new Paradise Garden from rabbits, but this year I'm finishing the job around the entire perimeter, creating a Bunny Fort Knox:

The white picket fence that surrounds my house outlines the area that will be protected against rabbits. My Paradise Garden is at far left.

Bunny Fort Knox: The chicken wire I have stapled to the bottom of the entire perimeter fence is visible up close, but not from far away. The rabbits are mostly repelled by the wire fencing. 

With any luck, the wire fencing will keep out most of the rabbits, so I can enjoy flowers at least within my fenced area.

Another project I started this weekend:

Here's my Paradise Garden in front of my house last month. I have mentioned here that I've been thinking of removing the "Stairway to Nowhere" that used to lead to the front porch before I had it enclosed into a sunroom.
Yesterday seemed like a nice day for working outside, and I made fairly short work of the stairs using a crowbar, hammer and hand saw. (I'm pretty sore and tired today after this work, so I'm taking it easy at the computer.)
I had been wondering exactly what lay beneath those stairs, and now I know: a leftover concrete bottom stair from the original staircase on my 1924 house.
Here's a photo taken in the 1920s of those stairs. I'm
not sure who the man is -- I got the photo from a
104-year-old man, a cousin of the original
homeowners, who used to live nearby when I was
 researching the history of my house.

I've removed a few inches of the soil behind the step, and I plan to fill it with gravel, then sand, and then lay paving stones matching those I used for the paths in the PG, on top of the sand and covering the leftover step. Then I'll put another bench there, so there will be two places to sit in the PG, a shady place and a sunny place.

I'll show you the finished project next time.

A few cute spring bulbs to end this post:

One of the first blooms of spring -- next to tulip foliage that has also been nipped off....

And the winter aconites are shining cheerily in the sunshine, attracting bees already.
They're such darling, cheery things!
Puschkinia sciolliodes var. libanotica

Aren't these hyacincths beautifully colored? The bees were swarming around them, even this early in the year.

It's been wonderfully warm this weekend -- in the 70s, and it feels good to get outside and plant a few pansies in the window boxes, and clear out some borders of leaves and debris. Springtime is a lovely, busy time of year!

Hope you have been enjoying some lovely warm days in your own gardens and getting a few projects done. Thanks for reading! -Beth