Thursday, May 01, 2014

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

Rabbits abound this Spring on the farm. I see so many each day that it is beginning to worry me. Small bands scatter before my UTV as I drive through the pastures. Will they devastate gardens this year? Will we rival Australia in rabbit overpopulation? Stay tuned.

Something is out of balance in nature. Perhaps it is the destruction of the coyotes in the area.

So, what else is happening? Well, we thankfully did not have a tornado go through our region during the last bout of storms. It rained a lot and is still cool. I tried to do some gardening tasks in the past two days and just got muddy and wet. I've been digging out big clumps of grass and trying to get the flower gardens back to some semblance of "acceptableness."

Actually, I'd like to enjoy the gardens and see the daylilies bloom for the first time in years. The deer and rabbits eat them down to the ground, especially any flower buds that develop. I've found some solar powered lights that change colors and staked them all around the garden. I am closely monitoring leaf growth and looking for buds. I even found an old spray bottle of deer deterrent -- which, ironically is probably coyote urine based!

I've noted that iris of any type and peony is not touched by the wildlife, so I'm transplanting a lot if it around daylily plantings to see if it helps.

The deer population is also pretty healthy on this farm. There are more than a dozen that graze in my hayfield, despite the fact that hunters harvested twenty two deer last Fall.

This year, the lungwort, which the locals call Virginia Bluebells was quite lovely. It's beginning to decline now. We have the variety which is tinged with pink on the blue petals. The neighbor says they originally got it in the woods, like a lot of the plants on the farm. This is also called pulmonaria. When I looked it up in my large volume Botanica, I found that it is a Eurasian plant. So, if it was located in the woods on the farm it must have come from very early European settlers.

It is interesting to me that in the same gardens where the lungwort is planted, there is also spiderwort and soapwort -- all lovely plants which also thrive in woodland areas.  I've been meaning to go on a Spring wildflower tour of the woods to see what else is blooming this year.  Maybe I will.