RABBITS

The damage caused by these animals needs no stressing. The myxomatosis virus disease has, of course, drastically reduced their numbers, but in some places resistant or possibly immune rabbits have reappeared. Farmers employ trapping and shooting to exterminate rabbits, also gassing by means of hydrogen cyanide gas, which is a deadly poison. In the garden a taut wire fence not less than 3 ½ ft. high will keep them out. The mesh must not exceed half an inch. Pepper dust will often deter both rabbits and cats.

Rabbits are most active in winter and early spring, although they do not usually damage spring-flowering bulbs (crocus excepted). Wallflowers are a favourite target. They are, however, often still troublesome in summer when hardy annuals, border carnations, pinks and antirrhinums (snapdragons) are attacked. Amateurs often ask for lists of plants ignored by rabbits, but any such list can only be given with the reservation that in very cold weather when they cannot readily obtain their natural green food, these animals will eat almost anything in the garden. Further, their tastes appear to vary somewhat in different gardens! Among herbaceous border plants, geums, heucheras, lupins, Michaelmas daisies, Oriental poppies and phlox often escape. Flag or tall bearded irises are seldom injured. ‘Resistant’ trees and shrubs include rhododendrons, bcrberis, fuchsias, spiraeas and viburnums.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.