February 22, 2009

I'll Have a Cement Bunny, Please

Looking through the airplane window, I couldn't believe my sleepy eyes. Through the early morning mist, I saw grassy fields dotted with adorable, lop-eared bunnies.

That was many years ago on my first flight into Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris, France. The airport grounds were literally overrun with rabbits. Back then, the rabbit count at the airport numbered over 50,000! I haven't followed the story since then, but I've been to France enough times to know that lapin is listed on many menus and served numerous ways.

With the image of thousands of rabbits in my head, I know that I must put a stop to the midnight snack raids underway in my cottage garden. These rascally rabbits are squeezing under the fence and trying to burrow beneath the bushes. During these nocturnal raids, they are clipping hardy geranium, asters, allium foliage and heuchera to the ground.

Option one is to add a smaller gauge fence guard around the perimeter of the cottage garden fence. However, the cottage garden is our front yard, so the extra fence wouldn't look very good.

Option two is to replace all plants with rabbit resistant varieties. I'm not ready to give up my dream of zinnias and cosmos.

Option three is to trap, serve or relocate. I don't think I can handle this option in any form.

Option four is to try a rabbit repellant. As long as it doesn't repel me, I'm willing to give it a try.

A few days ago, I purchased I Must Garden® Rabbit Repellant at a local garden center. I decided to try the ready-mixed gallon size for $24.99. This product was created by a local Chapel Hill, North Carolina gardener. I've never used it before, but I like to support local businesses whenever possible. I also like natural products that won't harm the environment.

The spray has a minty fragrance - not bad at all. Since applying the repellant, I have not seen any signs of new damage by the rabbits. I have high hopes for a product with a name of I Must Garden®! As with any repellant, I know that success will also depend upon a regular schedule of spraying.

Gardeners have an optimistic outlook. We look forward to the rewards of our efforts. With a little patience and vigilance, I hope to have a cottage garden full of flowers. As for my taste in rabbits, I prefer cement bunnies for garden decoration!

Story and photos by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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