Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Taking stock

In the spring I sowed some stock seeds (Matthiola incana) in a seed tray in our utility room. The utility room tends to be the only room in our house which maintains a constant temperature so I have found it useful for germinating seeds. Once they had germinated, I moved them into the conservatory which has more light and some heating. There, with tlc, the heat of the warming sun and light from the lengthening days, I grew the seedlings on into small plants. When I thought that the weather was warm enough, I moved the plants into our unheated greenhouse until they were ready to go out into the garden. About June, I planted out the most advanced of the stock plants in the garden. Within two days, all of the flower heads had disappeared. At the time a family of rabbits were regular visitors to our garden and I reckoned that they had eaten the flowers. The only other plant that had been affected was a red pelargonium and as this had never happened before and we had not been bothered by rabbits before, I though that it was only reasonable to assume that the rabbits were the culprits. I lifted the stock plants and put them back in the greenhouse in the hope that they would recover. In the meantime, I did some research, on the Internet, on the sort of garden plants that rabbits do not like. Luckily most of the plants in our garden are plants that rabbits tend to avoid. So I planted the remaining stock plants amongst plants which rabbits avoid and the plants kept their flowers. Thinking that I had the situation under control, I put back into the garden the stock plants that I had lifted, watched them carefully and they were doing alright, although I would not say that they were flourishing.

A few weeks ago, late one afternoon I heard what sounded like several shots from a gun and thought that maybe one of the local farmers had decided to have rabbit stew for his supper. Since that afternoon until this weekend I had not seen a rabbit in our garden. But now the rabbits are back and my stock plants have lost their flowers again.

10 comments:

Akelamalu said...

Damn Wabbits!

Liz said...

I don't know whether to be glad or sad!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

What a pity, after your diligence with the young seedlings too.

I have tried for many a long year to grow delphiniums, which I love, but I always fight a losing battle with slugs and snails. We have thrushes and frogs in the garden and a hedgehog visits so I won't put down any sort of slug bait. Have tried all sorts of remedies to no avail, so have given up now.

A x

Gill - That British Woman said...

We have blocked all the bottom of our fences so they can't get in. My biggest problem is voles, they did highways all through my grass, its very distressing in spring to see what sort of mess they have made.

In answer to your question on my blog. Why it takes so long for comment moderation on my blog, is that I have to approve each comment before I publish it. I had some moron posting stupid horrible things on my blog when I didn't have comment moderation on. This way if I have a troll with nothing else better to do than write horrible things, I can just delete the post, so it never gets published.

As I only check my blog a couple of times a day, it may take a few hours before I publish your comments. Hope that sort of explains things?

Gill in Canada

Suburbia said...

Naughty old rabbits!! Very annoying.
Thanks for your comments at mine. Regarding Prior Park, the building is still a collage, so unfortunatly closed, but the grounds now belong to the National Trust and I recommend a visit if you are ever down this way :)

The Dotterel said...

I think you need an air-gun. Rabbit pie tastes even better when they've been nibbling your greens!

cheshire wife said...

Liz - I am sad. They are not pretty rabbits. They look more like hares to me, but my husband says that they are definitely rabbits.

The Dotterel - there is no need to encourage them. They are now eating my courgettes.

Maggie May said...

How very annoying that the rabbits like the flowers!I wouldn't eat rabbit stew though!

dr. filomena said...

What a lovely blog you keep! I came across it by chance right now, but I remember reading about it someplace very recently... can't remember where, but I do remember... keep up the great work!

cheshire wife said...

Maggie May - no I wouldn't eat rabbit stew or rabbit anything.

Dr filomena - thank you for your comment.