Friday, June 5, 2015

Darn Rabbits! (And Vine Pix)

The rabbits (at least, I assume they're to blame) wait for the morning glories to get a tantalizing amount of growth on them-- just enough to fool me into thinking they're starting to take off-- and then they come by and munch off a small piece, leaving the bulk of the vine (twining up the fence or trellis) to wither the next day.

The ones in hanging pots are untouched, of course, and some of the ones inside the yard are mostly safe (though I've lost parts of them, too), but anything along the fence is apparently an easy target.

And as if losing the morning glories wasn't annoying enough, now they're munching on my poor little baby purple coneflowers.  I grew those things from seed and have yet to see them bloom.  In other words, this is not acceptable, you dratted bunnies!

I'm reading that echinacea is supposed to be one of the more rabbit-resistant plants, but what else could it be?  I don't think it's insect damage... I just can't understand why they're going for the coneflower (which they supposedly don't love) when there are daylilies right there... I mean, I'm not complaining about the sparing of my daylilies (though some were slightly munched, earlier in the year)-- I'm just confused.  (These rabbits-- they're playing with my head, y'all!)

Donald bought a small roll of chicken wire at my request, and tomorrow I'll devise some homemade "cages" for some of the more vulnerable plants.  Maybe the cages will be enough of a deterrent. (Because apparently having two dogs "relieving themselves" here and there isn't enough.  Neither are the tufts of Eskie hair I scatter around after brushing.)

I've also read online that blood meal keeps them away, as well as something called Liquid Fence that you spray around vulnerable plants.  I'm tempted to give it a try, if I can find it locally.  However, some say that it only really works when applied frequently, and I'm not likely to do that.  I also wonder if the dogs might start paying unwanted attention to treated plants...  (You know how dogs love stinky stuff...)

Related:  I "caught" a deer walking through our front yard, one afternoon last month.  Deer in the distance are fine.  Deer meandering along the edge of the property?  Fine.  In the yard?  No, not okay.  Gardening is too much work-- and plants are too expensive-- to let the critters chow down.  I opened the door and let Luna out.  Maybe that will make the deer think twice about this particular buffet.  (This is where having an outdoor dog would be nice, but our dogs have never been outdoor dogs and would think they were being very poorly used if we tried to increase their time spent outside alone.  Yes, they are spoiled, as a matter of fact.)

To end on a more positive note, here are some photos of vines around the yard!

Wild honeysuckle is growing along our west fence.  We really ought to clear out that fence line, over the winter.  We've improved it, but there's still a lot of work to do.  I don't mind a little honeysuckle, though.  Love that smell!


At least one of the 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories remains.  This one is in a hanging pot.  I have some more seeds, I think... I could try planting another one or two, if I can find a good spot where the rabbits will maybe leave it alone...  That blue is amazing.

'Heavenly Blue' Morning Glory

I eventually transplanted the two sprigs of passion vine back to the trellis where it was growing last year.  One of them was tiny and is just now finally putting on a very little growth.  The other went into shock and lost all its leaves, but I kept it watered, and at least a couple of new leaves are in evidence.  Keeping the fingers crossed, but I'm trying not to be emotionally invested in this plant, just yet... 

Passion Vine

By far, most of the annual vines that have survived have been the 'Grandpa Ott' morning glories, which is amusing, because I think the only seeds of those I planted were some I harvested myself, last year.

'Grandpa Ott' Morning Glory

They're nice plants.  The purple is very nice-- but I do think I prefer the blue...

'Grandpa Ott' Morning Glory

However, given the problems with the rabbits, I guess I'd better be happy with whatever is spared, this year!

'Grandpa Ott' Morning Glory

...And they are pretty...

'Grandpa Ott' Morning Glory

I don't know if any of my moonflower vines have survived.  They may not flower until later in the season... I might try planting another seed or two, though, just so I'll know for sure where it's located and can keep a closer eye on it.  (Clearly, I didn't do a good job this spring in keeping tabs on which plant went where.) 

The nasturtiums haven't been great performers, so far, I'm afraid.  There are a handful still lingering-- some even flower every now and then-- but I'm not sure they'll thrive.  Next time, I'll definitely sow the seed directly where I want the plants.  None of this transplanting nonsense for them.

Though some of the mina lobata I planted haven't done anything (or have disappeared altogether), there are at least two vines that are doing fairly well.  (I need to give them rabbit-proof cages, too, while I'm at it.)  If I remember, I'll take a photo or two next time I'm out with the camera.  No flowers yet (I think they tend to bloom later in the year), but the leaves have a delicate quality that is appealing. 

Then there are the clematis.  We're pulled in several different directions, presently.  One of the projects on the horizon is an arbor for the main gate, which will give a support for at least one or two of the clematis vines, but I'm also thinking of planting one on a metal obelisk we already own.  However, it's in dire need of paint, and until that's done, transplanting will have to wait.

Somehow, painting wires has never seemed particularly appealing.  This calls for some form of audio entertainment/distraction from the painful/boring experience of painting.