We've had gardens big and bigger, and now we have a very small garden. This spring we purchased two 4"x4" raised bed forms. The perfect spot for them was in front of my studio window where I could watch the seedlings become large plants. (Massive plants! Take a gander at the zucchini leaves.) I bought plastic fencing to put around the upper edges to keep any little critters away from the tender seedlings. One planter has the zucchini, green beans and a tomato plant, the other had spinach, beets, and peas. This mini-garden also sits up against the patio - the very same patio that our two hunting dogs run across at least four times a day, when I take them outside.
I guess I didn't plan very well, since all the early plants were in one planter. Maybe I should have planted the early vegetables along with the slower ones to harvest some and save space for the others. On the other hand, it would have been nice to re-plant some quick-growing vegetables in the same planter after harvesting the early ones. This is where the story gets interesting.
Two weeks ago Dave went out to pick the last of the peas. I had planted them in circles around a "teepee" of wooden stakes. He was downstairs for several minutes and then called me to come down. There was something different in his voice. When I got outside, he was standing by the teepee, holding some old pea vines. "Take a look at this, " he said.
In the exact center of the teepee was a depression filled with dried grass, fur, and several fuzzy, squirming animals. The ears were small, yet too big for mice or rats. Baby rabbits! Mrs. Rabbit had managed to get through or over the fence and built a nursery in - the - very- center of my peas. Not a pea, or spinach leaf, or beet was ever nibbled. But here was her family. Raised beds, fencing, two hunting dogs (is it too late for a refund?) and still Mrs. Rabbit decided this was the perfect bunny spot.
Fast forward two weeks, and they're doing quite well, thank you. This may seem surprising to those of you who know that Dave has four geese, two ducks, two turkey tails, two deer, an arctic caribou, and a musk ox suspended on the walls of his "man cave", but even he decided that it would be bad form to eat his neighbors!
Since we cut away all the "walls" of their house, I've tied cut grasses and weeds to the teepee for a little protection. I've never seen Mrs. Rabbit, but her children are growing, so she must be there every night. I even used our Webber kettle cover as a sun block yesterday, as it was so hot and humid and I can't imagine how sweltering it must be for furry bunnies in the moist dirt, with grass covering them.
I suppose I should start designing clothes for the bunnies. Let's see, a sweater for Peter Rabbit, dresses for Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, and a jaunty jacket for cousin, Benjamin Bunny. Sock yarn would do well. It's washable!