Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thieves, Summer Storms and Sunshine

Garden design at the 'Bunnies Buffet' has always included the thought process, "what does the garden look like from inside the house?"  I like to think of the landscaping as a 'canvas' through the windows.  Seasonal weather often keeps us inside - so the view looking out should make me smile?

Garden views from the window...
A few weeks ago I was looking out from the family room and notice a big 'gap' in the Cottage garden where there should be none.  About a month ago I planted a full seed package of russet colored Sunflowers all along the back of the garden.  My hopes were a "wall of Sunflowers" as a back drop!  They had been flourishing - growing like crazy!!   The last time I really saw them, they were at least 15 inches tall.   Now - GONE.  No crumbs, no footprints, no nothing - like they were never even planted?!!  (I have my suspicions;  there are some very satisfied looking bunnies cruising around the backyard - but they aren't talking.)

Crime scene:  no plants, no remants, no incriminating foot prints ...
only the yard art that indicated the plant site
While the 'disappearing' sunflowers was a mystery, the leaning Arabian Nights Dahlias were not.

Leaning Dahlias ... from a wild thunderstorm
In spite of 'plant thieves' and storms, there has been major progress in the Cottage garden removing weeds and adding stepping stones.   Here are a few shots of what's going on...

The "Bones" of the Cottage Garden
New this year:
Monarda ("Marshall's Delight"), Hollyhock and Maiden Grass 
Arabian Nights Dahlia - raindrops in sunshine...
Hibiscus ("Fireball")
Hosta Fortunei
Hibiscus "Fireball" in bloom
Time to start investigating other late Summer bloomers.  There seems to be a prevailing "red" & "yellow" trend at the Bunnies Buffet right now.  Maybe "Sunset" Echinacea next year, for variety?  Any thoughts or recommendations for Zone 5?

I wish you a break in the heat and a gentle summer rain for those that have suffered through the +30-day "Heat Domes" (who had even heard of such a thing before this year?)!


  1. Those bunny thieves. They are always on the prowl. I love my 'Marshall's Delight' monarda too, and this year, I do have a row of sunflowers which look nice. Which is good since much of the garden is sad.

  2. Maybe avoid the asters because of resident bunnies, (and I know bunnies eat just about everything), but phlox, cone flowers, monarda, caryopteris, hibiscus, many hydrangea, Rose of Sharon, Butterfly bush, Russian Sage and veronica make up my fall garden. Plus lots of Cleome and alyssum for annuals. Lots more, but all thesehave varieties for zone 5. And I have a bunny in residence now. I just pack in the plants and he has done little damage so far. I know he will bring his relatives eventually and that is when I get another dog.

  3. Furry thieves, stealing your sunflowers, now that's just not nice. Your garden looks wonderful despite their thieving ways. The rabbits don't bother us tooooo much in the summer, it's more the winter they chew on tree bark so we have to keep everything wrapped. There's always something, isn't there?

  4. I think of you ever time I catch sight of the baby bunny that has decided my desert waste land of a loft garden may be hospitable enough to call home. I am pleased that the gardens have turned enough for wildlife to call home but glad it is not happy enough for the rest of the family (yet).

    About the 30+ days, I do remember when it last happened here in 1998... 100 degree temps started in March, the smoke from sugar cane fires in Mexico colored the summer skies orange... it seemed like we lived on a different ended in a really bad flood. Sigh.

  5. I would brag about my weed eating bunny, but I think he has been nibbling on my toad lilies, just as they are starting to put out buds! So far I have one bunny. When he acquires a family, I may have to get me a fox!

  6. Dee - those bunnies & I go head to head, and I usually lose! I'm still trying to come up with the right plant combo that they don't like... but they keep changing their minds!

    GWGT - I love your suggestions for plant choices.

    Karen - bunnies made their presence known two years ago, when they gnawed 2 of my arborvitae to the bone during the winter (thus, the birth of my 'blog name'); I loved discovering your blog (thanks to Tufa Girl) - amazing gardens!!

    Tufa Girl - baby bunnies do me in, they are just too cute... except when they have one of my sunflowers hanging out of their mouth! (grrrrr...)

    Your memories of sugar cane fires are incredible. I can't imagine.

    Deb - you made me smile! I was really cocky last year when I saw a bunny eating clover in my yard, thinking my problems were solved... then the bunnies ate through my 'bunny fence'. :-o

  7. Shyrlene, I've had that experience of "Wait, didn't I used to have a plant here? What was it?" -- although, in my case, the culprit is usually a woodchuck. Happily, my resident fox family is back this year, so I have not seen any sign of woodchucks at all. I'm happy to see that you have lots of beautiful plants to show off that the bunnies have not feasted on! -Jean

  8. That is amazing that there is no trace of the plants at all. The rest of your garden looks very nice.

  9. Can't help you in zone 5, but I hope that echinacea does well for you - it sounds pretty. I agree that views are very important. I have noticed that I am happiest when my view out to the garden is prettiest. If I see dead plants or empty spots, I'm in a bad mood!

  10. Jean - nobody ever tells you that gardening is a 'strategic sport' when it comes to protecting plants from local furry animals?! (I envy you your 'fox family'!)

    Sage Butterfly - now that the stones are down, there is a longing for more plants! :)

    Holley - kindred thoughts!

  11. Wretched rabbits... Beautiful pics of your surviving flowers and foliage though, looking good! Some orange would plug the colour gap between the reds and yellows, perhaps rudbekias? And some blue always seems to mix in with those colours, perhaps hardy gernaiums or nepeta? What's happening in your greenhouse? Mine has been completely taken over by tomatoes...

  12. Janet - so glad to have you stop by! I LOVE your comment, "Wretched rabbits" - how perfect. Rudbeckia is a great recommendation. Planting sweeps of them look fantastic. It's ironic you mention blue; it is my favorite color and yet I do not have 1 blue-flowering plant yet? (I don't know if the Amsonia counts - it's very pale.) I have to confess - the 'greenhouse' was a grand dream that ended up not coming to fruition (**yet**). The 3-season room is the make-shift greenhouse, so far. :(

  13. Winter is too long in the Northeast.. continue with the heat!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails