Bunny Love in the Garden

May 26, 2008

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From city parks to suburban yards to forest preserves, rabbits have always been part of the landscape. But for lots of area gardeners, they're unwelcome pests.

Sure they're cute. But to horticultural expert Jennifer Brennan, bunnies are nothing more than:

BRENNAN: Rodents with long ears and fuzzy tails.

Brennan says every day people come into the Chalet nursery in the north suburbs, where she works, looking for help in the battle against bark and flower-munching bunnies. The past winter was especially rough on gardens , she says.

BRENNAN: Every time it got, the snow got higher, the rabbits would go to the woody plants, especially the sweet-barked plants.

She says the bunnies used banks of snow sort of like elevators to get to bark higher up. Brennan says there appear to be more bunnies these days—and there are fewer natural predators, like crows and foxes around. You can fight back—by planting what they turn their little bunny noses up at things like peonies, columbine, and plants with fuzzy leaves.