I recently took over a community garden plot from a friend who moved. I was finally able to get over there yesterday to clean it up. There was a tomato plant left that wasn’t producing much fruit, two pepper plants and what looked like herbs, but I couldn’t tell what exactly they were. So I pulled the tomato plant, one pepper plant (the other had peppers successfully sprouting) and some weeds that had taken place of what used to be space for kale.
My sister was busy unraveling the hose for me as I was pulling weeds. All of a sudden, the dirt around the weeds I was pulling started to move. Then a teeny, tiny little nose popped out. Next, a face. I yelled for my sister, “OMG! OMG! Nicole, get over here! There’s a….” That’s when the ears and small little furry butt followed. It wasn’t a mouse, as I had initially thought from the glimpse of the nose and face I had gotten (do mice even burrow in the dirt?). It was a tiny baby bunny. From the mound of dead grass I saw, I apparently disturbed its nest.
We really didn’t know what to do. It was in MY garden, but I was also in ITS home. Did we set it free? Did we keep it where it was? Some drama ensued, but when I went back to pulling weeds and cleaning up the garden plot, my sister then said, “Uhm, there’s a paw and there’s something else breathing.” We uncovered two more baby bunnies in the dirt. As I continued to freak out about my new garden residents, I had my sister look up what to do when a family of bunnies makes your garden home.
My sister said we were to leave them. As long as there were new “pets” hanging around the garden, I figured I would name them. So I’m calling them Lucy, Ethel and Ricky after, of course, I Love Lucy. With my gloves on, hoping Mama Rabbit wouldn’t abandon them if I touched the little darlings, I gently tucked them back into their home (the little rascals tried to be escape artists at one point) and covered them with their nesting materials. As I continued to weed, I added another layer to the nest of dried leaves from the tomato plant.
Because I tend to be forgetful, I created a border around the nest from wooden stakes left in the garden. You can see the lone pepper plant to the right. As you read this, I will be planting a fall garden in the plot consisting of a couple heads of lettuce and some squash. Yes, it’s dangerous to have such furry, adorable neighbors, but I don’t mind sharing. As long as the little cuties don’t get greedy! Then the chicken wire will go up. But for now, my new tenants are welcome in my so-called “second garden.”