First, the good news. The top soil is off. All that slurry, grass and cow poo gone. It’s raining (or was when I began writing this last night!). And, finally, the flies have left us. Not even the brown sticky stuff is the spectator sport it once was.
Trouble is, the bugs may have departed but, in their wake, we have the bunnies.
It was one of Mr Story’s appointed ecologists himself, I seem to recall, who noted (while our little group were arguing the odds with him, Story’s people and the police, regarding otters, birds and hedgerows), that there were evidently rabbits in the Strawberry fields.
And now, like the flies, it would seem the rabbits are homeless too, because on Saturday evening a forward scout, having taken its life in its paws crossing the road from the cemetery, spent the entire evening scoping out our borders. It’s like Watership Down all over again.
Now, wandering through the cemetery and totting up the rabbits gambolling amongst the headstones is one thing, but watching one gleefully checking out the gourmet menu in our domestic garden, from dusk through to nightfall, is quite another.
Fearing for our lupins, I quickly google which plants rabbits like to eat, and discover instead a recommended list of plants and shrubs they prefer not to nibble. (RHS website, if you’re interested). Turns out that’s pretty much all the ones we currently have – apart from, it seems, the beech saplings we planted this spring, in hope of an eventual hedge to screen out the blight on the countryside taking shape across the way. Great.
But at least we have the neighbourhood cat. Cats, I learned in a letter to The Times only last week, are useful in keeping rabbits at bay. And there was I, complaining about all the cat poo in amongst the thyme and tradescantia.