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The Kingdom of the Three Rabbits 

Three rabbits rule over my garden.

One sits on the front steps and welcomes visitors to the house. This rabbit was the first, a Christmas present long ago when my children were young. It is most wise. It watches the Front Garden and gives advice to woodland creatures that come on pilgrimage, including chipmunks, birds, squirrels, and, of course, rabbits. I like to gaze out the big windows in the living room, smiling at rabbits as they pause nearby the house, coming to worship the 'rabbit god', as my husband calls the piece of garden art. We once had many rabbits, before the foxes came and thinned them out. Even now rabbits use the front walkway as a route from one side of the house to the other.

The following photos were all taken this week in the Front Garden:

Another rabbit is cast iron and is the lesser of the ruling rabbits. It sits under a rose bush and has sway over the herb bed, the patio, and the vegetable plot. Despite the hard metal it is made of, it is a sweet rabbit and much too trusting, allowing all guests to pass by unchallenged on the way to goodies growing in the garden. I like this rusty rabbit. It is more of a pet than a guard. The following photos were taken around the patio and herb bed a little earlier this year, before most of the flowers retreated from the intense summer heat. The rabbit is covered with pollen because he likes to poke around in the surrounding flowers.

The third rabbit is the mightiest. It controls the Woodland Garden, standing proudly near the entrance to the woodlands. It never sleeps and is ever vigilant. All humans and animals must have his permission to enter. The woodland photos in the next two groups are recent, except for the one with the cat. It is last year's photo, but I included it because it shows the woodland rabbit doing his job.Note the invasive English ivy growing in the lower left photo, below. The gardener who built my house sixty years ago loved ivy and sprigged it here and there. This is what I have to contend with as the result. It's beautiful, but it smothers everything in its path.

I hope no one would consider my rabbits tacky, though I know it's all in the opinion of the beholder. I have no gnomes or garden fairies or statues of Greek gods, but throughout my gardens are various decorative objects: wind chimes, a couple of birdbaths, colorful pots, even an iron chandelier in the Lady Garden. With so much wildness of plant material, I think the garden needs an occasional punctuation mark for the space. Surely this would not qualify for a posting on LifesHighway, that blog that is a testament to tackiness. But even if so, I enjoy living in the Kingdom of the Three Rabbits. It is a happy kingdom.

Long live the rabbits!

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Reader Comments (29)

First, I love your post title, very catchy. Second, the faux rabbits are the best kind by far. I like your use of ornament, very classy and draws the viewer into and around the garden. From each rabbits vantage point, you can turn and frame the garden beautifully.

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

The ornamental rabbits are the kind I like in my garden. They tend not to chew on all the plants and just show them off instead! Your capture of the "live" rabbit is fantastic. Mine move far to quickly when they see me coming...even if it is only with a camera in hand :) I like all your garden decoration, especially the chandelier. Very classy!

The photograph of the rabbit and cat is priceless. As if the cat is pondering 'hmmm...you have very big ears...for a cat' ;) Our kingdom of three rabbits in the front garden of late has been three native brush bunnies (we only had one last year, but so it goes with rabbits). They're so used to us, and the dogs, that they just sit and stare at us, almost like statues themselves, as we go past! Your kingdom of rabbits though probably eats fewer perennials!

Yet more gorgeous photos! Thanks for comment on my blog...if you send me your email address I will give you a link where you can download the set of bird art work!

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

When I started my current garden 8 years ago, my daughter was only 8 and wanted a little plastic rabbit to stick between the flowers. It only lasted a few years but tricked me a few times into thinking it was real!

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Your rabbits tacky? I think not. They are godlike and trusting and vigilant, as you have said and as they so clearly appear in these photos. What personalities they have. The cat certainly thinks so too.

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Love your rabbits! My sweet husband gave me a concrete rabbit one year, but it was lost when he accidentally ran over it with the tractor. :( Your rabbits are great - you can tell just from looking they have such different personalities! I know they enjoy their beautiful kingdoms.

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolley

Your rabbits are wonderful. Even the "fluffy" one is adorable... as long as he isn't eating everything in sight LOL!! (The rabbits think of my garden as a gourmet buffet. We have our issues....)

I love your garden accessories. They are tasteful, sweet, and well chosen. The candelabra is divine. I even love the pot - I have one that is not quite so colorful and I set it in the midst of my herbs. ;)

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

Love your rabbits, especially the first one. Tacky, definitely not ! This is the first year that we have not had rabbits chewing everything new in the garden, maybe I need a large ornamental one to keep them away in the future !

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

I love your rabbits (I only have 1 at the moment, maybe I need another) but most of all I like the wind chimes and the colorful pot in the bottom pic - your garden ornaments are all beautiful and work well in the spaces - very attractive, very classy, all look like they belong! I'm loving that blue bench and the chandelier, how unique and it looks gorgeous!

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Your garden looks like a woodland paradise. I just started receiving a rabbit visitor of the fluffy kind. Great outdoor chandelier.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGirlSprout

Well placed, your rabbits. The one in the 'briar patch' with roses and alyssum is adorable. Glad you included the real bunny and the cat. Interesting post.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

the second wabbit looks like a wise wabbit to we.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreggo

Your rabbits are the only kind I'd want in my garden. The fluffy ones look adorable but they are so destructive. We have two very vigilant cats who keep the local rabbit population at bay, thank goodness!

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan@Holly Grove

Wonderful post and photos, Deb! I enjoyed rading about your rabbits while touring each's domain in your garden.

p.s. my wife says she likes the chandelier idea in your ladies garden.

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Love the leaders in your rabbit kingdom. I have a real bunny who moved into my garden last summer, hope he doesn't eat to much while I am not guarding my kingdom.

I like your rabbits and your garden shots. I am thrilled that my foxes keep my real rabbits thinned out though.

Dear Deb, No one would ever think your rabbits or lovely objet d'arts tacky! Very well placed and your gardens are beautiful. Rabbits in stone and iron are my favorites . . . I could do without the live ones. Happy Fourth!

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

My old dog, who was friendly to everything but foxes, used to fall for statues all the time, thinking they were real. He would have looooved your rabbits until he got a good sniff of them, and then he would have looked at you with betrayal in his eyes. They have such convincing poses and stances--they are obviously looking after your/their kingdom well!

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

I loved your description of the rabbits, each has its own personality, you obviously enjoy having them in the garden... I enjoyed the garden shots too, your garden is such a beautiful place...

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMasha

Deb, I might describe your rabbits as whimsical -- but definitely not tacky. A little whimsy in the garden only makes it more charming.

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I love your rabbits Deb! Everything looks so lovely and as your walking around in awe thoes sweet bunnys just bring you back down to earth, as they should! Your old wren house also make sme smile!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

every garden needs a story with fairy tale characters, and yours has now been told magically with equally magical photos for illustration. I definitely don't think you'd score many (if any) points on Life's Highway.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

your house is amazing! love those shots.
and the rabbits look great in the garden

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfer

The rabbits are the perfect touch. I enjoyed reading about them and seeing pictures of your beautiful garden. It does look like a happy kingdom indeed!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Deb your garden always looks so beautiful,
I've read that Ivy is a problem plant in some parts of the USA, as your part of the USA is so much hotter than the UK I would have thought the heat would at least slow it if not kill it but apprently not, I know it can even be a problen here where it is native, you have your work cut out with it, you must work hard in your garden but always manage to make it seem easy, Frances

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

It was lovely to meet your guardian rabbits Deborah :) As always, I also loved the photos of your beautiful woodland garden too. That Ivy sure puts the little bit I battle with on my garden fences into perspective!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

Deborah, your garden looks just gorgeous to me. Would love to walk around in it and smell the scent of all the flowers.
My backyard garden is not nearly as big as your garden but one thing we do have in common...the whimsical garden decor and the wildlife themed decor. I love how you have accent your garden and I love your 3 rabbits. I have only 2 rabbit figurines which I really adore because they look very cute and almost like real.
Best Wishes
Paula Jo

That woodland rabbit would scare the life out of any fox that ventured into your garden, I wouldn't dare call it tacky. My favourite is the rabbit with the bow.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g
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