Welcome, gardeners, to the Year of the Rabbit
Each Lunar New Year brings new fortunes, and this year is the Year of the Rabbit. The Rabbit is associated with the Earthly Branch, and the hours 5 to 7 in the morning. In Asian cultures, rabbits represent the moon. Some believe it is because the shadows of the moon resemble a rabbit; others believe it is due to the rabbit’s pure characteristics.
We can expect a gentle vibe in 2023, a year of relaxation, fluidity, quietness, and contemplation. Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth, a talisman of good luck, and have long been associated with spring across many cultures. The rabbit’s few defenses are associated with vulnerability and innocence, and in folklore, rabbits often appear as sympathetic creatures. Of note is that several occupations for those who are born in rabbit years include horticultural grower and breeder, agriculturalist, and gardener.
May this be a good year for our gardens and our relationship to the creatures who share our planet. At the beginning of each month this year, consider saying rabbit rabbit rabbit for additional good luck, and enjoy a happy prosperous new year!
Rabbits & Gardening
For gardeners, rabbits have a bit of a perception issue. After all, where do rabbits live? In your garden—among other places. What’s a plant person to do?
Whether you enjoy seeing the bunny rabbit hopping in your garden or loathe seeing them, we have some tips for keeping your plants and veggies safe from rabbits. But try to regard rabbits as Beatrix Potter did—remembering Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter—as part of a beautiful pastoral landscape. Protect the plants that you and the rabbits really love, and don’t worry about the rest.
The best way to keep rabbits out of the garden and prevent damage is to use physical barriers such as wire fencing. Install a chicken wire fence that is 4 feet high and bury it at least 6 inches deep. Bend the top foot of the fence away from the garden like a security fence, so that they can’t climb or jump over it.
Other ideas include:
- For bulbs, try a dome or cage of chicken wire secured over the bed.
- Sprinkle dried sulfur around or on your plants.
- Rabbits dislike the smell of onions, so try planting these around the garden.
Since rabbits are such great sniffers, try these safe but effective deterrents:
- Dust your plants with plain talcum powder.
- Sprinkle powdered red pepper around the garden or on targeted plants.
- Use Irish Spring soap shavings placed in little drawstring bags around the garden.
Hoppy New Year
新年快乐 Xīnnián kuàilè
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a holiday enjoyed by over two billion people. It follows the cycles of nature and occurs on the second new moon following the winter solstice, which this year is Sunday, January 22, and ends with a lantern festival on Sunday, February 5, the date of the rising of the full “Snow Moon.” This is New Year 4721.
The festival signifies the beginning of spring and the renewal of life–and in the old days, the start of new planting. The event is all about family togetherness, auspicious food, festivals, the exchange of red envelopes, firecrackers, dragons, and fireworks over sixteen days.