Our rabbits both died this year, within a few months of each other. They were getting on for seven years old, so I suppose they had a decent enough innings in rabbit terms.
We'd already decided we won't be keeping any more animals, so we demolished their large roofed shelter, hutches & runs, and set about cleaning up the area they'd occupied with a view to re-integrating it back into the rear and side gardens.
They'd had a very generous plot between them, around 30 square metres including the hedgerow behind, and so it's now freed up quite a large additional garden space.
|the rabbits and their enclosure, taken after we'd built it in early 2011|
We first cut down the length of high privet hedge that had stood on the western (windward) side of the enclosure, and which had made a very effective windbreak. We gained quite a few small logs for our fire from cutting down the hedge, and then spent a tiring afternoon digging out all the stumps.
We decided to simply cover most of the area with weed membrane and decorative stones, so we can plant perennial shrubs through the membrane in a few places. We've already large lawned areas to the rear, side and front, and that's quite enough to keep in trim, so we've gone for a lower maintenance option here.
In the middle of the area, we've retained a soil bed which takes in the young pear tree and the three hydrangeas that were outside of the rabbit runs. We intend to plant up this bed with flowers, some of larger varieties and with ground-cover types below. Sourcing and planting these flowers will be a job for next spring.
To separate the planted bed from the decorative stone areas, we constructed wide edging barriers out of bricks, laid side-by-side.
So, after buying a couple of hundred engineering bricks, two bulk bags of decorative stone and two large sheets of heavy polyprop weed membrane, plus a lot of physical work in stripping turf etc and barrowing soil & stones around the site, the job's done !
It looks a little bare and forlorn at the minute, so we'll move a few more of our larger potted plants onto the area until we can plant it up properly in the spring.