A dramatic high point of the traditional Passover Seder is the recitation of the 10 plagues visited upon Egypt. On this last night of Passover, it occurs to me that there were at least 3 plagues visited upon our garden this week. And while they all were a lot milder than the ones cited in the Book of Exodus (no water into blood, for example), they did make our garden less of a tranquil refuge.


The first garden plague: SNOW. Yes, we woke up yesterday morning to find a couple of inches of the white stuff on the ground. It all melted by this afternoon, but tonight another 3″ are predicted. While we’ve had several nights with temperatures in the upper 20s, tomorrow is supposed to stay above freezing, so at least that’s good.


The second plague: CONSTRUCTION. It was heralded by the festive pink and yellow flags that suddenly festooned our front garden one afternoon. This was not a happy sight, as we survived sewer repair trauma just last fall.


However, it seems that only one modest-size hole was to be dug in our flower beds. That second, larger hole is on the neighbor’s property, and others appeared up and down the street. So we may have dodged a bullet here, but I’m not going to launch any premature celebrations.


The third plague, as always, is: RABBITS. I was hoping they would leave our Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) alone this year. What was I thinking? Of course they launched their attack just as the first buds were about to bloom. In retaliation, I spread netting over the surviving plants. Not exactly ornamental, but I guess Bluebells covered with plastic netting are better than no Bluebells at all.

If you look closely you can see the Lily plants about 2″ high and surrounded by chicken wire. The other stuff coming up is Bee Balm.

I also took preemptive action with chicken wire to protect the Lilies. Rabbits love Lilies. There are ‘Sunny Morning’ Martagon Lilies up in the Back Garden, and ‘Conca d’Or’ Oriental-Trumpet Hybrids in the front. Once the Lilies get taller than a standing rabbit the chicken wire can be removed.

So there you have it, our 3 Passover Garden Plagues. Please pass the gefilte fish, and don’t forget the horseradish.

41 Comments on “Garden Plagues for Passover”

  1. Wow snow in April. We don’t usually even get temps in the 30’s during April. What a shock. I am glad that they didn’t (yet) dig up your front garden. RABBITS!!! devils. I am glad you reminded me that I should cage the lilies. Those rascals ate the buds from some of lilies last year. Looks like you are ready for them this year. Happy Passover despite them all.

  2. Distressing times already–you don’t need these other “plagues”! While watering the other day I scared up what I think what a baby rabbit recently, couldn’t be sure. Your bluebells remind me I shouldn’t be soft-hearted but don’t really know how to get rid of them. Something has gotten my sweet peas I was growing from seeds and only a couple look like they’ll make it.

  3. Hi Jason. I am completely ignorant when it comes to Passover traditions, but I am glad you only got 3 plagues and not ten! I do hope it warms up for you now. And let’s hope the damage to the front pavement bed remains at a minimum. I think I have voles as well as mice, so netting is around my Nandina which has been grazed almost to the root, and I will be experimenting with various smelly things such as cinnamon and garlic down any holes I think are occupied!

  4. I’ve been sitting here wondering if horseradish would deter rabbits. After a little exploration, I learned that it will deter various insects, including the Colorado potato beetle, but I also read that lavender is a companion plant that deters — rabbits! I guess the grated horseradish or the sauce can stay on the table.

  5. Sorry to hear about your three plagues. I hardly dare mention this in Australia, but just before we had lock down, we went for some walks along the Snowy Mountains tracks, and there were a lot of grasshoppers…sure hope they don’t turn into locusts!

  6. Well you already know how I feel about our shared blight of April snow. I’m terribly sorry about the construction, even if you did dodge the worst of it. And THANK YOU for reminding me to get my rabbit shields prepared before it strikes- they were ruthless towards all of my liatris last year!

  7. Ugh on all of it… So sorry about the snow and the construction. My mother in Ohio reports that they too had some very cold nights with frost. As for the rabbits – best of luck. I blamed last year’s disappearance of my one and only white martagon lily flower bud on slugs but – now that you mention how much rabbits love lilies – it was such a clean hit job that maybe it was a rabbit. A couple of years ago, they ate almost all of my epimedium flowers. I was so upset… Soon thereafter, I spotted a big owl sitting on our garage roof. Rabbits have been almost miraculously absent ever since. That said, now I might have to head out there to add a wire cage to my treasured lily – just in case.

  8. You have me smiling re plagues. 2020 worldwide has multitudes of them!
    Snow??? Blimey! I do hope the construction work is minimal. I can’t really see the netting and at least your plants are protected. Hope the weather improves.xxx

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