Country mouse looks for rabbit recipes

It was a great week for the Chelsea Flower Show and the hatching grouse chicks. Our forgotten friend the Sun played a proper visit and suddenly the world looked a jollier place, with splashes of red campion filling the fields, cow parsley nodding along the verges and May blossom filling the hedgerows.

The Mr McGregor in me has even partially forgiven the rabbits for eating a large number of new introductions to the garden. It’s a wonder how sunshine soothes. My rabbits could reduce Chelsea to shreds, but the Sun has got his hat on and nothing seems that important.

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At the village-hall plant sale, a gardener- ‘the authority’, according to a new neighbour -advised me that what I needed were hairy plants. Now, like some intrepid Victorian plant collector, I scour the stalls at the local fêtes for hirsute leaves and moustachioed flowers. Someone unknown left a note in a milk bottle outside the back door that read: ‘Try nasturtiums.’

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It seems that a problem in our village is a problem shared. I think we’ll just have to have them all round to dinner. Lapin à la moutarde maison should be just the ticket.