Just in time for Easter there are bunnies – and cows – scattered throughout a California botanical garden.

Leigh Rubin, creator of the syndicated comic “Rubes” that appears in Agri-View every week, recently created silly critters that are now living in the Children’s Garden at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden.

“A year ago I got an email from a guy that lives not too far from me,” Rubin said. “Mike Devine is a volunteer (at the garden) and a fan of my work. He’s done theme parks all over the world, though he’s semi-retired now. He had an idea and had suggested it to the powers that be.

“He then asked if I’d be interested in having some of my cartoons in the children’s garden. It’s beautiful; the whole garden is like 150 acres. It’s on the way to Big Sur and Hearst Castle.”

Rubin of course suggested one of his favorite subjects – cows. The garden folks suggested rabbits.

“So we did bunnies, but there are a few cows,” Rubin said. “I did all the artwork, all the coloring and all that stuff. People love bunnies – even at World Dairy Expo; I take bunnies there.”

It’s a fun addition to have to the garden, he said – more of a reason to attract people.

“It was a whole process,” Rubin said. “The signs are all quarter-inch aluminum, mounted on 4-by-4s as permanent displays. It’s such a peaceful beautiful place.”

The building at the garden, he said, was built with bales of straws in the walls. There’s no heating or air conditioning. Garden staff are invested in sustainability and in planting for the region.

Rubin has another creation in the works. It’s a television show called “Drawing Inspiration” that he said has been a long time coming.

“It will be a live-action show,” he said. “The whole idea came to me from the decline of western civilization due to reality TV; I want to do my part. That was my joke version of the idea. I have a kind of weird job. A lot of very creative people have unusual jobs.”

His idea is to go behind the scenes of creative people – someone in music, art, technology and more. Anything unusual will be fair game. Possibly even cows.

Visit www.rubescartoons.com for more information.

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Julie Belschner writes on various agricultural issues; she is the managing editor for Agri-View based in Wisconsin. Email jbelschner@madison.com to contact her.