Laurens  News &  Advertiser  of Laurens, SC

Laurens County Public Library System  Press Release  Mar-April 2014

Loretta Hayward and her Garden Gate rabbits will make your day an unforgettable one on Tuesday, April 1st at 6:30 p.m. at the Clinton Public Library and Tuesday, April 8th at 6:30pm at the Laurens Public Library. Loretta Hayward and her Garden Gate Rabbits have a special program planned for library patrons including live rabbits with introductions of different breeds and celebrity rabbits, storytelling, illustrated personal experiences, educational demonstrations, presentations, stunts, displays, Question & Answer session, prizes/gifts and much more!

About Loretta Hayward and the Garden Gate Rabbits

             Loretta Hayward is the author of On the Banks of Durbin Creek, the adorable children’s book series featuring color photographs of her award-winning show rabbits and stories that lead readers on an adventure. Did you know that the only rabbit park in the entire country is right here in South Carolina where Mrs. Hayward makes her home? Garden Gate Rabbit Park is a unique recreation destination that provides amusement for the whole family. Originally built to raise and promote purebred rabbit breeds as well as preserve rare heritage rabbit breeds, Garden Gate Rabbit Park now hosts programs and presentations that provide interesting facts, histories, human interest stories and resources about rabbit breeds and also allows people to interact with delightful show rabbits.  Mrs. Hayward also teaches helpful tips on rabbit care and handling while promoting rabbits and the many benefits of raising rabbits.  Some of her rabbits are celebrities that not only illustrate her books and note cards, but have also appeared on TV with Joe Gagnon on Fox Carolina (WHNS Fox 21) and Jack Roper on “Your Carolina” (WSPA Channel 7). 


About the Family Night Out Library Series

The Laurens County Public Library’s Family Night Out series provides our community with entertaining and enriching family-oriented programming throughout the year. All ages are welcome. This event is free and open to the public.


Joey P Holmes
Library Assistant
Laurens County Library
1017 West Main Street
Laurens, SC. 29360
864-681-READ (7323)


Garden Gate Rabbit Park Calendars are amazing and quite extraordinary in every stage of their development and production! After talking with our printer Jordan Finn today about our Rabbit Park calendar ( which is currently at Indexx)  and explaining some of the work that we do, the need to share our story was pointed out.
People need to know much  more about our fascinating rabbits and all the labor that is necessary to produce our beautiful pictures  with those amazing  rabbit expressions and poses. Since we raise several different breeds of rabbits there are different sizes of bunnies.Those are some of the challenges we have as we determine which size to work with and which rabbit will be the best color of rabbit to feature in the picture! I take time to sketch the kind of a picture I want to take, where  it will be taken and what extra flowers or details will be included. We  have rabbits pose in our garden areas where real flowers and real plants are thriving. The planning stages take time and then if I need to make a hat, bonnet or item for a rabbit to wear that is the  next creation I work on. If there are special miniatures to be built then time is needed for that too.

My pictures are taken outdoors and only on clear days . When the wind blows in- our work has to be delayed!  If our rabbit is sleepy then we either choose another rabbit or wait for another day!  We take 75-100 pictures of one rabbit posing just to get one clear sharp photograph!  People always ask me how do I get my rabbits to sit still?  I am hoping to find the answer to that question myself!! That would make our work easier and many people would have greater success! We get multiples of blurry pictures where bunnies twitch their ears, wiggle their nose, and make excited leaps about the set!  Every session for pictures will have some unexpected interruption,  a visiting guest with 2-4 legs,  an insect or bird flies in for a close look or a lizard may drop in!  Our pictures are examined on our computer, selected, cropped and sized for the calendar layout next.  Everything requires proofreading and correction before going to the printer who will make preparations and more proofs for examination. That summary of our work still sounds pretty pleasant. We have not found an audience yet that likes to hear about all the detailed rabbit hutch building or repair and maintenance work in addition to the daily cleaning  and feeding chores! The nail clipping and grooming between shows and working with the bunny litters are pleasure filled days for us.  It would be great if we could make a living raising rabbits and sharing their pictures in calendars! It takes so much time to produce a calendar that even $50 per calendar would not cover our time and expense each year- these past 6 calendar printing years. While we meet the challenges to improve our rabbit breeds we also continue our worthy work to protect several rare breeds from extinction. While we share our joy of rabbits with you we are truly grateful for everyone that shares in our work by purchasing our calendars to use in their home, at work, and when gift giving!!
Where else in the world can a better rabbit calendar be found? !
Remember to buy your  Garden Gate Rabbit Park calendar every year! Our calendars feature different breeds of rabbits (which we identify in the monthly footnotes) quotes, and scripture verses each month. Holidays are marked as well as the seasons. We support several rabbit clubs, ARBA Shows and local businesses loyal to American made products too.

Give your favorite school teacher a Garden Gate Rabbit Park Calendar!
When you give Garden Gate calendars you are sharing smiles that last all year!
Did the mail carrier get one?
The soldier, marine or sailor?
The butcher, the baker, the tailor ?



GoLaurens   January 11, 2009 9:00 PM
The bunnies of Garden Gate Rabbit Park will visit the Laurens County Library on Thursday, January 15 from 4:00pm-7:00pm. The programs and stories will thrill all ages featuring pedigreed, prize-winning rabbits, presented by Loretta Hayward.

The Hayward family has been raising rabbits for over thirteen years and usually has over 100 rabbits at the park. These beautiful rabbits are the stars of Mrs. Hayward’s On the Banks of Durbin Creek books: It’s Bedtime for Bunnies and Four Seasons for Bunnies.

Press Release Nov. 2008 •


  Meet the Haywardfamily that raises the famous rabbits at Garden Gate®RabbitParkinFountain Inn,South Carolina. Their champion award winning rabbits pose for all the pictures seen on Garden Gate®  Note Cards, posters, calendars, Christmas Cards, and children’s books! TheHayward’s homestead on Durbin Creek is where all the delightful stories  take place- literally on the banks of Durbin Creek!  While real rabbits tell all the stories and poems, readers will actually see and learn  through detailed photographs about several rabbit breeds. Watch a litter of Satin bunnies grow up in “The Cotton Patch Quilt” story in “Bedtime for Bunnies!”  The new book “Four Seasons for Bunnies” is another exceptional hardcover book illustrating even more poems, verses, and stories teaching aboutSouth Carolina’s four seasons. The remarkable pictures taken by Loretta Hayward are making the Durbin Creek Series a collector’s choice!  Each book develops vocabulary and reading skills for young children while entertaining the whole family. Readers may notice unexpected wildlife visitors in the pictures and realize the amazing uniqueness of our books make it a favorite!

            The Haywards are celebrating the 5th anniversary of their business (25th wedding anniversary too) with their beautiful 2009 Garden Gate®  Anniversary Calendar!

             Garden Gate’s Rex Rabbits took Best of Breed awards in both September ARBA shows in Greensboro, NC. They also placed 8th in their breed group of the ARBA convention inLouisvilleKentucky Oct. 27-28. There were 23,000 rabbits of 47 Breeds registered! There were rabbit varieties and also rare breeds present that one may never see in a lifetime!

“We had a great time,” Loretta said. “It was a great opportunity to meet people from all over the country! We also met people from many foreign countries that came to buyAmerica’s rabbits that also bought our cards, calendars, and books!  “We love working with our rabbits and are so thankful for all the ways God has blessed us-and we hope it shows!!

            Loretta andGloria Haywardwill be guests with Jack Roper on “Your Carolina” Wed. Nov.12  on Channel 7 at 10:00 a.m.  They will be at Michelin onMainwith bunnies and props on a live broadcast at550 South Main StreetGreenville


     “On the Banks of Durbin Creek-It’s Bedtime for Bunnies!” is the first of a series of new children’s books by Loretta Hayward of Garden Gate® Cards. These delightful stories all take place literally on the banks of Durbin Creek, which flows into theEnoreeRiverwhereGardenGateRabbitParkis located inFountain Inn,South Carolina! While real rabbits tell all the stories and poems, readers will actually see through detailed photographs a litter of Satin bunnies grow up in “The Cotton Patch Quilt” story.  The remarkable detailed pictures taken by Loretta Hayward are exceptional illustrations for all of the book’s poems, verses, and stories. This extraordinary book develops vocabulary and reading skills for young children while entertaining the whole family through the amazing photographs on every page! Readers discover unexpected surprises throughout the book making it a favorite!

Garden Gate rabbits prove to be extraordinary taking Best of Breed awards for both shows inColumbia,SCthis year and registering seven “Grand Champions” with the American Rabbit Breeders Association this month! There are many special qualities about Garden Gate rabbits that make them excellent pets, as well as, wonderful storybook characters in “It’s Bedtime for Bunnies.”

Garden Gate® is now a registered trademark that also represents trueSouth Carolinaquality! Garden Gate® Cards and all their products feature not only the live bunnies raised here in our fine state, but also real Carolina flowers, gardens, heirlooms and handcrafted miniatures all grown or locally made! This family business developed from their experiences raising rabbits for over 15 years on their homestead. “It’s no secret, Loretta says, “we love rabbits and the folks here inSouth Carolina! We are so thankful for all the ways God has blessed us-and we hope it shows!! We love to support our local businesses in every way we can and that’s the reason all of our printing and production is done here and all of our supplies are made in theUSA!”

“Don’t be surprised if the smiles our cute bunnies bring- cause you to laugh or make your heart sing!        This merry joy is such a wonderful thing-share it and spread it like sunshine in spring!”

Garden Gate® products are found at  Educator’s Marketplace, 1700 Wade Hampton inGreenville; Vaughn’s Country Store, 109 W. Trade Simpsonville; and Stitches, 115 E. Laurens Str. in Laurens. “Bedtime for Bunnies” is available at the office of Times Examiner!

Fountain Inn, October 2006 –Aunt Het Day is an annual event held in Fountain Inn  with vendors, special guests, a quilt show, and visitors from all over the state of South Carolina! Whether you are sampling barbeque, or just strolling with the family there will be friends to greet and art displays to view  and handmade gifts to buy. There are plenty of surprises for the children with helium balloons and Garden Gate bunnies to visit with!  Children enjoy petting the gentle rabbits raised at the Garden Gate Rabbit Park and are able to learn about showing and caring for these animals. The shops of Fountain Inn are open for business and will have special offers all day.

Garden Gate Cards of Fountain Inn, SC
just released another extraordinary gift idea.
The  Garden Gate Rabbit Park 2006 Calendar featuring more
adorable, prize winning bunnies is ready to sell or use for business promotionals. Over 24 of Loretta Hayward’s amazing and amusing photographs will be a source of entertainment and conversation for the whole year!
This fascinating business owned and operated by Loretta & Glenn Hayward and their family of five is the result of many years of hard work that not only strengthened each family member individually but also enriched their life together. They have laughed over many of their bunny adventures and shared stories and memories with friends and relatives through letters and homemade cards for years. Now they are sharing the joy they have received through their beautiful Garden Gate note cards and their new calendar. The sailor bunnies in a row boat on Little Durbin Creek, gardener bunnies posing amongst the garden flowers, playful bunnies making a snowman during the rare snowfall in 2003 (rare for South Carolina!) and pilot bunnies are appealing to people of all ages and are why Garden Gate Cards are extraordinary! These beautiful gardens and flowers are real, as well as the curious, mischievous bunnies they work with! The pinafores, bonnets and heirloom garments are sewn and carefully constructed by Loretta Hayward as well.