Press Releases


Laurens  News &  Advertiser  of Laurens, SC

Laurens County Public Library System  Press Release

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)

Times Examiner  of Greenville, SC

Press Release 12/2013

Garden Gate Rabbit Park
An extraordinary world of real rabbits, real flowers and real adventure! 

The Hayward family is preparing for another event filled year and have released their new Garden Gate Rabbit Park calendar for 2014. This beautiful introduction to their adorable rabbits every month is a conversation piece guaranteed to make smiles! The pictures include the name of the rabbit breed featured and also raised at the rabbit park. Share the joy of this special gift of amusing rabbit poses- a result of the amazing work the Hyaward’s do with purebred show rabbits. Collect the extraordinary keepsake photographs by Loretta Hayward in this 10th Anniversary celebration of Garden Gate Cards their family business. The Glenn Hayward family has been raising purebred pedigreed rabbits for over 23 years promoting their benefits, care and showing of domestic purebred rabbit breeds as well as preserving rare heritage rabbit breeds. Their stories, interesting experiences and rabbits are shared whether they are presenting programs at the public libraries, events, and schools or in private birthday parties and special gatherings! Scouts earn badges, various 4H and rabbit club meetings spark the imagination and ambitions.
The rabbits are truly challenging according to photographer and author Loretta Hayward, “My rabbits do not sit still like some people think. I pet and talk to the rabbits as I prepare them for posing but their busy noses are sniffing everything while their ears move and they anxiously explore the setting. I have to be ready for those unexpected leaps any time. It takes 75-100 photos to actually get one great shot I can use to illustrate my cards, calendars or books of stories and poems.”   Some rabbits are celebrities since they have been with the Haywards on TV with Jack Roper on “Your Carolina” (Channel 7) and with Joe Gagnon on Fox Carolina (Fox 21). The rabbits have enjoy getting pets and hugs whether it was from an ARBA judge, our state representative, Miss South Carolina or Santa Claus!
A visit to Garden Gate Rabbit Park’s website page  is an opportunity to meet more of the family, rabbits, and friends. Special news is shared through their newsletter and on their home page. Events include local and state rabbit shows, public programs, and special appearances with book signings everyone can attend. Library programs (Pickens and Anderson County libraries in 2013) are very popular and include Laurens County and Henderson County in 2014. “New Discoveries” is the newest book by Loretta Hayward in the series of “On the Banks of Durbin Creek” story books. The story of the amazing wildlife and world along Durbin Creek is told from a “rabbit’s eye view” and wonderfully illustrated with colorful full page pictures. Incredible details of close up encounters with wild life and dozens of creatures often camouflaged in the forests of South Carolina will fascinate readers and be part of the collection of treasured favorites of the family.
The rabbit park is opened a few months of the year to visitors by scheduled appointment only. This private rabbit park is an extraordinary “opportunity of a lifetime” where families and special groups visit with the rabbits of many fascinating breeds and varieties. The exciting programs and presentations are wonderful learning experiences. Appointments include time for family pictures to be made with the bunnies.  Celebrate their 10th year in the Garden Gate family business along with the Hayward’s by purchasing their anniversary calendar for  $11.99 which supports their rabbit park. Purchase two or more for gifts ($10 ea)  For information please email or call 864-876-3914. Books, calendars, note cards etc. are available online and at Verdin’s Farm & Garden Center – 300 Lucas Ave, Laurens, Vaughn’s Country Store, 109 Trade St., Simpsonville, Over the Rainbow, E. Curtis Simpsonville.

Times Examiner  of Greenville, SC

The Rabbit Park Adventures and Another Wagonload of Surprises Continue!

       Garden Gate®  Cards and Rabbit Park have a pleasurable combination that folks in the southeast are making into a tradition! Families love meeting the rabbits of Garden Gate Rabbit Park through the amazing and amusing calendars produced by Garden Gate Cards each year. Children and adults enjoy conversing about the calendar bunnies featured each month, their playful poses and all cute bunny expressions. Imagine the challenges raising 16 breeds of rabbits and preparing them for pictures! Will the bunnies pose or pick the flowers and run? Not every rabbit gets to play in the sand with a little farm tractor or board the hay wagon of bunnies for a ride! If you have any imagination at all then you will understand all the fun and funny bunny acts that take place! We make it possible to share our stories and pictures through our beautiful calendars, note cards and books.
Our third book “New Adventures On the Banks of Durbin Creek” is overflowing with incredible color photographs by Loretta Hayward of the bunnies meeting South Carolina’s wild life. The wonders of creation will fascinate every reader and the helpful footnotes and glossary included will prove to be a wonderful resource.  We must remember a great book is enjoyed by every age! Several libraries have the books authored by Loretta Hayward and have scheduled the Haywards to present a children’s summer reading program along with various breeds of their rabbits! Librarians enjoy the experiences along with the multitudes of families that attend Garden Gate’s library events! Garden Gate Rabbit Park added the Thrianta (Tree-ahhn-tuh) rabbit breed to the park family and our rabbit friends help spread the news. Along with many popular fancy pet breeds we also raise four rare rabbit breeds.  It is a unique and extraordinary opportunity to visit with rabbits that people would never meet in a lifetime. As members of the American Rabbit Breeders Assoc. (ARBA) the Haywards are dedicated to the promoting, development and improvement of the domestic rabbit.  Gloria Hayward is a licensed ARBA registrar and can help families register their rabbits with ARBA. Their work raising pedigreed purebred rabbits includes the education of families in raising rabbits and establishing  rabbitries (rabbit farms)  in many states. Visit their new website and Shoppe at  or call 864-876-3914 for more information.   (2013)

Times Examiner  of Greenville, SC

Garden Gate Rabbits are Coming to Greenville!

            Come meet the adorable rabbits of Garden Gate Rabbit Park Friday, Nov. 6.  Loretta Hayward, teacher, author and photographer of the “On the Banks of Durbin Creek” book series will be at Market for Life, 2801 Wade Hampton Blvd in Greenville from 1:00-5:00 p.m. signing books. The Garden Gate Rabbit Park  2010 calendar is now available and along with their books, cards and prints (made in SC)  featuring their bunnies will be for sale.  The Hayward Family has raised 22 of the 47 rabbits breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association. Their fascinating family business includes over 130 pedigreed rabbits that they have raised for sixteen years. They also raise rare American breeds such as the blue eyed white Beverens and Silver Fox.
Loretta Hayward and her daughter Gloria, a licensed ARBA registrar,  will be speakers at the American Rabbit Breeders Judges Conference Fri. Nov. 13, 2009 6-10:30p.m. at 108 Hare Ave, (that is really the name of the street!)  in Saluda, SC.  On Saturday, the Carolina Outback Rabbit Raisers Club will host the Triple ARBA Show  Nov. 14, 8:30 am- 6:00pm. The public is invited!
Enjoy visiting with the Haywards and bring your camera to take pictures of the kids petting the bunnies! Hear about the Hayward Family’s amazing work. For more information call 864-876-3914. Visit their website at  See their books and calendar at the office of Times Examiner!


Times Examiner  of Greenville, SC

     “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 the Enoree River where Garden Gate Rabbit Park is located in Fountain 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 in Columbia, SC this 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 true South Carolina quality! 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 in South 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 the USA!”

“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!”

                              by   Loretta Hayward