Something has been mangling my garden. (This sentence reminds me about trying to help a friend prepare for an advanced class at the Institut Français by coming up with outlandish phrases illustrating different ways of expressing damage: my contribution was ‘the wreckage that the hurricane left in my garden’.)
Whatever it is, it’s been digging for victory, and only in this bed. I have several potential candidates, given that hurricanes tend not to dig.
1. Corvids. I have a lot of problems with crows, jackdaws, etc digging up chafer grubs at this time of year, and this lawn was always a favourite place before we created the bed. However, these holes are just too big, unless they are using spades. I know corvids are bright, but I doubt they’ve been able to get into the ty bach, remove the spades, use the spades, clean the spades, replace the spades and then close the door again.
2. Badgers. My garden is surrounded by stone walls, high stone walls, and the gates are closed. Though I did pass a badger trolling down the hill one evening as I was on my way up, I think it was making for the pub rather than contemplating scaling the walls. For one thing, it didn’t have a ladder.
3. Foxes. It does look a bit like fox damage – I lived with that when I was in my London phase – but there are no other signs: no strong smells, poo, take-away cartons or dismembered pigeons. And, following my London experience, I no longer use fish, blood and bone as that is as attractive to the average fox as a dodgy meat pie is to a footie supporter at half time.
4. Rabbits. No shit. Seriously – rabbits poo everywhere. There are no signs of anything other than these huge holes. No footprints, even when we had snow. And I don’t believe in ‘ghost rabbits’ previously suggested as solution to disappearing mangetout. I know what helps itself to tender veg, and it has two legs and not four.
It’s not just in the exposed areas of the bed either, as in some cases plants, like this anthemis, have been shoved out of the way.
So what the hell is it? It’s not happening in daylight, as far as I can tell, and there are no signs of damage anywhere else. Next door’s fox terrier was put down last year. P no longer has a dog, either, and nor has he been overtaken by a desire to become the Phantom Digger of Dyffryn, or he says he hasn’t. Hobbits? I think their holes would be bigger, rounder and involve large film crews which the neighbours would be bound to notice.
And it’s not me. OK, I am responsible for one of the huge holes in this bed where I ripped up my Angelica gigas, but not the rest. Honestly. Any more suggestions?