What the ?*******? is doing this?

I've gardened here for 20 years, nearly, and lived in armed warfare with squirrels most of that time.  Thus I know well what kind of thing they do and much as I'd like to blame them for everything - I don't honestly believe this is them.

Several pots of bulbs, well up and coming into flower, hyacinths, scilla, chinodoxia etc., have had every leaf pulled from them, & the bulbs virtually hollowed out. Daffodil flowers have been removed from stems and placed in another pot nearby - uneaten.  I've never in more years of gardening seen damage quite like this.  The only new thing we have in an overabundance of magpies - could it be them?  We have the odd mouse and rat just like everyone else, but nothing new.  The pots are large ones, most of them, and the damage done is incredibly severe - really nothing left at all.  Then, to top it off, my white camellia, which was full of flowers, has had every flower taken off since yesterday afternoon, and the remains scattered in other pots around the area - anyone one with any ideas?

There is limited access to the garden, only from the front of the house, there are no back access points for humans, tho' of course any animal can get in if it chooses. We have foxes around, always have had, and I'm delighted to say the owls are in full cry - everything just as usual except this damage.  Ideas, please?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,092

    Squirrels eat my camellia flowers. they chew the base and the petals go everywhere.

    I had them strip an entire bed of 70 sweetcorn plants one year. the trail went into the wood next door. Most years they leave them alone

    Sometimes there is a roguemale, showing off to females that is very destructive.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    They're after the nectar bookertoo a sweet treat at this time of year. My solution would be an air rifle but I know that won't go down well with some people.

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    You have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable,  must be the truth 

    my money's on a male squirrel who wants to get laid image

    so sorry for your loss 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,145

    A friend of mine had similar problems years ago when she lived in Overijse and her garden backed onto farmland and woods.   Turned out to be a combination of wild roe deer and the farmer's peacocks looking for tasty bits in spring when food in the woods and pastures was at a low ebb.

    It must be so frustrating for you.   Can't offer practical ideas to help but you have my sympathy.

    The Vendée, France
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    You have all been so kind, and indeed I am coming round to the idea of the rogue squirrel, even though it hasn't happened before like this.  Thanks for the kind words, they do help!  I've emptied the worst damaged pots, and will refill with something lovely - with fine wire netting over them, interspersed with cuttings from the pyracantha and see what that does to the rogues ego.

    No deer in the area, and no peacocks - that would at least be unusual enough to be interesting. 

    Knowing my co-ordination if I used an air rifle, I'd probably hit the neighbours!  Not for me, but thank you.

    Any more ideas welcome. 

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,072

    That's sad about your spring flowers, last year I planted out all my plants grown from seeds, next day the lot had been chewed to the grown by rabbits. I couldn't harm a rabbit, but squirrels, tree rats, don't like them much. Especially if they get into you loft and chew your rafters.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • BLTBLT Posts: 468

    I too have had simlar destruction and it was Squirrels!! 

    I was looking on line on how to prevent my bulbs being dug up too. The suggestion was to plant them much deeper down like 8 to 10 inches deep.. Works for me... But they dug up my new potatoes my yellow crocuses cos they tasted better than the purple ones it seems...   They never hobernate around here...

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Squirrels have not hibernated in years, in fact they never really did - they would just lie low during the worst of the weather then pop up again like the proverbial bad penny.  What has seemed odd to me during this rampage is that I've not seen the squirrel in question, whereas I usually do see them whatever havoc they are trying to wreak!  Thy'v done a coulee more pots but none as badly as the first two or three - lets hope the rage has passed over!

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