Today was really the first day of the New Year. The children were collected by the school bus at 8.45 and I set off to have a proper look at the garden and field. The cold weather has certainly brought out hungry animals to eat their ways through everything..
In the summer, when everything is growing fast, I am very sang-froid about pests. "well themoles were in the field before I was" I say to the local mole catcher; "if we didn't have voles, we wouldn't have buzzards" I naively opine at a drinks party. In the middle of a cold snap it is another matter - deer, detered from the main field by our double fence, have take to browsing their way through the front garden - munching the new eucalyptus trees and even the potted fatsia on the front steps. Hares have been in the field - their droppings are everywhere and they have been eating the sweet william plants and any alliums that have sprouted early. Voles and mice have been at all bulbs bar narcissi and have eaten the entire snakeshead fritillary crop from the tunnel.
I keep reminding myself that all of these plants- apart of course from those munched fritillaries - will recover - The trees will get new leaves, I can move the fatsia into the tunnel, the sweet william will grow again when it warms up and I can level the molehills that zoom along the grass paths and use the beautifully worked compost in my potting compost.
Or I can buy some traps and contact that local mole killer.