I have finally had to admit it . . .something is eating my plants . . .and it is something big.
Over the past 10 days or so I have begun to notice plants shrinking rather than growing - (well I thought it is transplanting in the hot weather, what do you expect?) - lots of stems without flowers - (well, I thought, how untidy, I really must get better at deadheading down to a branch in the stem) and a few decidedly short roses - (even I couldn't think of a suitable excuse for that).
I tried to blame rabbits for a few days- we even bought a humane trap - but today I have had to own up to the fact that WE HAVE DEER.
This is such a big deal because when we moved here I looked at the houses in Aberfoyle with their 12 feet high prison like fences and said "I am NOT having a deer fence", we will find another way. We put up a short fence 4 feet in from our boundary fence to the north - where the deer can be seen - the idea is that they can't jump over the full 4 feet and they can't land in the middle either. We just sort of ignored the rest of the boundaries and crossed our fingers - or more accurately put our fingers in our ears to drown out the sniggering of more experienced farmer neighbours.
I am still walking around saying "I am NOT having a deer fence" - a bit pointlessly as to be honest as we can't AFFORD a deer fence - I have spent the evening neglecting the children and draping netting around the plants which might expire if eaten any more while I think of a more attractive solution.
Neighbours say a gun and a freezer full of venison! I think that the deer are walking along the road and coming in the front gate. They love delphinium, euphorbia and white willowherb.