With only a few days to go before the Open Garden, we turned up today to find vandals had been at work. The bed of annual flowers which had looked so pretty last week, had been flattened. Two large holes had appeared in the bed where we planted the apple trees, another had been dug in the newly planted hedgerow bed. I wonder if the culprits will return tonight.
We’d seen evidence of foxes last year but since the autumn there had been no further signs. I’d hoped that by planting up every inch of the garden over the last 6 months, the foxes would have been put off and gone elsewhere. I told Jill about what had happened. Jill looks after the another garden in the building and knows the area well. She said she remembered foxes using the old garden which was roughly on the same spot as our Little Mix of a Garden before the new Greenwood Centre was built. So foxes must have a homing instinct – maybe they think we are the vandals that have done a land grab on their space.
I found out that foxes start digging in spring in preparation for giving birth to their cubs between March and May. We have been careful not to leave food waste out to encourage them but they eat worms and insects which we have been encouraging so there’s not much we can do. The problem is, with our small raised beds they are not going to be able to create a big enough den. It will be too small to fit one fox in let alone a mum and a dad and 4 or 5 cubs – apparently foxes live in a family unit. The RSPCA provide some useful tips on how to deter them from your garden – one is to cut down foliage to remove their cover. If we did that in our small garden there would be no garden left. This damage, coupled with the weather which seems to have lost its thermostat – going from cold to hot during the course of each day – is stressing the garden and the gardeners more than I like to admit.