• Oh deer

In the dishevelled wilderness that is the top of the garden this year (I blame the weather…), I’ve finally got proof of what’s been causing damage to the shrubs.  For each of the past few winters, since I planted them, the young witch-hazels and azaleas have been systematically top-sliced.  Young buds are severed by clean, 45-degree cuts through the stem.  It’s surgically precise.

This is in an area with two stock fences, one between the garden and the wood, another between it and the moor.

I caught the culprits just after dawn this morning.  They’re the biggest I’ve seen hereabouts.  I went out to remonstrate with them, as you do, but they can leap a four-foot fence from a standing start and were gone in a bum’s flash.

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