Camellia carnage

Remember way back when, just before Christmas I bought a lovely camellia 'Dr King'?  He was lovely, small but covered in lovely buds showing a glimpse of the lovely colour to come.  Everything was lovely.

First of all I popped him into the Courtyard Garden thinking he would stay there for quite a while, adding colour to this space.  I was going to pot him on in the Spring and all would be lovely.  Lovely.
Then as I was wandering the garden the other day a space in the garden that I had not identified as a serious space, waved at me and said:

"Wouldn't a camellia look lovely if you planted it here?  If only you  had a lovely camellia looking for a space."

"Well, as luck would have it, my lovely garden" I replied "I have a lovely camellia that would look bloody lovely just there - thank you for the lovely suggestion"  This is a lovely example of when the garden speaks to me and tells me what it wants me to do which as I have said before is my general and specific gardening philosophy.   A quick nip to fetch the spade and Camellia Dr King was planted, watered and wished well for the future.  Lovely.

I have to admit that as I planted it I did wonder if the shock of relocation might lead to the buds popping off.  Camellia buds can drop for a variety of reasons: most notably not enough water in Spring/Summer, but it was not impossible that the act of planting it might lead to bud-cleft.

Then the heavens opened and several days of rain commenced.  I wandered out briefly on Christmas Day and the Camellia was looking good.  I thought how good it was the rain was helping him bed in before the frosts and snow start in January.  All good.  All lovely.

I wandered out yesterday morning for an inbetween downpours 'how are you doing my lovely soggy garden?' and when I reached the Camellia ......... quelle horreur.....
The lovely Camellia appeared to have no effing buds left.  Had they popped off I thought to myself, had my fears been proven right?
No! some effing animal had munched through the tops of the effing branches and effing nipped off the the effing buds.
This was no effing accident, this was a deliberate effing act!
There was a scattering of effing leaves and effing buds around the shrub.
To add effing insult to effing injury there as a trail leading away where the effing animal had stopped for an effing snack!  Would you effing believe the effing audacity!!!

I checked my other two camellias that have been planted for some time in the garden.  I have never seen this happen before and was anxious that maybe the other two had been hit as well.  The other two are planted in the border on the other side of the garden and they seem to be untouched.


But who was the effing culprit?  That is the question.  I did a bit of googling wondering if it could be foxes or the chief Lords of Misrule in the garden: effing squirrels.  It turns out squirrels are known to do this so j'accuse Mr Squirrel, j'accuse.  I pondered for a while why this camellia had been attacked and not the others?  My conclusion is that this one is just more exposed, it can be seen/found more easily whereas the others are in a more mixed planting situation.
Not every lovely bud has gone, one remains, just the one.  So wish it well and let's hope the effing squirrels do not return to complete their carnage.

Happy New Year to you all - lets hope for a kinder, happier 2024.

effing basket.....

Take care and be kind (even to squirrels)

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