The Blackberry Tales 15 - A snowdrop mystery

It is the time of year for mysteries, the dark nights and grey murky days and festive televsion seems to groan with Agatha Christie dramatisations and other such murder mysteries.  I do love a good mystery.  When I first started to write this I had not considered that it might be a murder mystery, yet when I think about it this is not impossible. 

I grow quite a lot of snowdrops in my garden, I usually plant 200 or so in the green nivalis every Spring.  I also divide clumps when they get large enough.  I have been doing this more or less since first moving to this garden in 2007 so some of the clumps are quite large now.There is however a mystery occuring in my garden every Spring.  About this time of year as the snowdrops are emerging there are some bulbs that are 'pushed out' or maybe 'pulled out' and left on the surface of the soil.
At first I thought this was pigeons and maybe it is pigeons murdering my snowdrops.  I do get quite a few pigeons strutting around my garden with their arrogant 'stop me if you can' attitude.
This phenomenon only seems to appear in the congested clumps, I do not notice random single snowdrops lying around, which is what leads me to think they are being pushed out because they are too many?  Are they sacrificing themselves for the greater good or making a break for freedom?  Is this fatricide (Galanthucide)??
I do carefully lift them out and replant them.  This means they are not lost and does help thin out the clump too.  I try and make a note to go back and divide these specific clumps once the flowers are over.  The mystery is that this only seems to happen in this part of the garden.  I have snowdrops growing throughout the garden and particularly in the Wild Garden where these clumps are.  If it is due to congestion then why does it not happen in the other large clumps?

or is it just pigeons after all??

Any answers gratefully received.

Take care and be kind 

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  1. I think squirrels have dug up some of my newly planted bulbs. Could they be the culprits?

  2. I agree with Chris that squirrels may well be the perpetrators! OH planted a load of different bulbs in 2 large planters by our front door back in the autumn. Within a mere 20 minutes of him coming back inside a squirrel turned up and started digging! OH shot out and chased it off, then found some netting and secured it in place with small pavers left over from getting our side yard re-paved. The bulbs are coming up now, but we'll leave the netting in place until the shoots have reached it.

  3. Could it be voles?


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