Out of twelve Marigolds that I planted with flowers or budding heads, only two heads remain, and one of them is close by a clump of chives. It's the birds. The old adage hereabouts, is that it is not ideal to put plants in the ground till the birds have finished nesting and their fledgelings have fledged, and they are their parents have well and truly left. That would mean planting out about the end of June/early July. I am not too concerned about the broken off flower heads, as I think the Marigold plants will strengthen up before flowering again. Meantime, I have been observing my flowering Salvia in another area of the garden; so far they remain untouched.
The two flourishing plants we have, have been deposited courtesy of the birds. For the last two years there has been a great bushy flat parsley plant happily growing out of a drain. The second is a bush at the sunny end of the house that has established itself in a crevice between the end wall and wee area of concrete. Every year it increases its gooseberry fruiting. In order that we get some of the harvest, we now cover it over with netting. I reckon my Salvia flowers are saved from feathered friends, by the distraction they have of trying get round or under the net to munch the gooseberries that are sited just round the corner.