Anarchic gardening (2)

Now we come to pruning and cutting back for winter.

The conventional system was to chop everything down and give it to the goats to eat. People who haven’t kept goats believe that they eat anything, which is not true. They will eat cardigans, stale bread, paper bags, but they do not eat nettles (unless they have been chopped down), mullein, or any of the other rampant weeds. What they like most of all is roses and ornamental shrubs.

As autumn really begins to take hold, it’s that time of year when I cut down anything that looks sleepy or floppy or too tall or not tall enough, or has grown too big or not grown very much at all. So pretty much everything. Chop, chop, wheelbarrow, into field with goats, job done. Next year it will all grow and bloom again. It always does.

One of our goats is very old, and he is bullied by his younger, smaller companions, so we have let him into the garden to take his pick of all the delicacies. He’s make a start on the roses and evening primrose, washed down with some ivy. He’s like a child let loose in a sweetshop, trotting from one treat to the next.

Anarchic pruning cuts out the hard work.  Except for the wisteria. I wish goats could climb ladders.



2 thoughts on “Anarchic gardening (2)

  1. I want a goat! I did read somewhere (in one of our rose books I think) that you can prune roses with a chain saw – straight across rather than bothering to make a nice arch shape with the secateurs – and apparently tests have shown it’s just as good as the more labour intensive way. We haven’t had the courage to practice the chain saw method yet though.

  2. For the last two years I have cut back all the roses very hard – brutally in fact, without all the fancy shaping. Since doing so, they have bloomed more abundantly than ever before.

    If you get a goat, you MUST have more than one. They are very sociable herd animals and utterly miserable if kept alone. And two get the pruning done in half the time. 😀

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