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.