A Goat Blether
Time to cut the grass again? Lawn
mower out of action? Borrow a goat. Yes, a goat. Not as neat as a lawn
mower, granted, but good enough for me. Cuts and fertilizes at the same time.
In one end, out the other. 'Cuts the grass and feeds the lawn.' So
borrow a goat or - even better - get your own.
But if you do decide to go for the
goat option, beware of Rhododendrons. Rhododendrons are poisonous to goats.
Nettle ate a Rhododendron once, four or five mouthfuls before we realised what
was going on. She survived to tell the tale, mind, but when we opened the
goat shed the following morning we discovered the true meaning of liquid manure
and projectile vomiting. Not a pretty sight. Not nice for the other goats
either. But if you're careful, no rhododendrons, cover your shrubs with bin
bags, then a goat will save you time and money in the long run. A good
investment, you see, for there's no petrol required, no servicing and no costly
repair bills. Highly reliable too, and certainly nothing that a journey in the
back of the car to the local vet won't sort out. They'll chew the car seats
perhaps, maybe even the hair off the top of your head, but they don't mind a car
journey at all. Affectionate animals - environmentally friendly to boot.
And let's not forget those wonderful goat droppings for the compost heap.
Now while on this theme of grass
cutting, I've often wondered about those houses with turf roofs -
'Eco-houses' (is that what they're called?). How would you get a goat up
there? Sheep are no good, are they? They'd fall off. No, it has to
be a goat, doesn't it? But how would you get a goat on the roof in the first
place? Now there's a mystery.
(Copyright: Patrick Vickery)
A Critter Blether - August, 2003
Patrick Vickery is a garden writer who lives in the Scottish Highlands. He runs a small perennial plant nursery and has one book published to date: 'In Pursuit Of Perennial Profit - The Pot Of Gold At The Bottom Of The Garden' (Capall Bann Publishers. ISBN: 186163 1480), a 'How To' book about the propagation of hardy perennial plants in an environmentally friendly way, and how to make your garden productive in a variety of ways for both expert and gardening enthusiasts alike - at minimum cost and in an innovative and exciting way. And - of course - how to sell the plants you grow (should you wish to) to raise money (not a fortune) for yourself or a particular charity or cause.
Patrick is married with three children, lives in a two acre wood in a wonderful part of the world, uses a raised bed system of propagation and has two dogs, a cat and two goats. His second book - 'Gardening Tales - Blethers and Grunts' - a collection of anecdotal tales concentrating on the more humorous side of gardening (particularly the things that go wrong!) has recently been completed.
Patrick's book can be bought from an absolutely fascinating website full of gardening, herbal, mystical, and magical books that one would never find anywhere else. The address is www.capallbann.co.uk.
E-Mail Home Shop