Sunrise over the wayback backyard
The dear deer's discovery of the juiciness of the wayback backyard has sealed its fate!
Garden of Benign Neglect this fall
Sure, it's a fun place to shoot Halloween footage and it's a fun place to let my son's dog run and play. But, it is too attractive to our four footed friends. They could hide on the trails and in the brush! I know this because that's where they hid from me the other day...before I herded them out and shut the gates!
Marble bench on the edge of the Garden of Benign Neglect
Last March I looked into renting a herd of goats to clear it out. Seriously!
Goats were being used to clear out unmowable properties in California and Washington. Surely there had to be a Rent A Goat service in Tennessee? Aren't we a farm state?
So I searched for a service or farmer who wanted to rent out his goats...and as I looked, visions of a cleared backyard filled my head. Gone would be the honeysuckle! Gone would be the poison ivy! Gone would be the dreaded Vinca major and the wisteria!
Imagine my disappoint when I couldn't locate any goats for rent in Tennessee. There would be no easy fix for this backyard nightmare in green shrubbery!
It became clear to me that simply contacting a farmer to borrow his goats wasn't going to work ...either!
Goats need to be tended.
Goats need shelter.
Goats need protection from coyotes.
They needed a Goat Whisperer and it was clearly not going to be me!
So, I resigned myself to having trails through a honeysuckle forest; wisteria festooning trees and V major reaching out to take over the world.
But that was then.
I still haven't found a herd of hungry goats to work their goat magic on the wayback backyard; but, I did find an arborist with a crew!
They'll be here next week!
“There is no house possessing a goat but a blessing abideth wherein.”
“There is no house possessing a goat but a blessing abideth wherein.”
What a shame you couldn't secure the goats. That would have made such an interesting post. I've often considered the same, or even sheep to at least keep the lawn to a minimum.ReplyDelete
They are wonderful animals but you should have fun with the arborists anyhow.
Nope, you aren't the only one that has considered goats, after reading your post, I'll pass on the idea. Can hardly wait to see what the crew will do. That's a very beautiful area you have there.ReplyDelete
I would love to have the goats clear it out, but it is more work then tethering a goat here and there! But since I can't have one perhaps the good post will come from you!
It is lovely but thee are entirely too much honeysuckle...I do see a backyard with more viburnums, dogwoods and even Dancing Trees! Let us know if your friends have goat success.
I am pretty sure the deer would have been happy to eat the wild plants for you(-: They are good eaters.(-: The arborist/crew will do a much nicer job though. I had a goat for a while and she was fun but she took a lot of time and work to keep her from eating things I didn't want her to eat and her waste picked up. I am sure you won't have the problem with the arborist/crew either(-:ReplyDelete
Around here there are lots of goats. The animals started popping up in amongst the herds of cattle and in smaller pastures with horses.ReplyDelete
I have wondered if the reason they have appeared around here was a 4H project gone awry or if since people eat more goat cheese they are popular.
I can't wait to see what you do with your new space.
The dear deer did eat a few things whle they were here...some of the flowering phlox 'Laura' I was so proud of ~~was the first to go!
I do hope I don't have any problems with the arbor crew! I would hate to have to chase hem around the yard and lock them out!
Have a fun weekend...what are your plans?
Though you know I love your "way back backyard" as it is, it will be fun to see what the crew will do. Don't be *too* aggressive. :)ReplyDelete
That was my thought when I looked at the backyard this morning! There was a delicious sunrise (redsky this morning!) We are taming it! I will post about the changes!
Nancy, you have always been c&l's best champion! Thank you!
Interesting observations about the goats. When re-checking the rent a goat situation last night...I did come across goat herd bloggers, so maybe like chicken, their popularity is increasing! So Lisa you have goats nearby in case you need them!
I will let you all know what happens!
Where are all the Tennessee Fainting Goats when you need them?ReplyDelete
Fearrington Village imported those goats to our area (I wrote about them this fall). They are really cute, but I understand why you don't want to own goats. I have milked goats more than I wish to remember. To this day, I can't eat goat cheese because I can't stand the smell!
Goat rentals are available here in our area. The woman takes a portable fence along and stays with them during the munching.
I can tell you that I have looked into the rental rates. The clearing crew, while maybe not as cute, will be faster and cheaper! :-)
Hi Gail, I remember when this first came up, and might have mentioned the kudzu eating goats of Chattanooga! Maybe they came up from Georgia. :-) I am salivating at the thought of the cleared out way back. You must send me some photos, or maybe I will just have to come for a visit to see for myself. Are you getting a new bed? Or towels? DON!!! Where did you come from? (I know where he came from, we don't have any heat! The house is dropping below 50 degrees inside and I have not heard back yet from the repairman! You should see how bundled up I am.)ReplyDelete
That was why I hired Aaron! But the romantic notion of some goats chomping away was just too perfect not to share with everyone! FYI, nubians are the Tennessee goat of choice;-) The fainting goats don't have a large presence among the goat bloggers I visited!
More incentive to have you visit in January! ..and just for that comment you wlll get the blow-up bed anyway;-) and my oldest towels!
Sorry about the heat...I wondered where you were this morning!
Hey Gail, you've given me an idea for starting my own business. Psycho dog and I can wrangle some rent-a-goats. I'll take early retirement from my job and spend my days sitting in the shade sipping lemonade while psycho dog moves the goats around. Finally a way for that dog to pay me back for the thousands of dollars in damage she's done over the years;)ReplyDelete
Psycho dog would be happy and so will you! The goats will be grateful for the food and the change of scenery as they move from yard to yard. Marnie, it's a marriage made in heaven or veterinary bill hades!
Oh, I can't wait to see the result! While I admit the idea of goats is charming, the instant gratification girl that I am likes the idea of arborist and crew.ReplyDelete
I hope they are careful with your garden. You'll have to protect ole' Rusty! Who needs goats when you have deer?ReplyDelete
Gail, if you must clean it up at least leave some of the wild. I love the look of the wayback backyard! At least the arborists, will follow your instructions(we hope) as opposed to goats whom I'm told have a mind of their own. Good luck with your project.ReplyDelete
It certainly is a charming notion and were I living in an area that goats really made sense I might try harder to locate them...but this will be much easier on me and the Garden of Benign Neglect won't need to be protected from the goats!
I have to forgo the goats in favor of the arborist. We can have chickens in Nashville but I might have run afoul of metro ordinances to get the goats here!
I will leave a lot of the wild! It wouldn't be the same would it! I love the look of the trails...it was just becoming impenetrable! Balance is the key and that will require supervision!
When we were through Belgium, we stopped in a small town nestled among small, steep hills. While taking a walking tour, we ran across a goat herder herding the town's goats. He told us, through an interpreter, that they looked at the cost of a team of landscape workers, equipment, maintenance and fuel and decided the best and most economical way to keep the town's properties maintained, especially considering the hills, was with a herd of goats and one herder to take them to a different area every few days. There are some things people have been doing for centuries on end that just can't be improved upon.ReplyDelete
Oh...the possibilities. How enticing for a gardener! I really did like the goat idea, however.ReplyDelete
I'm all for giving work to folks these days - hooray for the men with chainsaws! Although it would have been fun to follow the progress of billy and his furry little gang.ReplyDelete
Hilarious, Gail! I'm sure the flock (sorry, crew) of arborists (will they be bearded?) will get their teeth (sorry, spades) into the job.ReplyDelete
Anyone who buys a female goat will automatically have three! I've never met a female goat that wasn't pregnant and carrying two kids! :-)ReplyDelete
I once knew a Nubian goat name Patti (yes, I milked her when her owners went on vacation). Patti loved to kiss people right on the lips! The other goats were Togenbergs.
The Musician had an angora goat one time. It was stolen! They got it back because the little community knew who stole Woogins and laughed at the thief until he dropped Woogins off at the back side of the pasture. Woogins loved to watch kids (human) play basketball. He would escape his pasture to go to the neighbors just to watch the game. :-)
Oh, living in the country in the South is just full of stories!
Too bad we can't teach those naughty deer to eat undesirable plants and leave the other alone isn't it? Did you try the soap trick yet? I used Irish Spring because of it's strong odor and it seems to be working well so far. People also use human hair up in these parts to repel deer with some success. I can't wait to see how your yard is transformed!ReplyDelete
Yeah for the arborist and crew. Better solution anyhow (much faster). What name will you give the garden of benign neglect then?ReplyDelete
The Garden of Benign Neglect will continue to be thus named! It's the wayback backyard that is getting cleaned up this time! gail
Okay, I thought they were the same thing. Sorry!ReplyDelete
No need to apologize...The GOBN needs a good cleaning, too!!! I plan to neglect it a bit longer...the wayback is the shiny thing right now;-)
Glad you were able to come up with a solution to your overgrown wayback garden. The goats would of made for an interesting post, lol. Look forward to seeing what the arborist accomplishes. :)ReplyDelete
I love your "wayback backyard"! But then, I like the "wilder" kinds of gardens too :)ReplyDelete
Hi Gail - so sad you didn't get your desired goats :(ReplyDelete
Not only would it have given you interesting tales for your blog, you could have had goats milk and found loads of new receipes for us to try!
Have a great weekend :)
I know what you mean about the honeysuckle, and I have a wisteria whose knuckles I rap on a regular basis. Keeping such vigorous plants in check can seem overwhelming! Sometimes in summer I think honeysuckle literally grows a foot a day. It's a pain although imo nothing beats the fragrance.ReplyDelete
Goats are difficult to keep. And they get into EVERYTHING. lol
I think I know someone in upstate NY that is giving away 3 not very freindly goats away and he might even give you the transport for free.ReplyDelete
Oh Gail how I would love to get my hands on that area.....there is nothing better than clearing a space....although I have to say I love that wild look (I know that a lot of people don't)ReplyDelete
Can't wait to see the finished area.....the goat would have been fun though........
We don't seem to have goats for rent in Oklahoma either. I did own two goats for a day, but they hopped the fence and left. I was bereft, but that was one of my first forays into country life. I've had lots of others since.ReplyDelete
Hope your crew is able to tame the garden of benign neglect.~~Dee
I am among the admirers of the "way back" just the way it is. I'm sure lots of wildlife enjoy it that way also. So nice to feel every last inch isn't "civilized." I'll be looking forward to seeing what your arborists do. Having never had deer problems, I don't know what I'd do under the same circumstances. I hope this solution helps.ReplyDelete
It's ironic that you wanted goats to get rid of deer. Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery calls deer "woodgoats."ReplyDelete
Glad for that warning, I shall bring my own towels! Heat now fixed, but we need a new heater. :-( I didn't realize the GOBN and the wayback were two different spaces either.ReplyDelete
Hey, I just noticed your pig was wearing antlers! Ho Ho HOReplyDelete
Ah, an arborist with a crew. The manpower! I know you'll be glad to have the help.ReplyDelete
Yes man power is important for them to remove the honeysuckle...it ought to be interesting.
The GOBN is the front garden and the wayback backyard is the rest of the property. So do you like his antlers? They flash but I couldn't catch them blinking with my camera.
My riding instructor had (has) goats. The horses liked them; they kept them company. They could be very destructive though. They got into her house once, and ate the couch! I think you're probably pretty safe that the arborists won't do that.
I can't wait to see pictures of wayback after the arborists do their stuff. I like the wilderness in your back yard, but I also know what a pain it can be to have areas that are so unmanagable...
He's a clever guy isn't it he! They are woodgoats...I wish you could have been here when I was trying to figure out where they had hidden. They were in the side yard by the witch hazel and ran into my neighbors yard....cutting through the hedge, circled around the mosaic shed and in the open gate! I saw them later when I decided to photograph the back garden. Then they saw me ran around the honeysuckle trail and out the other gate!
They will be back 'cause they found Phlox Laura and ate her flowers~~ woodgoats!
I like the wooded and wild look...I would like to replace it with something other than honeysuckle for the creatures who visit! I hope also to be able to keep a good balance....it's hard to do!
I will never have a civilized garden space...I just can't do it! It's not in my genetic makeup...there will always be weeds, leaves on the patio and plenty of wilderness. I don't do tidy and everything in its place very well! Really, the deer are just an excuse to clean up some of the overgrown brush...I think that it will look a bit nicer when the menacing quality is gone!
Glad you joined us today! You'll have to meet the garden bloggers in Astin next time you're in the states and in Austin...I can visit!
Gail ~ Can't wait to see what the arborists do. You really made me smile thinking about renting the goats though :)ReplyDelete
I have friends that began a many, many crowded pens, full-time, full-blown avocation turned responsibility, after three with only two goats! Look what you may miss (or may have escaped)! ha. Here you are thinking about landscaping, and we're thinking of landscraping! :-)ReplyDelete
Whew, feeling better now Gail. Okay, I'm on board (not that it ever mattered!) Bring on the manpower and let's tidy up!ReplyDelete
How great is it that you wanted to get goats? I love those critters (despite the smell) and if we had a farm space we'd definitely have a small herd of them around, as well as a Cardigan Welsh Corgi (my fave breed) to boss them around. Alas, doesn't look like it's going to happen, but I still hold out hopes to once again own a Cardigan Corgi ... they are such wonderful little dogs.
Every year we think about planting a honeysuckle along the fence (love the aroma), then chicken out. Wisteria, however, is a much iffier prospect up here, and though we have one it's a slow grower and will take years to bloom (it's been there 3 yrs now). So your abundance (pests) makes me jealous once again.
When you're done with your arborist, send him up here, lol. We still have a scary maple that has to go soon!
Well, I tell you what...if any happen to pass this way, I'll send them to ya. I don't have a way wayback yard.ReplyDelete
Love this story !!ReplyDelete
You've really got me laughing...
I bought some vinca years ago and I'm still pulling it out,also wisteria. What a pain !
It will be great to see the before and after pictures.
Have a good weekend,
No wayback backyard for you! it's the darned honeysuckle...it takes over!
The non native honeysuckle is very invasive...BUT try this one Lonicera sempervirens/Coral Honeysuckle not only is it a native but it is prettier then japanese twining honeysuckle and not invasive. Hardy to zone 4!
I would love to send the arborist your way! Wehn the maple is down...you will have some great planting opportunities!
Live and learn...doesn't gardening provide us with opportunities to grow;-) I am sorry to hear about your vinca...It loves are warmer winters and wisteria is a nightmare in the tree tops! It is a beautiful white flowered variety that I hope they can help me tame!
Have a great day!
Hi there...can't wait to pop over and see if you are writing about your plans!
I wouldn't like the responsibility it would take to raise goats myself, plus the smell would make me nuts! But having a green soultion seemed fun and cheaper then a crew. But as it turns out convenience + fast service trumps cheap and messy!
Have a good weekeend!
Yes if only they bred a deer who loved trash trees and invasives! I will show the after photos!
Have a delightful weekend and keep warm!
How sad! Maybe they had a few good adventures and found happiness in some clover field!
I would love to hear about your country life forays! Good stories from a good story teller!
It was funny imagining the goats here...then reality set in! I think I want sheep they are better behaved and cuter...do you think they smell!
have a good weekend and keep warm!
It sounds like you have experience with wisteria, honeysuckle and goats! Thank goodness I can learn from others! Even when I remove the honeysuckle I will have to keep removing it...the birds "transpoop" it here from nearby hedges and woods.
Have fun out there in your lovely garden...is it warmer were you are? It's 25 degrees here.
Nope, I am now cured of my goat delusions! But tell your friend in upstate NY thank you anyway;-)
It is a good thing I wasn't able to get the goats...although the unintended consequences could have been a few funny posts!
I won't give the wayback too severe a haircut! Let's hope the winter rains hold off a bit longer so the crew can work.
I haven't met the crew but Aaron is a clean shaven, motorcycle riding, sky diving, mountain climbing guy! Don't I know how to pick them!
Pictures next week!
The goats wandering the yard, jumping the electric fence and eating the perennials would make good copy! I think I dodged the bullet with hiring the skydiving crew!
With the help of your arborist and his crew, I'm confident you'll be able to reclaim the wayback and send the deer on their way to search for more hospitable environs!ReplyDelete
When I was in my early teens, they auctioned a goat off at a neighborhood fundraiser. (Only now does it occur to me to wonder why a goat was donated.) My brother, sister and I heckled my father into buying it! Goat ownership was not for us, however, and he was banished to relatives in the country within days.
I loved your story! it makes sense in some communities and could work in industrial settings in cities...my neighbors might not appreciate them even though...they pay large amounts to landscape services to mow! They just wouldn't get the whole free compost experience.
Oh the stories we could tell and for years! maybe the skydiving arborist will parachute into my yard!
I loved the 'notion' of the goats, too! Maybe the post will inspire someone to rent them and they will post about it! Are you interested!
Goats and, woodgoats and deer...oh my! What a wealth of stories we all have...isn't blogging delicious!
That is a very good point! I know many people need work now...we try to hire local and shop local...even if it costs more then the big box stores. Recently I received an email from a friend with a list of some locally owned businesses to support.
I will share my arborist stories with you all!
Have a good weekend!
Gail, I do love the woodsy look of both your GOBN and your "wayback backyard". (Now I know they aren't the same). This was a great story to read. I was right there with you scheming for a solution and making phone calls ... then back to the drawing board. I can see the attraction for the dear deer and not only is it a good place to hide but you gave them phlox to eat. What more could they want?ReplyDelete
For years we let our wayback grow over with grapevine and scrub bushes. My wayback isn't as wayback or as large as yours but about 8 years ago I hired someone to come in with a bushhog and machete to clear it for me. they left only the palmettos and camphor trees. For the next couple of years I just mulched and kept pulling out starter growth and resisited planting it out. It is now what I call my "back forty" and it is the area I refer to as my woodlands. Woodlands is definitely overstated but it serves as a reference point for me and the listener.
I do hope clearing solves your deer problems AND your desire to clean it up anyway.
Loved this post and following this story. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. I must get back to the garden this morning. I got some gift cards for my birthday last week and I spent them quickly at the nursery yesterday. :-)
Meems (sorry so wordy)
Hi, Gail--Have you ever visited The Inadvertent Farmer (http://sweetgrace.typepad.com/the_inadvertent_farmer/? She has a camel (and a great blog). I agree with MMD that there's not a lot of difference between goats and deer--except that the deer won't come in the house and eat your clothing. There are actually 2 very good deer repellents--Bobbex and Liquid Fence. I use the latter because it lasts a little longer and it's easier for me to find. They're organic and actually provide a foliar fertilizer. If you spray the gardens you care about regularly, the deer will confine themselves to the unsprayed parts. They are on the expensive side, but they really work--especially at this early stage when the deer haven't fully explored the garden (one important thing to know about deer--they never forget--so once they've found a flower they like, they'll keep coming back to look for it--so you have to "change" the memory so that the flower doesn't taste good anymore . . .) Good luck!ReplyDelete
Cindy of Katy,ReplyDelete
I can't believe how many goat stories people have...Is the goat a mythic symbol whose relevance is etched upon our collective unconscious! Oh where is Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung? I don't know but I have loved them all!
Your goat story is funny, why ever would they donate a goat to be auctioned and why ever did someone give my husband a pygmy goat as a moving away present when he left Oklahoma City to move to Nashville! Questions that will forever remain unanswered! I do know that my husband's pet goat was given to a farm family, as was yours!
Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble! Thanks also for sharing you goat story!
Love the idea of a goat whisperer!ReplyDelete
That is exactly what we did...and now it is too dense and the native's are being crowded out! I hope to maintain a balance and not eliminate a woodland feel~~ we shall see! It sounds like you found that balance and keeping the baddies trimmed has been important!
I am tickled that you liked my post...it was fun to write and the deer and goat story was a good segue to talking about changes that are afoot!
I love when you visit and you can talk as much as you like or as fast as you can type!
I have and I love her blog! Thank you for the info on deer repellent. Just when I think I have seen the last of them...they will show up, s this time will be prepared! Have a lovely weekend filled with fun and warmth! Gail
There is a man who refers to himself as the Goat Whisperer...I think he is located in California...would it be unfair to say where else but in CA would someone call them self a goat whisperer!!
Gail, this post made me smile so much.ReplyDelete
My next door neighbor had 2 goats - which spent all their days standing on top of a very high wall, eating the ivy and bleating as they eyed up my garden... particularly the veg patch and so they didn't spend their time eating the field they were supposed to be clearing.
An Arborist + crew - much better choice.
Have a good weekend
Probably for the best... I think goats are famous for escaping and eating the good stuff!ReplyDelete
Gail, our neighbor has a goat named Dolly. She's adorable and will go on walks with us if her owners would let her be on the road. LOL.ReplyDelete
I only wish they'd let her loose more often on their own property. There's a lot of overgrown stuff for her to munch on!
I can't wait to see the difference in your property once the crew is finished with their work!
Dolly is a beauty! Thank you for the link...Who knew goats were so popular..I thought chickens were all the rage but people love a good goat story...me especially!
Thank you and have a splendid rest of the weekend.
The best goat stories have emerged from this post! This is another one! I remember reading someplace (who knows where) that a goat owner could not stop his goats from climbing on cars! Here is your story with the goats looking longingly over the wall to the greener grasses so to speak!
I love comments! You have a good one, too!
I think they are probably way too much animal for me to whisper or wrangle! But it was such a nice notion!
These comments are so much fun to read...it makes me think about my gardening experiences past and present. Funny to have gone from mostly wilderness in Missouri to a too-shady lot for much gardening (although beautiful trees and a very sunny porch where I indulged my love of bouganvilla) in Austin, to a little city balcony where I grow house plants outside all year round! Plants are so cheap here (they come from China) that I am careless and if they don't do well I just let them die and try something else.ReplyDelete
I'd like to have a yard and a garden again...beautiful things grow in Austin...who knows!
This makes me want to write about gardening in MY blog, which is about me and all things Hong Kong, so why not....
Here's a hug for you Gailie...((()))
Hello dear...you know I am too excited that you will be closer! Austin is easier for me to visit then HK. It's fantastic that you are getting excited about gardening.
The Austin garden bloggers will welcome a new blogger~~they are generous; but then so are garden bloggers all over the world!
Love to you,
I loved your humor in posting this story of renting a goat! Funny thing is I always wanted to have a house in the woods and have my own goat just for all the reasons that you mention!ReplyDelete
OK an arborist is the next best thing..not a B-a-a-a-a-d idea!
I could use one in my garden to wack down wild branches of my curly willow tree!
Good Gracious Gail! 91 posts? What a popular blogger you are. I wouldn't worry about the goats, I wish I had a wild area in my yard. I would fill it with Azaleas and other rhoddendrons. :-)ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed the post! Don't you think a sense of humor is important to all relationships, especially the one we have with our garden!
The goats would have been fun but there could have been consequences! Did you read that the arborist is a motorcycle riding, sky-diving mountain climber? I do hope he has insurance!
Have a great day!
If azaleas and rhodos would grow here I would plant them, too! This is nearly neutral soil on top of a limestone bedrock...there are folks that can successfully grow acid lovers, but I find that they don't like our summers or wet winters! Am I whining?
The numbers are greatly inflated by how blogger handles comments. I appreciate everyone who visits and try to answer each individually tho! Thank you for commenting!
Hello Gail. Thanks for stopping by my blog and helping out with the i.d. of my mystery tree. I think you might be right about the washington hawthorn but i need to do some more research to be sure.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you left a comment. Otherwise I would not have found your blog and this delightful post on goats. good luck taming the wayback backyard. I'd love one of those for myself.
Oh Gail I will stop also. But you have a full crowd. I thought of goats for my country property that I am about to tackle. I will pleased if I can clear an acre of the 70. I love your sharing.ReplyDelete
What a fun post, Gail! I think the goats might have been more trouble than they were worth. Looking forward to seeing the transformation of your backyard, except I really loved the name the "garden of benign neglect":)ReplyDelete
TOO funny! Poor Gail--not able to find her goats! But, happily the arborist is in their way! :-)ReplyDelete