Par for the Gorse

Gorse In February
Gorse In February

It’s not bad stuff, actually. It can be made into a good winter feed for cattle just by bruising it and chopping it up, horses enjoy eating it too, but sheep aren’t so fond of it. It flowers for most of the year but when there are new flowers in spring you can make a very nice wine from them. You need a bucket full of flowers to make a bucket full of wine, thinking about the thorns, it could be quite time consuming collecting a whole bucket full of those little flowers.

It is a legume, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when you look at its pea-like flowers, and it does all that nitrogen fixing stuff that legumes are into. It’s not keen on releasing its hard won ‘N’ so it has to be shocked into it. This can be something as simple as cutting it back or you can just set fire to it – it burns very well and as with anything we do well, it actually enjoys it. If you were thinking about the security of having a gorse hedge around your house, you might want to bear that in mind. This is no doubt why any witch with a princess or two in a castle or two will usually choose roses or brambles for  impenetrable hedges.

A gorse hedge that would disappear in a puff of smoke may suit a genie but it’s not going to seem much of an deterrent to Prince Charming. Is it?

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