La fougère maléfique

We have a lot of bracken in the garden, and we have always rather liked the look of it.

However, when it started to grow out of control, Cat Daddy decided to research the best way of keeping it in check. That’s when he discovered that virtually every horticultural website in creation seems to regard bracken as a hideous toxic invader and best destroyed. Absolutely none of them suggest cultivating it or even controlling it; the advice is pretty much “Cut it down, burn it and also burn the tools that you used to cut it down”.

Naturellement, the moment that Cat Daddy discovered this was also the very moment that Louis Catorze decided that bracken was his favourite thing in the world. And, no, he has shown no interest in it until now. Absolutely zero.

He’s also been scratching himself on the sharp branches of the planted-out Yule tree with the Blood-Letting Needles of Death. And this may just be a coincidence, but his skin is looking ropey, even though he usually starts to look BETTER around this time of year, so we have had to increase his steroid pills to two a day again.

Cat Daddy has already dug up and rehomed our distinctive, frilly daffodils, after learning of their toxicity to cats. But now it looks as if he has more digging to do.

Here is Catorze, resting against the worst thing in the garden and lying in the shade of the second worst thing in the garden:

Just making himself comfortable amidst all the poison and death.

20 thoughts on “La fougère maléfique

      1. In the 40;s and 50’s it was promoted as a natural fencing and many farmers (at least in Ohio) planted it. Unfortunately it works too well- it sends out runners underground, bends its branches down to the ground where they enter and grow by “caning”- it becomes impenetrable, with nasty thorns. It dies back from the center, leaving a dense tangle of dead wood while the ends are going great guns. Many a farmer lost an entire pasture. About the only way to kill it is with napalm. Mowed over, it grows right back up..The flowers are pretty and well-scented and the birds love the “hips.” There was one growing at the bottom of the driveway when we bought the house. I cut it down,, burned the cuttings and poured the hot ashes on top of the roots, Within two weeks new shoots were coming up through the ashes.

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    1. I’m not sure. Luckily he doesn’t eat much in the garden, apart from the odd sprig of mint, but I wish he wouldn’t sleep in the bracken!


  1. We have lots of bracken, ivy, lilies of the valley and I’m sure plenty of other stuff that isn’t good for cats (no actual lilies though as they are truly deadly) and we’ve never had any problems. xxx

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  2. I hate to say this but I think you need to revoke your tulips too. The bulbs are toxic to kitties, IIRC, I can’t remember if the above-ground bits are too. 😦

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    1. I think the bulbs are the worst part, and the rest are only bad if ingested. Luckily he doesn’t chew them, although I do wish he wouldn’t sleep among them!

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      1. I always feel bad about pointing something like that out, but you just never if people realise there could be a problem and I figure better safe than sorry. That’s probably also why I couldn’t remember specifics: I’m very forgetful, so if something’s maybe a little bit of a problem, it’s easier to just tell myself “no” altogether than to try and remember “hey, I remember something vague about tulips but I’m not sure which bit” <_<

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        1. In all honesty we don’t think it’s the tulips. But the problem is we don’t know what it is, and I don’t think we’ll ever know. 😐


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