The control of the Canadian Geese in the gardens is essential to fully appreciate and enjoy the gardens. The lush lawns and the abundance of water make the gardens particularly inviting to geese.
Generally you can expect a ‘seasonal visit’ from these fowl (also foul) in both the spring and the fall. These are for the most part unavoidable and cause minimal impact to the gardens. It is when they move in and make this their home or become regular visitors that they become most unwelcome. All efforts must be made to keep this from happening. We have had 100% success in our avoidance of this problem by the following methods.
Eradication: Since we are located in the country, shooting geese is in season is both legal and is also the most desirable and effective method of control. During the goose hunting seasons in both the spring and fall the goal should be to maximize the number eliminated. Geese are very smart and good communicators. They very rapidly learn and are trained to recognize that they are not welcome in the gardens and they also tell their friends that a visit here is hazardous to their health. If the hunting season is over and geese are attempting to nest in the spring, shoot near them to scare them away. This is almost as effective as shooting them.
Fencing: The low fence (15 inches high) around the main lake in also very effective in keeping geese from making the gardens their residence. If they cannot walk directly in and out of the water from resting to feeding, and visa versa, they will not stay. This is generally not known and not practiced, but is a very effective method of control.
Mute Swans: Mute swans are very territorial and protective of their areas and will chase geese out of the lake and prevent them from resting there. Without this convenient place to rest next to the desirable feeding area (the lush lawns), geese will not feel welcome and will not remain or make it their home.