Fences not only help keep things in and out, they also help define borders in the garden.
These two little bird house fences flank out metal arbor that leads to the cottage garden.
As seen here:
All of this fencing was made possible by that free dog house! And as you can see in this shot, I got my dream chicken mansion, which I lovingly call: Le Poulet Chalet. The little coop I built I have dubbed, Henpecked general hospital!
Our next major building project will be a grape arbor that will live next to Poulet Chalet and lead past the apple trees from the walking lawn to the covered porch. Stay tuned for that adventure!
Our next project is the hen house! We acquired an unused dog house and I am in the process of deconstructing it. I will then take an inventory of materials, and make a plan for the hen house and chicken run - very exciting! I already injured myself getting some of the boards off with the drill, so I'm off to my usual good start!
We hope to build something that looks like this from the lumber:
Chicken House Update:
This is what I finally came up with from the free lumber from the discarded dog house:
I flew by the seat of my pants on this project for the most part. I really didn't have a written plan or drawn schematic, and now after months of use, I wish I had thought it through a little better. The large door should have been like the one in the picture above, outside the chicken run. Honestly, what was I thinking? Well, obviously I wasn't thinking. It is a hassle to clean out the coop because now I have to go in and out of the chicken run, thus risking one of the girls flying the coop, so to speak. Oh well, hard lesson learned, that is if I actually have learned from it. I also wish I had taken more care in the roof, to make sure it would shed rain better. We don't get a whole lot of rain in SoCal, but when we do, it can be quite a down poor. I have found why it is so important to use roof flashing under the shingles, and I should have extended the upper roof about an inch more over the egg box roof. When it is raining and I life the egg box lid (roof) water gets into the nesting box. My poor girls have been subjected to my lack of carpentry skills.
Apparently, I'm a better duck house builder! This little hen cottage is only temporary as I intend to purchase my dream chicken mansion. More on that later!
Oh, here is a side view of my coop, where the clean out door should be, but isn't! Oh well, live and hopefully learn!
What is a hose guard you may ask? Well it is a metal, or wooden rod of varying heights that you can stake into the ground near planting beds that will help prevent your hose from destroying your plants, as you move it along while you water. There are a bevvy of hose guards on the market, but since I like to be different, I made mine out of things I had, and things I found at the local thrift store.
There are many websites out there that give information on how to make your own hose guards. I was inspired by a gardening website to make the tower of teetering pots you see in this picture to the right of the blue glass lantern, which contain some red verbena and herbs.
My husband and I went to our local arboretum's yearly Green Scene, where one of the vendors had made flowers out of vintage plates - so cool! So I hit a thrift store and shopped for cheap yet pretty plates and found this glass tile lantern and glass dish. I simply glued some glass rocks to its base with silicone, and when it was dry I glued the glass plate on to the base. Now we can use it as either a lantern or hanging planter. It is rather heavy though, so it's a good thing it has a sturdy wire hanger.
It is hanging from a wrought iron shepherd's crook I got at Home Depot for about seven bucks.
Here are some other hose guards I made:
TheBlue "Flower" Plate
This hose guard was made from a plate set we received as a wedding gift. I added some of the glass beads and half moon shapes with a small glass plate and candle holder for the center of the flower. Everything is held together using silicone as a glue and allowed to dry. Then I glued a 1" PVC pipe cut to 6" and was spray painted copper. The tube was then slipped over an old mop handle spray painted copper and fastened with a screw. So far it is holding up well.
Painted Bird House
The bird house was given to us by my mother-in-law, whom also loves to garden. Robert told her about our project and my desire for a bird house and she came through beautifully as usual. All I need to do was to plug the hole to keep out unwanted pests such as mice, rats, and wasps from making this sweet little house their home. I accomplished this by silicone gluing a large glass bead over the hole. For added bling, I glued a green heart at the peak under the eave. We mounted the house onto a chunk of 2x4 painted copper and Robert used a paddle bit to drill a hole just big enough to wedge in the copper painted 6" section of PVC pipe. Then this was slipped over the metal stake that had been driven into the ground.
Pink Plate "Flower"
I found this pink plate at an estate sale years and years ago, one of 11, so I used it to create this lovely flower hose guard. I silicone glued some pink and green glass beads to it, with a glass candle holder for the center of the flower. The outer "petals" being another glass plate I bought at the thrift store for about $3.50. It is secured the same way the blue plate "flower".
Copper Wire Tea Kettle
I found this little gem at the thrift store for about $4.00 and turned it into a planter by securing it to a oak stair rail spindle which used to have a tea cup bird feeder on it. We used a 14 cent fender washer and a screw to secure it to the spindle. Now all I have to do is buy some more sphagnum moss and plant something in it.
These little works of garden art have truly earned their keep and lived up to their name, they do indeed guard our plants against the ravaging effects of a heavy slithering hose can incur. So I encourage you dear reader, to construct some hose guards of your own!