Showing posts with label birdbath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birdbath. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2013

Trying again

I swear this is the last time. If weather or animals take out this birdbath again, I'm giving up.

This is the $5 birdbath that lost its top after a cat or a raccoon knocked it over and broke it. It had already been broken and glued together once before.

I bought a saucer from Lowe's and glued it to the base with Liquid Nails. I swear if it gets broken again, I'm going to break up with bird baths. Me and watching birds on Saturday mornings in bed, with the curtains open and coffee in hand . . . oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably replace it again. Bird bathing is so adorable!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Damn it.

This is why we can't have nice things.

A cat or a raccoon or someone who really hates birds broke the $5 birdbath that I drove all the way to Cornelius in rush hour traffic to get. This is the third one I've lost. I don't know how I can find them any cheaper than that.

I give up.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leap year

There's an old adage that in the first year your plants sleep, the second they creep, and the third year they leap. For some of the plants I first established at the house, this should be their leap year. Our weather has been lovely this week--cold but clear, which means perfect for weeding.

I have never been so happy to weed! It was so nice to be in the yard again, muttering to myself and saying hello to the plants that are starting to poke out of the ground. We have lots of bulbs now starting to show, and the flowering currants and elderberry bushes are budding.

The winter-blooming daphne is *this close* to erupting in blooms and the stonecrop is forming rosettes--hooray!

I spent all day removing popweed (Cardamine hirsuta, street name: Jumping Jesus) and Herb Robert (Geranium Robertianum, street name: Stinky Bob). I also put down Sluggo, the only insecticide I'll use. I had a moment of panic where I wondered if I was weeding all the forget-me-not that I sowed last fall. That's the problem with wild flowers--how do you know what's a good seedling and what's an invasive weed?

Remember when my aging next door neighbor thought I wanted her Doug Fir removed? She called a surveyor and had him mark her property lines, so I couldn't "take over her yard" like she claims I'd like to do. I carefully pruned only the roses on my side of the surveyor's white post. After I pruned them hard last year and didn't kill them, I became emboldened and pruned them even harder this time. I might actually remember to fertilize them this year but I'm not holding my breath.

I also did silly things like crumpling leaves that had accumulated under the shrubs by hand. Last fall I put uncomposted leaves on the beds, which is generally not advisable. In the wild, leaf mulch breaks down quickly because animals walk on it. In our urban and suburban yards, it just sits there and attracts slugs. But: if you put out a bird feeder nature does what it would do in the wild. To wit:

What used to be three inches of leaves now looks like this

So next fall I'm going to put out fresh leaves and a million bird feeders and I will sit back and know that I'm feeding the wildlife AND my plants.My transformation into That Crazy Bird Lady will be complete. I can't wait.

Also, remember my bird bath that I spent $5 on and drove all the way to a trailer park in Cornelius, which took two and a half hours during rush hour, and then I had to patch it with Liquid Nails so it would not leak? It holds water! So my cheap scavenging on craigslist, while dangerous and unattractive, totally works.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Because I grew up in a cave

I'm a little embarrassed; I'd never actually seen one of these in real life until this guy showed up in my yard.

Turdus migratorius

Robins are HUGE! And yet he got scared away from the birdbath by a teeny tiny bird (I'm terrible at identifying birds so whatever scared it away still gets IDed as a "cute brown bird."). Silly robin. I love having birdbaths; now I just need David Attenborough to show up and narrate.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A very good idea

I moved the birdbath from the backyard to the driveway strip so I can see the birds playing from the kitchen window. I love watching birds in the birdbath. WHO THE HELL AM I ANYMORE?

I know I'm really going to tempt the spambots by saying this, but BUSHTITS, you guys!

They ARE bushtits, right?

I'm too old for this shit, he thinks.

And then this one gave me the stinkeye and I stopped taking pictures.

Psaltriparus minimus

I'll tell you soon about the other birdbath I bought off of craigslist for $5. It was cracked, put back together poorly, and I had to drive to Cornelius in rush hour traffic to get it. It took 2.5 hours round trip. I patched it with Liquid Nails and we'll see this weekend if it will hold water. If it does? Totally worth it.

If it won't hold water I'm declaring myself barred from using craigslist again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things I learned while I was planting 160 tulip bulbs last night

  • An hour and a half before sundown is not an early enough start time, especially when we're still in huge-ass-spiders-in-the-garden season. Digging in the near-dark is scary.What was that? Did I just walk through a web? Do I feel something on my neck?
  • Laying them out first, based on color and height is a better approach than what I did last year, where I dug as I went and ended up with clumps of colors and bald spots galore.
  • I tried to sprinkle the bulbs like Jacqueline van der Kloet recommends (so everything looks more natural) but I suspect the whole thing will look kind of stiff anyway.

  • You have to wear gloves when you plant hyacinths because they will irritate your skin. Thanks for the heads up, Brett and Becky's!
  • It doesn't matter how perfect I think my angle is, I will end up tossing the bulb in top-down or on its side.
  • Somehow I didn't run into any of the 75 bulbs I planted last year, which is impossible, right? I must have bulb-stealing critters.
  • Being really hungry while you plant does not make things go faster. 
  • Elizabeth over at Garden Rant says that the process of planting the bulbs is the best part--I'm not so sure I agree. I *do* love the anticipation of waiting for them to come up. It's exciting when they start to emerge from the ground and again when they actually open. I wanted to be more zen about the whole process but the sun was sinking so fast.
  • Man, doing anything 160 times right in a row is boring.
  • Goddamn it, I didn't order any crocuses. Again. Someone remind me next year?
  • I'm going to have to spend some time getting to know this new camera--the colors and white balance in my photos are all off.
I finally bought Rosalie bulbs in honor of my grandma on my mom's side; now I'd like to find a Marjorie flower for my dad's mom. It looks like there's a variety of clematis (C. montana var. rubens 'Marjorie') that might fit the bill. It's pretty and pink and I'm obsessed with incorporating vines into my garden right now, so everyone wins!

In addition to getting the bulbs in the ground I also replaced (FOR THE THIRD TIME) the birdbath top. You'd think I'd get smart and glue it to the top, but it was cold and I didn't feel like it. I went for a red one this time.

I'm totally tempting fate to knock it over again, aren't I?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A late summer garden is not a pretty thing

I saw this tutorial in Better Homes and Gardens on how to create a picture frame planter full of sedums. It's amazing. I want one. I want an entire fence made of them. I want an entire HOUSE made of them and then I'll marry them and have a million of their babies.

It made me miss my junky little bathroom drawer on stilts that I planted with sedums last summer, only to have it crushed when the gate fell down. All of a sudden it became imperative that I recreate it.

 I decided to check out Salvage Works in Kenton. They had lots of drawers that would have worked well but I got distracted by this rusted out wheelbarrow.

Conveniently, it has a hole blasted through the bottom, meaning I could turn it into a planter with good drainage.

I decided to sleep on it because I'm responsible. Also: I didn't have the keys to Greg's truck and it wouldn't fit in my Honda. I went back the next day and the owner had conveniently written the price on the handle in Sharpie. Except by "conveniently" I mean "stupidly." Anyone know how to get that off?

I ran to Lowe's in search of sedums even though they never have good succulents. I should have gone to Portland Nursery or Cistus. Actually, I should have cleaned the bathroom or otherwise prepared for my sister's impending visit instead of messing around in the yard. Lowe's only had some unremarkable hen-and-chicks so I grabbed more grosso lavendar. I figure this probably won't last the winter above ground so I'll have to replant next spring.

I've been blog-stalking danger garden recently and coveting all the pokey plants she has in her yard. This whole wheelbarrow setup is looking a little too precious and I'm thinking one of these babies would be more fun. Whale's tongue agave:

Photo yanked from Pam Penick at Digging
That's a little more unexpected, ya? I'm not sure how deeply it needs to be planted so I might have to go with something smaller. The wheelbarrow is only five inches deep. While I was garden shopping I bought some orange crocosmia for Greg (if baby wants orange plants, baby gets orange plants) and realized that this area of the yard is an even bigger mess than I thought.

Because I never really planned this area, so many things need to be removed or moved. There's a mountain of wild morning glory quietly weaving around every plant in the area. I pull that weed every time I find it and it always comes back. My neighbor, the one who thinks I hate her Doug Fir, has it growing with abandon in her yard, meaning I will never be able to fully eradicate it. Ultimately I want to move the blueberry bushes from this area to the front yard, but that requires removed the rhododendrons, amending the soil, and doing a whole bunch of stuff for which I'm not ready. So they sit in the ground, planted far too closely to their replacement shrubs. Beautyberry sits right next to a flowering currant, which sits right next to an elderberry. They all suffer for it. I've also got a few plants on death row. Sadly, they are natives.

This mock orange has been in the ground for two summers and has yet to flower. I have no place in my yard for shrubs that don't flower when their foliage is nothing to get excited about. I'm thinking about replacing it with a Mexican Orange, which is evergreen. This area desperately needs evergreen elements. I also want some goddamn flowers. Is that too much to ask?

Also not flowering? The nootka roses. They've thicketed like crazy, popping up in places I never wanted and they have yet to produce a single flower. If I'm going to put up with thorns there had better be some flowers. I'm not running a charity over here. Also? They've gotten so tall that I can't see the ninebark behind them. I'm thinking about removing them and planting something evergreen. Something chartreuse, maybe.

Also on death row? Whatever critter broke my birdbath. AGAIN.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And suddenly we have a garden!

One single month ago the stump area looked like this.

The peonies and lupine are growing like gangbusters. I want to divide this lupine next year because the lime green foliage makes me tingly. I want it everywhere. It doesn't hurt that lupine is a nitrogen-fixer, so other plants benefit from its proximity.

Alas, I think I need to declare the DIY birdbath a failure. The wood is discolored and I suspect it's going to rot, despite being coated in something protective. I'm hoping to possibly use it as a form to create a new birdbath out of cement.

I've set my phasers to "lush."

I've set my phasers to "stunning?" Man, I'm bad at the puns.

Pretty pretty, shiny shiny! That's more my speed. Things are growing and I love it.

Oregon iris Iris tenax

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bird bath, part deux

Last fall, right after I got back from Hawaii, I discovered that the patio umbrella had fallen over, taking the table with it and smashing the top of the birdbath.

And this tree was chopped down at some point by the previous owner, only to have it sucker back to life.

While I admire its tenacity, I think I want that stump to be the base of a new birdbath. So I gave it a little haircut.

And I took out a crummy day at work on the stump with my handsaw (which would have been so much easier with a chainsaw--YOU'RE WELCOME, ENVIRONMENT).

I was left with these funny guys. Hands in the air!
Then I grabbed this tray at Ikea. I like the size and the shape. It's swoopy. But I'm not sure about the pattern.

Now if the Nootka roses I have on either side would hurry the hell up and GROW the birds would have a semi-private area in which to bathe. And the thorns from the roses would deter any would-be predators. Modesty and security, just what every bird wants!

But seriously, does this look super lame? Should I stain or paint the tray (in bird-friendly ways, of course)? 

 Vote, yo.

  • Yea! Keep it as is.
  • Meh. You need to do X to make it usable. (Gimme suggestions in the comments)
  • Nay. That's just a bad idea.