Our back garden is really quite small, some 60 feet by 17 feet, but it is the permanent source of jobs, every one leading to another. A few weeks ago we cut back the increasingly oppressive holly by the back door. That created a gap at the end of a supposedly cat-proof fence I built a couple of years ago, so more fence had to be made, to extend to the impenetrable, thorny holly. In working on the fence we decided that the bird table was not in the best position (on a high post along the fence, and surprisingly hard to get to when the castor oil plant is bulking up). So the table came down. Inspection showed a lot of rot to the feeding surface and de-laminating of the plywood roof (designed – successfully – to stop gulls reaching the feeding surface below). So it was dismantled, new timber found for the feeding surface, and re-mantled. But what (I hear you cry) about the plywood roof? Well, I stripped off the buckled layers of ply an clad one half with a sheet of copper which was on its way to the scrap merchant, but there was not enough for both sides. Decided to adopt clipper ship technology and stretched a layer of canvas to the other side and coated it with boiled linseed oil. From somewhere I got the idea that battening down the hatches involved canvas and linseed oil, but I could be wrong.
Then the bloody thing had to be re-homed somewhere. We put it back in the middle of the garden, using a ‘found’ estate agents post as support. And as I look out of the window now I see it providing shelter for the squirrel which is eating its way through the seeds and bread put out for the birds. So – a squirrel resistant bird feeder next?
Above you can see the copper roof side, and below the oiled canvas side, with the castor oil plant behind, and some of the extended fence to the far left.