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I'm in a quandry....would love some creative suggestions please!

73 comments


As some of you know, I seem to have a fox visiting and destroying my log raised borders. I mean, it is destroying the logs, preseumeably to get at the thousands of wood lice that live in the rotting wood.

Now, the wood was never going to last for ever, and was by no means perfect when we moved here last October….

But it isn’t going to last much longer at this rate, and it’s beginning to look a real mess.

We’ve had three big pots of chilli on there and that doesn’t seem to have helped much, and it’s not practical to keep pouring Chilli on to the wood anyway.

I need a solution that will mean that all the plants can stay where they are, but the logs will need to be replaced with something more practical.

I have thought of doing a low dry-stone wall…but I can’t even begin to imagine how much it would cost. Having said that, I know where there is a huge pile of rocks on my farmer neighbour’s land and he might let me have some if I ask him nicely…..problem is, it needs to be at the same level as exists, and that’s not really high enough for a dry stone wall.

Any other ideas?

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Railway sleepers, but you would have to cut them into shorter lengths to be able to manouver them around the shape of the border. Large and I mean large pebbles, big cobbles sort of thingies ouch the expense of that though.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Paul says he doesn't think it is fox damage, could be a badger he says. There used to be a solution you could spray called Renedine but think it is banned now.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Or even woodpeckers Karen .

Sorry to here this problem.

Maybe a small drystene dyce would be great with the cottage Karen.

Or old rocks

Good luck

28 Apr, 2014

 

It's more than likely to be a badger as their claws and jaws are much stronger than a fox and they are more likely to eat insects grubs etc. but how the hell are you going to keep them out, to deter them you could put some jeyes fluid down or I have heard human hair will put them off, all the best Roy.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Hi Karen, how about putting thin wooden shuttering on either side of the logs, then fill in with cement to the level of the logs, or an inch or so higher, once it's set they woul probably nee to have an appointment with your O H, to sort their teeth out, Derek.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Hmmm...interesting ideas guys...will give them some thought. If you think its a badger, I will definitely need to get a camera!! lol!

28 Apr, 2014

 

lol Paul said that, go on Scott buy a camera. lol :O)

28 Apr, 2014

 

Ok, I have just had a light bulb moment, if it is badgers they absolutely love peanuts so why not put a couple of handfuls of peanuts down and see if they have gone in the morning, at least you would know if it was the badger or fox then. lol. Do not think it is a bird unless you have a lot of pheasants they might come early on in the mornings to feed, woodpeckers especially green woodpeckers love ants so it could be an early morning caller looking for ants. You must get a camera an action motivated one, come on Scott you know its a good idea. lol.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Lol! The camera would be great, but it won't solve the landscaping problem! :)) If I put peanuts down, won't that attract rats and mice?

28 Apr, 2014

 

Only a short term solution, just overnight to see if they disappear. The birds would eat them during the day time. Is the wood being attacked every night or just on some nights?

28 Apr, 2014

 

Badgers for sure. I've heard urine puts them off. I'm not sure if it works or but it could be worth a try, At least it's free!

28 Apr, 2014

 

I would say it's every night at the moment, but I might be wrong. It's not easy to see what is old and what is new damage, especially if it's damp.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Karen could it just be wet rot with the logs being so old and they are just rotting now.

28 Apr, 2014

 

I don't think its foxes either Karen. We had two families of foxes visit every day at the cottage and we never had any problems with them. Couldn't you have a small living hedge there ? I don't know about where you are but I could get decent size box for £1 a piece. Sleepers are a good idea, but eventually they will rot. Or if its a sunny spot, you could always plant Lavender around it !
When we came here and I landscaped all the gardens , underneath some of the bushes were loads of yorkshire type bricks , but were the size of a double brick and I made a lovely little wall with them. The only thing is that I haven't a clue what they are called or where you could get them from. I hope you get it sorted !

28 Apr, 2014

 

hi karen, how about making a shallow trough all round the bed and placing the logs in there so that they will not rock. using your neighbours dry stone wall stones can you "lock" them in position

28 Apr, 2014

 

Rose, that's a great idea! The hedging wouldn't hold the earth back, but I could leave the logs in situ and just plant Ilex crenata all around them! What a good idea! Thank you! Than they could rot quite happily while the Ilex grew up around them. That would at least solve the unsightliness of it for the next good few years.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Sorry maisiesdad, we crossed!

28 Apr, 2014

 

I would be gobsmacked if it's a badger. I've done a bit of research and at the last survey, there were three setts found in the whole of Angus.

28 Apr, 2014

 

I'd say we are all curious by now as to what creature it is. A camera is a must if you can.

When you say you are pouring pots of chili over it what exactly do you mean? Sounds like you're cooking up pots of chili and feeding the long. Haha!

Solutions;
Powered for of chili seeds mixed with black pepper. Or spraying the longs with vinegar to hopefully kill of what's in the logs.

I'd also suggest a censer light maybe if you could find a solar one. If it came on when they are near that may well discourage them.

I have heard human urine keeps most animals abay. So collect it and then pour it where you need to keep the critters out. Good idea might be to slowly pour it around your entire property on the outside. ( hehe I know you'll love that one wouldn't you? )

As for replacing the raised logs. Maybe cut longs to the right hight and stand on end. If one rots it's easier to replace one piece rather than a very long one.

Or, you could try building an adobe wall!

Or the stones on the farmers land sound promising. Build a wall with them one section at a time 2, 3 or 4 high. I think it would look great. If you don't have enough stones then alternate with something else. Sure you come up with such great ideas I'm sure you'll figure it out.

I'm enjoying watching the transformation of your new garden, it's looking great.

Cheers for now.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Some great points there Angie. OH is in favour of getting the farmers stones.

Lol.....tubs of hot chilli powder! Not my supper! Lol!

All this talk of human urine is making me need the loo!

28 Apr, 2014

 

Hi Karen, from my experience, badgers are destructive and I agree with the others, foxes dont tend to do this type of demolition. I think sleepers would be ideal, you can buy new ones (no tar), they should last 20 years or oak ones will see us out of our lifetime. No more rot :) you can bank soil up behind then.

28 Apr, 2014

 

I'm with Oh on the stones. I've been doing mine with stone and because I want it level not raised I've had to dig and Bury them. It's taken me a while but it's done now. With a big enough selection it shouldn't be difficult to bury them a wee bit and back fill with soil. It needn't be more than 1 row high if you can get the rocks big enough.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Thank you both! Plenty to think on there!

28 Apr, 2014

 

Don't want to depress you but nothing deters badgers from the paths they've always used - chili does work for a short time but they come back. I'd forget wood, take out the logs and enlarge the bed a little so you can slope the soil level off more gradually if you want to put a hedge type edging round it. Just me, but I think it would look better without the logs anyway. Parahebe might make a good low edging as you can clip it back if you want to. You'd need a lot but cuttings root easily.

28 Apr, 2014

 

Looking at the bed Karen is there any worry about the rotten wood causing problems in the bed?
honey fungus or coral spot come to mind.

Tannelised wood is impregnated with preservative and shouldn't rot but I like the brick idea too, any reclaimaion yards around?

29 Apr, 2014

 

Hi Karen, hope you get it sorted to your liking. Sorry I can't really add anything... apart from, do you really want your garden smelling of wee? You may be infested with flies then. <];~))

29 Apr, 2014

 

Hi Karen
The large stones from the farmer sound a good idea ... I've added this blog to GoYpedia.

29 Apr, 2014

 

A cheaper, temporary option could be a low wooden border fence. I'm sure you can buy them in your local DIY or gardening shop by meter (or yard). You could have that in this season and that would give you time to source and save some cash for nice stone border.
ETA: You're welcome to my garden - there's plenty of stones and boulders in the ground.

29 Apr, 2014

bjs
Bjs
 

Karen almost certain Badger they do exactly the same in my garden ,don't wish to hard it is Badgers they can make an awful mess of plants as well, and of course there are there communal toilets. will tell you more about those if you want to know.
What about leaving the dogs out overnight ,you can't have Jamie Linconlass has an option on him to burrow under her shed.
B

29 Apr, 2014

 

What a nuisance,K.Last year we had a regular nightly visit from a badger who enjoyed the fat balls left out for the birds......was quite an insistent creature and even started gnawing away at the wooden post.Had to raise it higher which eventually stumped him.Have you thought of creosote to paint on the logs?

29 Apr, 2014

 

I would go for the stone solution. Our garden is full of raised beds and dykes That I have built from field stones collected over a very wide area and for many years. Some of the walls are several stone high whilst others are only two, or even one, stone high to give a varied effect.

29 Apr, 2014

 

More excellent suggestions! Thank you all! :)) spoke with the farmer today, but forgot to ask about Badgers....doh! Pamg, you raise a good point about Honeyfungus.

29 Apr, 2014

 

sorry to hear your prob. There are loads of "solutions" on Google, at a price! but don't know how effective any of them would be, or how expensive used long-term

http://www.foxproject.org.uk/deterrence/
http://foxrepellentexpert.com/persistence/
http://foxrepellentexpert.com/top-10-best-effective-fox-repellents/

29 Apr, 2014

 

I was wondering about small Hedgehogs, looking for
grubs to eat.

30 Apr, 2014

 

I suppose the only long-term effective answer is to replace the wood, preferably with stone or something non-get-at-able.

Then put the wrecked logs in a deserted or neglected corner to make a logpile for insects to burrow and predators to eat.

30 Apr, 2014

 

Now that is a thought, hedgehogs would grufty around looking for grubs and stuff, must get a camera, put it on your wish list Karen. Hope it is a hedgehog that would be amazing if it was, I love them. :O)

30 Apr, 2014

 

Could well be a hedgehog....but part of a log was pulled right away from the main trunk yesterday....so it would need to be a strong one!

30 Apr, 2014

 

I said to Scott last night...wouldn't it be funny if we did get a camera, and when we watched it back there were three foxes, two badgers, a family of hedgehogs, two red deer and a collection of various rodents, all feasting on my wood, while the infamous 'Angus Black Cat' kept lookout!

30 Apr, 2014

 

Now do not dismiss the Angus Black Cat too readily. Sammie and I one night went off to land training at Police Headquarters at Nettleham, I kid you not it was for landtraining. lol. We were going on the road and this great big black cat creature walked across the road in front of our car. Now we both saw it, we were absolutely gobsmacked as you would be. I could not believe what we had seen, we still talk about it now. We were sceptics until that night, it was daylight still so no mistaking it. Large black cat it certainly was. We think panther but have no idea what it was really, very large though. Not your normal size kitty but as tall as an Alsation dog and jet black, with a tail which curled at the end. Now I am a believer!!! How I kept the car on the road that evening is beyond me. We both turned and looked at each other and said 'oh my goodness' or words to that effect, as you can imagine. We were a bit scared and excited at the same time. It was on the road just by the Lincolnshire Show Ground. No-one at training believed us but we know we definitely both saw it.

30 Apr, 2014

 

There's definitely something out there! :)))) No, seriously, it did definitely exist and I totally believe you. I saw photos of it, the Angus one, but it seems to have been absent for some years now. I guess they were escaping from zoos etc. but have died off...who knows.

30 Apr, 2014

 

there'd need to be several to make a breeding population that wouldn't ingrow to extinction. seems a shame if there isn't - there are varous Beasts around the country, not heard of the Angus one but will definitely check it out.

30 Apr, 2014

 

I believe it was last spotted, some years ago, in the Barnhill area Fran. But it was a long time ago now. I've not heard of it since.

30 Apr, 2014

 

Spotted? I thought it was plain black....

30 Apr, 2014

 

maybe it changed its spots ...

30 Apr, 2014

 

hahahaha! maybe it has chickenpox lol :O)

30 Apr, 2014

 

:))

30 Apr, 2014

 

Usually Karen, honey fungus comes from a dead tree stump in the ground, so I don't think you have to worry about that ! Let us know what you decide .

1 May, 2014

 

Hi Karen. Sorry, no sensible suggestions about what's eating/ damaging your wood but fascinated by the Black Cat story from Olive. Even more fascinated by Olive's 'gruftying' hedgehog!! What a brilliant word but, surely, your own invention? Either that or Lewis Carroll or A.A. Milne. That's one for my personal lexicon anyway. Love it!

1 May, 2014

 

lol :O)

1 May, 2014

 

No, I've never heard of Gruftying either! It must be a Lincs word!

1 May, 2014

 

We had a black cat here, truly, three mornings in a row early, it walked calm as you like up the garden, we are in open country, went on the web and there had been quite a few sightings in our area, it was exactly as you described....
never seen it since but as I was in the conservatory and it was only yards away....... It wasn't a kitty!

1 May, 2014

 

It would love to see a black panther. They are incredibly beautiful animals! :))

1 May, 2014

 

This blog fascinates me, its now going off in all directions, I like it when they do that.
Karen I have no idea how to stop a badger, if it does turn out to be one, it has occurred to me that whatever it is perhaps likes chilli, lol, it seems to me that whatever is visiting it certainly likes the fact that you have served its food up all nicely together so no longer has to go around searching, lol..I suppose the good thing is whilst having a meal from your logs its leaving your new plants alone.
Poor Scott he'll definitely have to think about a camera as we all need to know what is going on in your garden whilst you are in bed.
Here where I live there are often reported sightings of a black cat and have been for most of my life, it pops up in the news now and again and there are also photo's that appear sometimes, it causes a bit of excitement and then dies down for a while, it has always been described as being the size of a very large dog....

2 May, 2014

 

As you know, or may not, we have had badger problems. for years, their sett is just two houses away from us, and has been there for over 20 years!! When we moved here 14 years ago we lived next door to our eldest daughter, so we had an adjoining gate...that was left open every night for the badger to use...really!! When our daughter moved house, we had to put up a fence, and that was when the trouble started, forget wee, jeys fluid, chilli, nothing bar an electric fence will keep a determined badger out......they rip up the lawn tear down fences, far more destructive than foxes....we all have scarers with strobe lights in our gardens, they are a nightmare....ask the farmer, he will certainly know if there is a badger problem, look for pointy holes with black poo a telltale for sure.
As for the logs, have a bonfire with them, get some new sleepers, they won't be cheap, but would certainly do the trick, hedges are nice, but they take time and have to be maintained.... Or do away with the border altogether, turn it in to a wildlife pond? And concentrate on your new borders..........just a thought or two, best of luck K as they say been there etc!!:-[

2 May, 2014

 

going back to the original subject, i am a great believer in using the materials you have got in your garden or what is local as it would look much more natural. consequently the sleepers would be out

3 May, 2014

 

Well, we've discussed doing away with the border, at least having it at ground level, but for now, I do like t there. I've spoken with my neighbour, who has farmed here for 50years, and he has confirmed...no Badgers. He also confirmed that there are Foxes, he's seen one in the field opposite our house several times. I still think it's a fox....we found poo,I heard the screeching at night....it all adds up to a Fox, and yet my neighbour confirmed my stepdad's knowledge that this is not typical Foxy behaviour. The size of some of the bits of wood that have been pulled away, I really doubt it could be hedgehog, and if it were Deer (definitely in the area), I would expect to see some damage on my plants....all I've had nibbled is one of two clumps of fritillaries. So, without a camera, we are still unsure, but the destruction of the logs is certainly going on, gradually but surely. So, I think for now, I will attempt to hide the damage with plants, and wait a while and see what happens once the gates are on and the fencing is completed. The fence won't stop anything determined getting in, but we might then be able to see where it is coming in. As for a camera.....well, it would be lovely. I might get one. And the long term solution for the border is as yet undecided. I think a pond is out of the question, we would need a JCB and two skips for the soil! I might remove the logs and create a slope down towards a small Lonicera hedge, or I might completely redesign the area altogether, but leave raised circles around the trees. The problem there, again, is the excess topsoil. Rachel wants me to build a Hobbit Village! If only they weren't so hard to mow! Lol! There is definitely a possibility of stone on the Farm, and I shall make enquiries the next time I see our Farmer. He is really nice. Was keen to reassure me that he will be very careful with his weed killer spraying, and doesn't mind if I want to spray around the edges of the field at our garden for the ground elder and Chickenweed. I'm sure he would do us a good deal on some stone, after all it's just lying there, a demolished cottage....doing nothing. We'll see. Stone is extremely low maintenance!

3 May, 2014

 

P.s. Molly was definitely very interested in sniffing around there yesterday....so there is definitely a creature of some sort! Certainly there is natural rotting away going on....quite a lot of it, but that isn't all that's happening here! It's a mystery! ;))

3 May, 2014

 

Oh...one other thing I forgot to tell you...it's started happening on the logs at the back of the house now. The ones that edge my back garden borders! Not the new ones though, only the old ones that are rotting and will have insects inside! Clearly, this animal eats insects, but NOT plants, so a carnivore. I wonder if it actually is a hedge! A mighty determined and strong hedgie! :)))

3 May, 2014

 

If you like the wooden edging style, you may be able to get some round or half round posts quite cheaply. There's a place by us that supply them as fence posts largely to farmers and stables. Far cheaper than garden centres. As for stone how about finding a local quarry or importer chances are they will be cheaper than most places.

I've heard of the Angus cat, never seen it though. Supposedly there's a similar cat roaming Cannock chase near us. I've not heard of any sightings for a while though.

3 May, 2014

 

Thanks Sam, but. I'm not keen to replace wood with wood after this. I think it would have to be a different material...or really hardwood like apple or Beech, or treated sleepers. I think I'm veering towards stone, or a total change of landscape.

3 May, 2014

 

Its all very interesting Karen, wonder what it is! I still think fox but am not certain. You will find out eventually I am sure. Are the gates going up next week or week after, so looking forward to seeing it all in place. :O)

3 May, 2014

 

ps, one of Pauls farming friends said a camera he got is brilliant, he has one which only switches on with the movement of animals and he has seen all sorts on his camera. I am going to see how much they are on line. I want one now. lol :O)

3 May, 2014

 

Gates going on Friday Mum. have you seen new blog?

3 May, 2014

 

Hi, I'm new at this so please excuse if its not helpful. I purchased a property with over an acre of uncultivated garden been empty for years partly built, builder went bankrupt, long story. We had a trree chap come and clear to ground level then paid a farmer to turn overthe land, what we discovered was millions of cobbles, flints and large stones, we handpicked the ground and filled 3 - 8 x4ft trailers THEN advertised them free on Gumtree check your area lots of people do this as they are hard to dispose of the local dump wont take them, so two birds with one stone you get what you want and help somebody else. Ps its right stones do rise we now have loads on thesurface and aregoing to do it all over again so yet more will be offered orwe will create a rockery!
Happy gardening

15 May, 2014

 

Thank you Tercol! A good suggestion. Hope you are enjoying creating your new garden. It sounds like really hard work, but it will be worth it I'm sure!

15 May, 2014

 

Just to say to everyone who's contributed to this discussion.....since we completed the chicken wire fencing barrier and installed the gates, there has been no further damage or visitor droppings. Good news!

15 May, 2014

 

Good new indeed Karen :0)

15 May, 2014

 

oh that is good then. Your garden is safe again. lol. :O) Hope you are getting this sunshine, we are here, lovely day just off out for some spuds, run out, oh heck, Paul will think his throats been cut. Of course I am not just going for spuds the g.c. will have to be visited, it would be a waste of petrol if I didn't pop along there while the car was out now wouldn't it. lol. :O)

15 May, 2014

 

Which GC do you visit when you're just popping out for tatties? I'm just in. Been to the beach with willow and Molly for the first time....quite a job! Two of them on short leads, Molly wanting to play at digging up stones as usual, but Willow not to go off the lead of course, so that was tricky. Then I decided to access the beach by the steps to avoid the big piles of rubbish the tide brought in....but forgot...Willow hasn't learned steps yet, so had to carry her down all the steps while holding on to. A very frustrated Terrier! Fun, fun, fun! Still,at least Willow is much happier in the boot with Molly....no screaming today for a change! You should hear the noise she makes in there by herself!

15 May, 2014

 

My setter loved the car but hated being separated from the retriever who hated it......she really didn't trust anything with wheels
bless her xxx

15 May, 2014

 

I go the the one at Saunby, just before Beckingham Village. Needed some alpines to put in the three square planters that I made into a tiered feature. Remember they were delicately balanced, but it did work. Well they were invaded with woodlice, they were digging the soil out all over the place, so I took out the plants, re-soiled it and relocated it to the back door, put in some new alpines and away we go. lol. I thought it was a mouse that had got in there it was in such a mess. All done and dusted now and spuds bought for tea too, so Paul will not starve to death after all. lol.

I can just see the struggle with the two of them on leads, they would enjoy the sand though and the exercise is good for you. lol. Willow needs lessons in returning for the titbits, Molly will show her how I am sure. They have a way of teaching the puppies what is right and wrong somehow. Wish Walter would come back for the titbits, he is better than he was but if something is getting his attention I have no chance, and that is usually a mouse which has run across in front of him in the garden. He digs holes to try and get at it. My poor plants. Will post a picture of the planter at the back door. :O)

15 May, 2014

 

We did so e treat training this afternoon. She'll do anything for food! :))

15 May, 2014

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