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site for forest fairy house? (with drawbridge)


When I first viewed the property back in October 2013, I didn’t notice that a part of the greenery beyond the back fence had flopped over, probably due to the weight of the ivy climbing up it – but everything was so overgrown it was hard to see.

The Housing Association got a gardener to tidy things up before I actually moved in – the greenery inside the fence was cut back, but not this bit of greenery that had grown outside and fallen in!

The gap where is used to be is pretty obvious. I tried lifting it back into place, but as soon as I let go it flopped again. I did think about propping it up, but ever got round to it. This was one reason that I moved the bird-bath, it was fairly well overhung and probably not safe for birds to use (even if they could see it there!)

There’s a rather deep space where the dropout used to be, I thought maybe I could locate a fairy house there – once I’d got the overhang sorted. Kept meaning to get to it, and finally did. I wanted to put the bird-bath and feeders back where they’d been, since GoYers had said that birds wanted cover close to hand, but I couldn’t put the bath back until I’d sorted this overhang.

I’d thought that it was a branch of the tree behind that had flopped, and it took me some time to find my bush saw, which I thought I’d need. To my surprise, a pair of secateurs did the job – whatever the ivy had been climbing up, it hadn’t had a solid structure. I managed to cut enough of the now-dead stems to be able to lift the whole thing clear.

There’s a fairly obvious gap now, which will stay unless whatever grew there before grows again. But it’ll probably take years to get that high (if the ivy don’t get it again beforehand), so I thought it might make a location for a fairy door – maybe I can give them a more substantial drawbridge this time!

Knowing me and getting-round-to-it, it might take a rather long time even to get started – I’ll have to do a “made to measure” to fit the gap.

Or maybe a small-animal-and-insect hotel, with a fairy door front; it’d be nice to know that “behind the scenes” something useful was going on.

But at least the bird bath was able to go back to its original space

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Both great ideas Fran. Will be looking forward to seeing how it develops. You did a great job too - you've certainly got determination!

8 Apr, 2014


Sometimes it takes brute force and ignorance as well as determination Fran, LOL, some beggar who lives at the back of us tried to kill off the ivy in our hedge last year, it made a right mess all summer as all the dead leaves were everywhere, he hasn't succeeded however as its growing back already.
I've been waiting for my fairy door for 3yrs, we'll have to see which of us gets one first, mind you I was promised a dovecote 7yrs ago and that also hasn't arrived yet either!!!!!

8 Apr, 2014


thanks, Scottish, I'm not sure about "determined" - if I were, it would have been done months ago! But i wanted birds to use the bath and feeder, and they wouldn't where they were, so ... amd I was a bit bored and a bit fed up, so I thought, go for it.

lol Lincs, BFI has stood me in good stead many a time! I don't want to block the gap if the plant, or another, will grow back, but until it does, the space might as well be used.

This was English Ivy, I think, or Common Ivy, as I suppose your hedge is - it had to be tough, considering what it's up against!

I'm not going on bet on who gets their door first, I suspect it'll be you - I've looked at some online, not seen any that I fancied, so might try DIY-ing one, which should be fun! And then to make it secure so it won't get knocked over by the hotel residents behind ... and thier hotel will need some thinking about.

What kind of animals would be likely to use a shelter thus placed? it'd be about a yard off the ground, so doubt hedgehogs would. And would insects go there? I mean the kind of insects we usually see hotels for, not wood-boring grubs and such!

lol I thought about editing the blog to include a reference to my new "fat fairy", saying I didn't think she'd fit! but if I can build a plinth or secure platform, she might sit outside the door ...

8 Apr, 2014


Love the ideas Fran xxx

9 Apr, 2014


You've been working hard there Fran. Just a thought for what you could put there now, to attract the wildlife...have you thought about a 'Bug Hotel'? There are a number of ideas on the web, which I'm sure you could adapt to suit your own spot. Also your garden would benefit from the bugs you attract, as well as your birds.

9 Apr, 2014


I had thought of trying to put something behind my fairy door, Waddy, for small animals and insects - the door would need to be near enough that I could see it, so I thougth, why not use the space behind it?

I'm not sure what small animals or insects would naturally use a space like that - most bee and bug hotels I've seen have been for hanging, clear space around to allow flying insects in, or on the ground. Not sure what'd use something in between!

There's a Nature Trust office in town, so I might ask them what's local and how I can help them a bit

9 Apr, 2014


Looks much better already Fran! Well done!

9 Apr, 2014


thanks, Karen. Of course, by the time I get round to designing my door and hotel, and asembling the bits, and sticking them together, odds are the gap won't be there any more!

9 Apr, 2014


It IS a rather unsightly gap, Fran. Your ideas look good & if some local insects/small animals can benefit, then all well & good.

10 Apr, 2014


Thanks, Balcony. The space needs trimming, I only took out the main "hangover", there seems to be a lot caught in the fence that needs to be cleared (ha, tomorrow's job sorted!).

I'd thought it was a tree branch that had fallen, but seems to be some kind of vine that got ivied past its endurance. I might be able to reach over to cut as much as I can.

I remembered this time to put some string on the secateurs and loop it round my wrist, in case I dropped it! did that once, when sorting my mum's overgrown patch; I had to get a second pair to cut the stuff back to find the first pair. why do they insist on giving garden tools green handles so you can't see them if they get dropped??

11 Apr, 2014


Even with other colours it wouldn't help a great deal in they dropped in amongst other growth that needs trimming back to get to the first pair! That's a good idea about tying some string around them & tying it to your waist! :-))

13 Apr, 2014


true, Balcony! I'd need a metal detector to find it and a strong magnet on a string to retrieve it!

lol they were secured to my wrist, not waist - I must hae committed a typo, sorry. I did think of getting a helt with attchment hooks (gardeer's version of a utility belt!), but it would need to be a much longer cord, wiht more chance of getting tangled - the cord would still be needed to preent loss in use.

I don't put bladed tools in pckets - read news story about a handyman who died after falling from a stepladder - he had a pair of scissors in his pocket, and fell on them.

And with a wrist tie, one can just drop it and hae both hands free for a moment, while they're still close at hand, so to speak - so long as one closes the blades first!

13 Apr, 2014


Sorry Fran.....I'm still giggling about having to get new secateurs to find the old :0)

13 Apr, 2014


I thought at first a "waist" tie was a bit inconvenient then I thought that was probably so that your hands were free. But I see now you meant "wrist" & not "waist"! LOL!

I almost always remember to close my secateurs when I'm not using them using the thumblock that comes on most (but the very cheapest) cutters. If I put anything with a blade in my pocket I always make sure it is closed & pointing down!

As I've been redecorating our flat during the last week I've often had scissors in my trousers pocket for cutting the difficult pieces you always come across wallpapering! At most if I fell they might dig into my leg, dangerous, yes, but not nearly as bad as either leaving them open or putting them handle first into your pocket!

I always try to be safety concious in whatever I do but I'm as guilty as the next person of running "risks"!

13 Apr, 2014


Me too, but it's when you forget that you most need to remember! and you only have to forget once, so it's good to get the habit ingrained as soon as possible.

lol if I had a tool belt I'd put sharp objects at the back, then the worst would be to be stabbed in the bum!

good luck with the deocrating! used to do my own, but years ago my friend said the paint was rather patchwork (i could see the paint ws unevern, but wasn't sure if it was the wonky wall or me. it was me.) So I do it the easy way now!

13 Apr, 2014


I've always done our decorating. but I told my wife I have no intention of ever doing it again & that this would be the last time! But at the end of the day I may well have to do it over again in 5 years time! Wallpaper looks shabby after a time & degrades with light as well as getting scribbled on in places by the grandkids!

Perhaps the worst is the toilet - I stripped off 4 layers of paper last week that I'd put on over the the 12 years we've lived here! It's also the most difficult room of all to do because of all the pipes! Then there's getting behind the toilet - a nightmare!

All our rooms are papered from the ceiling down about half way down the walls - except the toilet!!! For some reason I can never fathom out, my wife doesn't want me to do the same there! It'd make my life sooo much more easier if I could just paint the lower half as that way most of the pipework would be avoided.

19 Apr, 2014


Lol that’s why I prefer paint to wallpaper! And no matching the pattern, either.

Either way, you don’t really notice it until you move a picture and see the clean wall behind it – it fades so slowly, over time, and you get used to it, the change is so gradual. But something like that does tend to stand out a bit.

Ooh, I don’t envy you the toilet-decorating! Can you get a sprayer? Oh, it’s wallpaper, isn’t it? lol or get it tiled, and that’ll sort it for the next half century or so!

I need to reorganise my shower – it’s a stupid layout, awkward access and only one tap, you can’t control the heat except by changing the amount of flow. And it takes ages for the shower tray to empty. But I want to check with the HA first – this will affect “the next tenant”, as it’s not something you take with you when you move! and I sort of hope that they’ll pay at least part of the cost.

Paper only halfway down the walls? What’s the rest of it? I’ve seen wooden half-walls, is that what you mean? Maybe get the toilet half-tiled? lol or hand her the tools!

21 Apr, 2014


Like you we live in a HS flat. We can't do anything permanent either & we've been here for close to 13 years!

The lower half of the walls are painted. I papered our living room walls with a white brick effect paper which I then painted over with green paint. The white brickwork was far too stark & the green is more relaxing. Tomorrow I hope to finish painting the lower half of the walls. I haven't been able to do it yet as we have had our grandchildren around a lot of the time & being the lower half of the walls they would surely have got paint on their clothes! I had intended to do it today but the kids unexpectedly turned up!

You'll be able to see what I mean in some of my Amaryllis photos. They are mostly taken in our living room as the plants are on the table while in flower & I take many photos of them. The wall behind is plainly visible in many of them.

22 Apr, 2014


When I first signed up for this place, she said i had to leave it as i found it for the next tenant (lol i bet tthat doesn't include taking out any improvements and putting the old duff stuff back!) she also said that i had to make good any holes in the wall caused by fitments, etc. ha, as the only way i'll leave here (other than winning the lottery) is to be carried out in a box, I do'nt think I'll worry about it.

I remember my first council flat, papering wtih chip paper and painting over it - i measured everything so carefully, but still found I'd left gaps that had to be covered. thanfully I was using wood chip effect so there was no pattern to match. lol and using an ironing board as a paste table.

I'll check out your pics, looking at the bg this time!

23 Apr, 2014

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