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Freebies....your ideas and advice please, for my winter project!

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HELP….I need your ideas and advice!

I’ve been on the lookout for a pallet being given away as I wanted to have a little winter project! The is is it….to build a bug house/hotel but in very limited space behind my greenhouse.So, I will need to think differently to most of the examples I’ve seen out and about and online.
Here is my pallet….quite a small affair but, I also acquired this other piece/section. Both were left out with a sign…please take! So, I did.


First, I made use of the other section (the pallet is going to be a long project, probably taking most of the winter).However, I needed a small extension to my compost heap….a seperate section to turn /seperate partly composted from fresh new materials. At my previous garden I had a compost bin as well as a heap but didn’t bring it with me. So, I sawed it into two and this is the result….rough and ready, but, it will serve the purpose.

Oh, I forgot to say….I picked up these freebies, too, whilst working yesterday…A lovely big bagful of mainly Elm and Prunus leaves with a few Acer thrown in!! Can’t be bad. They will rot down and make a lovely drop of leaf mould in 12/18 months time. They look a lot but reduce down to very little so I will try to gather some more before they all disappear.

Now to the bug hotel……….
Most designs I have seen have utilised multiple pallets, stacked up in layers with materials in between but, I really don’t have the space for that so, thought I might try to make a little designer jobby that will fix to the back fence….ie; the pallet will be standing on its end/side.I realise, I will probably need to fix in some other timber to form supports for the materials. This is where you come in….I really need help and inspiration, please. Which way round would you place the pallet…so the slats are vertical or horizontal(I was favouring vertical to save space and I would put some horizontals in to support the materials going in).Also, would you have the more open side facing, to make it easier to put the materials in? What materials would you use and how would you go about it. What would go where etc.
I really am going to have to do some serious foraging/scavaging as I brought very little with me from the old house….just such little room. It’s a shame, as I had loads of old bricks, roof tiles, hanging wall tiles, bits of sawn timber, old logs etc etc but dumped or gave them all away! The garden here was full to bursting with stuff just dumped for the first few months so I couldn’t have brought any more!
First of all, I have given the pallet a coat of wood treatment(water based and non toxic) .Mainly so it blends in with the fence.


What do you think? How would you design the house? What,materials would you use and how/where would you use them? Not really a lot of point accommodating hedgehogs as although I’d love to encourage them in, there’s no way they’d get here as our back garden is all locked in by other gardens and we have no side/back entrance so it’s highly unlikely any would find their way in.
I will have to have a walk in the local woods to get some materials (leaves/cones/twigs etc)
I hope to get lots of ideas …thank you all in advance.
Ps….I’ve had to stop for the day as the rain started as I was making the compost enclosure and it has hammered down for two hours since!
Happy Gardening

Paul

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Comments

 

I'm absolutely sure that inspiration will come to you Paul! Enjoy creating this over the winter. I look forward to seeing the results later. Woke up to thick fog again this morning.....when will it end?

6 Nov, 2015

 

Pouring down here although it was dry when I took my car in for service /MOT this morning and cycled home, thankfully.But, it didn't last long!

6 Nov, 2015

 

My little bug house looks like the bird boxes and is built along the same lines only difference is that its filled with little open dowels or canes all stacked on top of one another, the front which is closed in about a third of the way up also has holes drilled into it giving any critters more openings, I have it fastened on an old tree trunk that my red ivy grows up, in the summer its covered by the leaves however I can now see it amongst the tendrils, not sure whether its occupied but it has cobwebs on it and little bits of debris in some of the openings so I guess thats promising, I use an old pallet near my greenhouse, it stands vertical, there are a few knot holes in it and in the past I have seen ladybirds in them and also in the gaps that make up the actual frame work itself, you can make a start simply by drilling a few holes in the thicker parts of the pallet, in and around the garden I have the little roosting pouches and the little baskets that one can buy with the treats for the birds, some are the woven type, think they are made of willow, the birds have never used any of them for nesting but they have become home to many creatures over years , anything of that nature will soon become a habitat for any number of insects... little boxes stuffed with Coir left over from baskets is another good material.
Have fun with your project Paul, just remember you must not keep cleaning it though, they don't like those areas, lol.....

6 Nov, 2015

 

No danger there, links......I won't be cleaning it lol!
Thanks for the ideas. I have even considered putting our little wooden bird box in it as it wasn't used here last year and does not look like ever has been(was here who we came) I know only certain dpbirds will use it that low down but it might be worth a try.

6 Nov, 2015

 

logs with holes drilled into them would work as well, jenny wren and robins will nest in places like that, our wrens always nest under the waterfall, ongoing job for me in the springtime trying to keep the flipping cats away, lol..

6 Nov, 2015

 

The woodpecker (greater spotted) pecked the bug hotel holes 😠
not sure if the insects survived or not.....

6 Nov, 2015

 

Yes, I remember a wren building two nests in our winter Jasmine one year but his lady friend didn't select them so they weren't used.

6 Nov, 2015

 

Thats survival of the fittest Pam isn't it, for all I know my various bug hideyholes could be providing a treat for the birds on many occasion, not woodpeckers though as I've only ever seen one here in over forty years...

6 Nov, 2015

 

My little bug hotel is compact with canes like some others Paul so I would choose canes too with holes in top and bottom like that you support runner beans the insects have blocked the holes with leaves. Shall look forward to your finished bug mansion 😀

6 Nov, 2015

 

Yes, that is the case, it seems.....we could be makings ash pickings for the predators!!
I have some old canes Dawn, which I will cut and use. I will also drill varying size holes in parts of the pallet and some small logs if I can get hold of any!

6 Nov, 2015

 

Good idea Paul and you could also use twigs in layers Paul or a bit of trellis or a tin can filled with straw or a jar. You could get a few of those pallets lay one on top of another across not up right using the gaps to fill or up right as it is, making different compartments sectioning with ply wood. Bees like hibinating in mounds of earth.

6 Nov, 2015

 

I'm sorry I can think of no suggestions at all :( but someone is sure to come up with something useful to tell you.
Good luck, and do let us know how you get on :o)

Shame you had to get rid of so much stuff. It broke my heart when I moved here and had to get rid of lots of things I'd gathered over the years. It's difficult to downsize, especially if you're a hoarder (like me lol)

6 Nov, 2015

 

I wouldn't really call myself a hoarder but, I just knew I would want so many things onced we were settled here Hywel.
Mind you, it's the plants that have really upset me because the buyers insisted they wanted the garden left as it was and were very interested yet now,less than a year later, every single plant has gone and the huge front garden is covered in cement and pavers....not a plant in sight nor all my rocks, ornaments birdbath....such a waste!
Yes, I will put some soil/sand in there dawn...frogs like that as well. I can't lay pallets down as I just don't have the space so I have to just use this one pallet and fix it to the fence. I will make sections with wood, bricks etc if I can get hold of any. I had loads of bricks, roof tiles etc at the other place and gave them all away!!!

6 Nov, 2015

 

Any pieces of rotting bark wood from the woods would attract insects into your hotel Paul. I love those. Especially if they smell 'autumny'.

7 Nov, 2015

 

Yes.....I shall keep a look out Diane!

7 Nov, 2015

 

Our bug hotel is most definitely a homemade jobby. It's only small and hangs at the back of the garage above the waterbutt. My OH made a small A frame with a back on and then we we divided it into 3 levels. Each level was then divided up into 2 or 3 compartments and filled with all sorts of oddmens such as hollow cane ends, pine cones, crisp leaves and so on and we covered the whole with chicken wire to hold it all in place. Since then it's clear we have all kinds of beasties living in the 'hotel' room free, from ladybirds to bees.

7 Nov, 2015

 

Yes....I have some chicken wire........a good idea, I will use some to hold some of the small items in place!

8 Nov, 2015

 

I've seen loads here with pine cones in them.

8 Nov, 2015

 

Yes...Diggin. I will be doing a customer's garden later this week where there is a large pine tree so I hope to find a few cones although they seem to be very small. I wonder if the needles would be of any benefit to any creatures in the bug hotel?

8 Nov, 2015

 

What a great idea for your garden, Paul - I have just been looking on-line for ideas about what to use - I Googled 'David Domoney bug hotel' and read a useful article by him if you want to take a look. We have a log pile, not moved it for about twelve years and have seen Stag Beetles during that time. So, rotting wood has it uses!

9 Nov, 2015

 

Thanks Shirley I shall have a look at that article.
I have collected some pieces of wood from the local wood....some with bark still on.

9 Nov, 2015

 

Well done ...

11 Nov, 2015

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