Since Backyard Carnival in late July I haven’t had any big projects on the go in the backyard. Instead I’ve been focusing on putting some small finishes to other projects and having a good old tidy up.
The Shed In August I finally got around to tidying the shed! If you saw this old pic-post you’ll know the shed was in a very bad state. Over a couple of days I emptied and reorganised, even Blue Petering some empty bottles into tool storage. I have to say this was one of the most cathartic jobs I’d done in a while – and one I’d been putting off for almost a year! Going in the shed is now much more enjoyable and has a sense of satisfaction. I wonder if I can keep it tidy this time…
In late Autust I gave the fence panels a makeover with some Ronseal fence treatment. Then in early September I painted Wood Store #2 (gallery), then the bike shed (gallery) and Wood Store #1 (gallery).
Like tidying the shed these minor jobs brought big aesthetic changes and breathed some much needed fresh air into the garden.
After procrastinating for quite some time on the subject of the duck coop surround I eventually opted to lay some decorative bark. I had initially wanted to pave around the coop but this would have been more costly and time consuming than I could manage, so I bought the bark and the results were surprisingly pleasing. I’m not sure paving would have looked half as nice now the bark is down!
I also finished painting the duck house and coop (a job I started months ago!) and again the results are both pleasing and satisfying. (Gallery)
One of my main reasons for trying to tie up these loose ends and make the garden that bit more respectable is Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night). Here we host a big party for Bonfire Night (or Bommy Neet as we say in this part of the world) and each year as summer begins to wane my focus shifts on hosting this party.
With that in mind I finally installed some better garden lighting. I replaced my single, harsh floodlight with several soft bulkheads that make for a much nicer ambience. The picture here is of the garden entrance where previously visitors would have been dazzled with a 500w floodlight pointing directly at them!
It’s been 20 weeks since we were given three Aylesbury ducklings and we had all but given up on them laying eggs, thinking we must have ended up with three males.
Well, we can safely say that at least one is female! Every morning I open the duck house and peer inside expecting to see nothing but straw (and duck poo) but this morning I had a pleasant surprise when I saw a lone egg sitting in the middle of the floor. Let’s hope this is the first of many.
Since my last update I’ve completed several jobs that were on my to do list:
Completed the roof (now changed to a flat roof)
Sunk the pool
Attached side rails
Made and hung the coop door
Finish painting the duck house
Secure the perimeter, especially the doorway
Finish off the surrounding area
All going well my next post on the duck coop will mark its completion (fingers crossed). For now though the remaining jobs will be put on the backburner while I focus on the Backyard Carnival project for my eldest son’s birthday in just a few weeks. I’m excited but also feeling the pressure, not least from my son and his daily reminders! 😀
The ducks are being weaned outside now so I thought I’d provide them with a watering hole made from an unwanted bucket.
I dug out a hole to sink the bucket, then used some chicken wire and weed barrier to reinforce the sides of the hole so that the bucket can easily be removed for water changes.
Sinking the bucket keeps it stable and prevents it from being knocked over by thirsty ducks. The height of the exposed part of the bucket means they can dip their heads in for a drink and a wash without being able to climb in and soil the water.
The duck coop is starting to take shape now as the walls near completion. There’s still a long way to go overall but we’re a few more steps forward at least. It’s just a basic frame at the moment but a few more pieces of pallet wood will bulk it up as things progress.
Lately I’ve been afflicted by a deficiency of motivation and an excess of hangover, making progress slow and posts few and far between, so I’m breaking the silence with an update on the duckhouse. The door is now hinged, the roof felted, and painting is soon to follow (fingers crossed).
The blog has been a little quiet lately, simply because things have been so busy in the backyard. To cut a long story short, we are expecting ducks, imminently, and all of my spare time has been going into creating some housing for them.
A few days ago my wife announced that her friend was giving us three Aylesbury ducklings once they hatched. Far be it for me to turn down a challenge (or free eggs) I set about making a pallet duck house.
I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out whereabouts in the backyard they are going to live, and I think I’ve finally made a decision. One of the “dead space” corners has been chosen, but it needs a hell of a lot of TLC.
Like many of its fellow corners before it it has attracted a lot of rubbish and become a bit of a dumping ground, so that will need shifting first. It’s also home to an old makeshift pergola which has seen better days. This will likely need to come down.
I’ve got my work cut out for me, as usual, and I’m stumbling along into the unknown, as usual, but I might get some free food so I’m game.
The duck house has been making slow and steady progress and I hope to finish it in the next few days so that I can move onto clearing the pen area, a job I am NOT looking forward to! 😀