Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Fence is Done! (Almost)

Ok, that was a bit of a teaser title. The contractors returned last Thursday and Friday to put up the fencing on the posts that have been tormenting me for a couple weeks. The fence is actually done, but the main gate doesn't have power yet, one walk-through gate is propped in the gateway but not yet attached, and the second walk-through gate is yet to arrive. We can open and close the main gait manually for now.

Black chain-link runs along the road. Not the most attractive, but it's durable and effective. When you're fencing an area this large, designer fences aren't always an option.
The other three sides are regular metal, but for the most part it isn't too noticeable in the brush and trees. With the deer gone, I expect more shrubs to rise above the sword ferns eventually and obscure it even more.

We've chased deer out twice now, once out through the main gate at the driveway, which we decided to close afterwards, and once through the walk-through gate next to it. Since that gate hasn't arrived yet, we put a bit of wire fencing (formerly a cage to protect a plant, rather fitting) across the gap as a deterrent. A deer could easily jump it, but hopefully the actual gate will arrive soon. Both times, there was a pregnant doe; the first time with a year-old fawn and the second time solo. She's probably expecting to hide her fawn somewhere on the property. Well, she can go around through one of the neighboring yards to the lower half of our property, which remains open to the deer. That's where the tall grass and dense sword ferns are anyway. You're not coming in my garden anymore! Take your pregnancy cravings somewhere else! They didn't jump the fence either time, and had to be herded out the gates where they came in, so I have a bit of hope once the gates are all in and fully functional we really won't have to worry about deer anymore.

The two photos below show the corners at the head of the driveway where the fence cuts in to make the turn in easier for large vehicles. This is where we decided the 'Crimson Pygmy' barberries could live. Since this week looks to be cloudy and maybe a little wet, I'm going to try moving them now so I can finish clearing out the last of the elements I know for sure I no longer want in the driveway island. Then I can get a better idea of how I want to move the remaining plants within the bed and what new plants I want to put in.


Temperatures are supposed to climb back up over 80F by Saturday, though, so I'll have to water the heck out of the barberries and continue watering all the other plants I managed to plant or move so far. The fence is finally in, and I find myself rather conflicted in a sulky kind of way. I'm happy the fence is done, but I wish it had been done sooner when the weather was still cooler. With summer off to a running start this year, I'll be trying to hold off on anymore planting until fall. I still want to try to get the last of the plants I've already purchased in the ground, but new acquisitions will be strictly limited. I do plan on watching for sales on deciduous trees and making regular stops at Means to check what cheap trees they've brought in that week. Those kinds of deals go fast and I want to plant lots of trees in the area south of the house, as was intended when the Douglas firs were removed so many years ago. I'm willing to stockpile them now and keep them watered over summer for fall planting. But my hopes of really going all-out are pretty much dashed for the year. Since I'm waiting until fall, I'll be restricted to reliably hardy plants. Admittedly, that's still a rather large selection, but even with those kinds of plants, fall planting can be a bit tricky. The fact that I have to hold myself back now that the fence is finally up has me in a rather grumpy mood and I've been gardening a little halfheartedly for the last few days.

13 comments:

  1. The black colour really helps blend in the fencing, quite discrete really.

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    1. Oh, I agree. It's not ugly, just not a "designer" fence. I don't know why I always have to throw things like that in. This fence gets the job done without distracting from the plants, which is really what it's all about.

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  2. Congratulations (almost) : -)
    I agree with Mark and Gaz regarding the fence, plus, as you mentioned, it will get covered up in no time. Fall planting only means more time to plan ahead and bargain hunt, which is half the fun anyway.
    You may not share the sentiment, but as a city dweller, I find it magical to encounter a pregnant doe with her fawn right in one's back yard.

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    1. I am ok with fall planting for the most part, but I was really hoping to get the driveway island and the bed along the front of the house finished before summer heat arrived. Now I have big holes in the former and only half of the latter is planted. Sorry, I definitely don't find deer of any kind in my garden magical. Pregnant does are even more voracious than normal and eat things they wouldn't usually eat. But to each their own, right?

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    2. Oh Evan - I have that same grumpy feeling of frustration. I too am here, it's the beginning of June (a hot one at that) and I've got loads of unplanted things, half-finished thoughts, and unfinished projects scattered around. I had hoped that this would be the summer where I could actually enjoy just being in my garden, but it doesn't seem that that is going to happen. Oh well... what's another year...? Anyway, your fence looks great, and will surely help keep the deer and their pregnancy cravings out! Made me laugh... :)

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  3. Your excitement at finally having the fence all but finished is palpable in this post. I hope it works well as a deterrent. I had to laugh at your reference to pregnancy cravings. I LOVE the black chain link, and the green sections will also fade into the background eventually, like you said, once shrubs grow up to obscure it.

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    1. It's true! Pregnant does eat even more things deer don't normally eat. Especially the doe that usually has twins.

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  4. I try to do a Means Report on Facebook whenever I come across a big sale. They had a bunch of conifers for $1 each last week (probably still some left).

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    1. Thanks, Ricki. Since the house is surrounded on three sides by Douglas firs, I'm mostly looking for deciduous trees, although evergreen shrubs are still good.

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  5. I would love to have a perimeter deer fence so I could dispense with all the welded wire beds and bamboo, how great not to have all those constraints on your planting! I still need fencing for the rabbits though, they squeese through the welded wire sometimes and eat all my bean seedling leaves. So now I surrounded my big vegetable bed with chicken wire at the bottom in hopes of keeping them out. Have fun finding new plants!

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    1. It's a bit of a dream come true, Hannah. Now if only I had an unlimited budget for plants and soil amendments, it really would be heaven. Sorry about your rabbit troubles. There are only a few around here, but now that the fence is up I'm a little worried the ones inside will explode in numbers. Hopefully the neighborhood cats will take the extra effort to crawl under the fence and take care of them.

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  6. The fence blends in surprisingly well already, Evan. It's going to make a wonderful difference.

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    1. I'm so excited to take the individual cages off my trees and other plants I've been protecting! Not to mention expanding my plant palette.

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