The problem is that I have three dogs, once of whom fancies himself quite the Bird Dog, and has taught one of his sisters his craft. Last year Raven caught a young Mockingbird during flight training; this year - I believe, I'm not actually sure - Daisy got the baby dove. They're good dogs, but they're still predators, and the trellis is no longer a safe place for birds to roost.
So today, down it came. Last Wednesday I clipped the Sweet Autumn Clematis off at the ground, and let the top growth wither for a few days so that it would be easier to remove from the trellis.
The trellis itself was actually two sections of an old metal standing screen that I had removed from its frame and mounted between two wooden rails at the top and bottom, all of which I painted black.
I un-bolted the screen panels from the wooden rails, then removed the top rail from the house, and re-mounted it about three feet lower than it had been. I scrubbed the trim on the house and the porch post clean - under the vines, they get covered with all manner of mildew, bird poop, and bird dander. I primed the wooden rails and painted them to match the trim on the house.
The last step was to stretch a section of wire fencing between the wooden rails, to form a new trellis for the Clematis to grow up onto. I lashed it in place with hemp twine - not the most long-lasting method, but I was out of baling wire AND heavy duty staples; I also think that if I end up really loving this new, shorter trellis, that I may end up putting wooden posts in between the rails, for a proper porch railing type of thing.
|June 2, 2012|
It doesn't look spectacular at the moment, no. But once it's covered with vines, and with little white star-shaped flowers in the Fall, it'll be quite lovely, I think, and still provide privacy from the neighbors for us humans, without endangering birdies. Bonus: this also lets WAY more light into the living room.
And this picture also serves as a "before picture for the back porch, as well as an "after" for the trellis project. Further plans for the back porch include:
- hanging baskets
- fixing up and repairing an old wind chime, and hanging it back up
- sprucing up the wicker chairs, and making cushions for them
- plants in the empty pots that are scattered around the porch
- new lighting
- and, eventually, the pergola/arbor I keep talking about building over the patio.