Make a little birdhouse in your soul

Our first outing, not exactly post-lockdown, but as soon as the garden centres re-opened, was to a really lovely nursery in rural Lancashire. It was a birthday trip for me but with no pubs or restaurants open at that time, we decided upon a romantic picnic admiring the undulating scenery towards Pendle Hill. The nursery itself has changed rather since our last visit, having been re-modelled on a Petersham Nursery kind of theme. It still has the lovely plants but it also has quite a lot of interior and garden items, beautifully styled into an orangery type setting. I’m not usually seduced by the ephemera of a nursery or garden centre but I think Mr P and I were a bit stir crazy and hadn’t shopped in a very long time. The short version is that we came away (amongst other things) with this birdhouse. It wasn’t a completely random purchase as we bought it to mount on the bleak and bare gable end of the garage. Previously, there was a tongue and groove timber panel on the front of the garage with a traditional black and gold convex clock mounted on it but, during a storm the clock hands blew off and were never found again. I was thoroughly sick of looking at the clock with no hands and we decided that the birdhouse would be a perfect replacement  – and who needs to know the time anyway? 

It was white when we bought it and traditional though that was, I thought that a nice soft blue would complement the Cheshire bricks better, so, like most things chez nous, it got F&B’d PDQ, this time in ‘Oval Room Blue’. It looks lovely with the lavender and is definitely the right choice. Whilst I was re-painting it I also dolloped an awful lot of wood preservative onto the roof. I figured that if (as I fear) it has been made in India, the roof is unlikely to stand up to the rigours of many Northern English winters unless I give it some help. This elevation of the garage does face the prevailing weather and when I removed the previous t&g it nearly crumbled into dust before my eyes.  

The problem, as I saw it, was going to be mounting it on the wall, a not inconsiderable distance above some unforgiving cobbles which I preferred not to land on. And this birdhouse weighs a LOT. Sufficed to say that after some uncharacteristic planning, we tried a paper template blu-tacked on the wall to decide on location, then I cajoled Mr P (who is not a lover of heights) to assist in the holding of said birdhouse whilst I attached as many fixings as possible, to ensure that it doesn’t leave a nasty dent in the roof of his much loved car. I have to say that we were both somewhat surprised at how firmly it’s attached but most importantly it brings a certain something to a part of the grounds that i have shamefully overlooked for far too long. Neighbours have muttered about the possibility of installing a plastic dove in one of the holes but I think I’m just going to wait and see if one of our collared doves decides to take up residence next spring. I will report back!

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