Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Exciting News for Matron's Tits!

Please can I share with you the sorry state of my garden at the moment. It froze over this morning and poor Buddy had to go out this morning and was slipping and sliding everywhere! Anyway... exciting news ... Last week I visited a junk yard and purchased a 16ft length of reclaimed floor board. The nice man in the yard sawed it up for me into 4ft lengths. All this wonderful, solid pitch pine board cost me just £5. One side is painted blue but my tits won't mind that. This is the time of year when tits are prospecting for new accommodation and may leave a deposit on a new home!
In the January 2008 edition of BBC Gardeners World magazine there was a recipe for making your own titbox. I have held on to that issue since then. Just a matter of getting to grips with a ruler, a pencil and a power saw!
I had to make a few alterations to the published dimensions in the magazine. It is obvious that the person writing the magazine had never actually made a box from his own measurements. The front panel and the back panel need to be longer by the amount of the thickness of the wood (in my case 15mm). Just a matter of nailing and glueing the pieces together.
For as long as I could remember as a child, my Dad used to make titboxes with enormous skill and enthusiasm. His domain was his toy shed, full of power saws, hammer drills, boxes of screws and drill bits. I am really a girly girl and prefer to stay in the kitchen!!
So today, I fumbled my way round a Black & Decker jigsaw and a Bosch power drill to make the necessary cuts and holes. By the way... tits must have a hole of no more than one inch and one quarter. For robins and wagtails you can just make the front panel about 2" shorter and they prefer a rectangular opening at the front of the box.
The hinge for the lid is just a piece of roofing felt which I have glued and nailed to the lid. I am happy with the result and feeling proud that I managed to keep on an ancient family tradition.
I hope Pa would be proud of me too!

13 Comments:

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Well done with the nest box, it looks very professional.I am so sorry to see the state of your garden, it is heartbreaking ,hopefully drier weather for a while will sort it out.

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Dan said...

That is alot of water! Great job on the bird house. I just threw together a log suet feeder for the birds. I think I like it better then the birds as I have not seen too many.

 
At 6:21 AM, Blogger Gardeness said...

I am absolutely floored by all that water. And here I'm worrying because our back lawn is soggy. Pfft! Let's hope it drys quickly' That bird house is adorable (the title threw me for a sec!) I just put out some aging grapes in my first attempt to supplement food for the birds. The juncos were all over it. I think I'm a ways off from building things though so I'll just enjoy your craftiness. Your father would surely be proud.

 
At 7:34 AM, Blogger Tattyanne said...

Well done Matron! I wish I had you r confidence around woodworking etc. I have often thought how easy is it to make a wooden cloche or something, but never quite had the confidence to actually give it a go! We do have a tit box that is currently being used for roosting, do you think this may lead to nesting? Regards Tatty

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

Girl power! Very impressed by your use of power tools and creating a lovely little home. I'm sure any tit would love it. Oh, I'd like to try that myself - I have that addition of GW (though i'm glad you worked out their mistakes for me).

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Soilman said...

Well I'm seriously impressed. Couldn't make that if I had a month of Sundays AND that big bloke from Ground Force. Well done!

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I do hope it's not too long drying out.
My husband made a nest box like that last year and then cut up a lot of 'kits' for the local brownies to make up - with adult supervision. (They weren't such a nice colour as yours though!) It's quite unnerving watching a little 8 year old girl wielding a massive hammer in earnest. The result was lots of nest boxes in the village - and NO hammered thumbs.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Of course he would be proud to see his daughter carry on with the family tradition.

Well done with the nest box, you will make some blue tits very happy this year.

Good grief, has your garden turned into a lake?

BTW great post title! ;-)

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Jopan said...

Ohhh well done!! i don't consider myself a girly girl in fact i am a complete tomboy, but i can't figure out wood or wood specific tools at all. I bow to your carpentry skills.

 
At 3:53 AM, Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

It looks like you now have a houseboat garden! Hope it is drying out. Nice job on the houses!

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger Eco Gites of Lenault said...

I think the tits will love your box - I made them years ago when I worked at a school for children with learning difficulties. We gave them to lots of other local schools and many had residents in the first year. Now, I wonder if there are any suitable planks of wood hanging around here.....?

I've just read your profile and see you mush huskies. We have a half alsation half husky - well we think the later is right - she fits all the husky descriptions I have read. I am currently having a battle with her to keep her out of the veg patch where she is eating the kale and raiding the compost heap. She is such a detirmined thief.

Hope the garden dries out soon - we have had a drier winter this year but a lot more frost which I hope will have killed off a good number of nasties.

Rosie x

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Dreadnought said...

Hey Matron, if you think your gardens bad take a look at today's post on my blog! Your bird boxes look great, far better than I could do. Hope your garden dries out soon. By the way with the practise he's been having maybe you could enter Buddy for Dancing On Ice after all he couldn't be a lot worse than some of the people on there! Bob.

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger EB said...

Hello - just found your blog courteys of Bob's link. Very sorry about the flooding. Might it bring some richness to the ground, or really just make a mess? The bird-box is very impressive!

 

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