Thursday, January 21, 2016

Making A New Garden: Mega Fence

Next up on our big garden adventure is a necessary evil: Mega Fence. While I don't enjoy the idea of all two acres of Chickadee Gardens being cut off from the world by a fence, it beats losing the entire garden to my deer buddies. 

Thus, in goes the deer fence.

And as far as projects such as hiring contractors, this was like butter. Fabulous. 

I'll start out by naming our fencing company of choice, Statewide Fencing out of Salem, Oregon. Ron the owner met us at the new home the day we took possession and walked the perimeter with us and gave us a reasonable estimate. After interviewing a few other fencing companies, we went with Ron because, well, we liked him and felt he could do the job better than others at a much better price. That meeting was in November. Fast forward through the wettest month on record in Portland (December) to now. Ron and his nephew Travis showed up bright and early from Salem (a few hours away) on a recent Monday morning. By Thursday afternoon it was complete, even in the driving cold January rain. They camped out at a hotel in Saint Helens and worked super hard to finish the job in a short amount of time. Here's the final product:



David modeling the new gate. Let's take a walk around the perimeter and see the final result.


The fence on the right encloses the southern edge of our property.


This is on the south-eastern edge looking north. Yes, those are tractor-tire marks in the mud. Ron was very concerned he was destroying my garden. But, to be honest, that's why I had him come in first, before plants went in the ground. I fully expected these ruts and open wounds, especially as it's been so incredibly wet. Some things simply cannot be helped.


We found out where the water flows on the property -- to the southeast corner. Here's basically a drain swale out there. Dry most of the time, but running well in wet weather.


Here's corner number two - the southeast corner. I really like the wood posts. I wish we could have gone for wood the entire perimeter but really, the metal posts are less noticeable.



Looking north along the eastern fence. They came in with the tractor and cleared all the land, thank goodness. It would have taken us 8 months to do this ourselves. Now that I can get back there I see a lot of native salal and Oregon grape or Mahonia. I'm thrilled about this.



Here is the northeastern corner. Mudsville.


Here is the northern border. Ron and Travis cleared several of those spindly Douglas firs that were planted in rows. This opens it up and gives access which, in the long run, is much more practical. The remaining trees will fill in and have a bit more light. I have noticed the many birds here love the downed branches and have kind of taken up shelter in them. Along with Mega Fence, we now have Mega Brush Pile and I think there must be 100 small songbirds living in it.



Here's the northwest corner. Ron had to cut through this berm to make way for the fence. What a job. This whole project had another positive outcome, we got to meet many of our neighbors when we went around to tell everyone about our project plans. Everyone has been so very welcoming and kind, it's a great community out here. We also learned a bit about the land and its former owners. For example, this berm went in by the original builder of our home to block out the rest of the world, so to speak. Well, it's cleared now and ready to be planted with some native shrubs and ornamental plants for wildlife value. Its days of blocking out the world are over! Here comes the sun! The blackberry is on its way out, snowberry on the way in.



We plan on doing a bit of cleanup and gravel spreading here. My oh my, what a mess. But it couldn't be helped. 



Here's a shot of the cleared out berm area. We can see our awesome neighbors to the west! It feels better opened up like this.



The worst of the tractor damage. Yikes. Ron was very kind in smoothing it out with the tractor - it was ditches and gullies of mud, now at least it's smooth.


A wider shot with mud alley in view. But no worries, we ordered 2.5 units of compost to help heal the soil (which needed it even without tractor marks).


I had them dump it right there to help cover up the mud. More on Mega Compost Pile later.



The old fencing, new fencing poles and a private dunny.



Parting shot of the eastern fence and the southwest corner.

It is important to mention we worked closely with the underground utility location folks to determine where power, water, gas and communication lines ran inside and outside our property. You might note the little flags in the middle of the photo just above. Very important to know where things are buried.

It's not always a straightforward choice - hiring others to help you with your needs and projects. We do much of the work ourselves but this was beyond the scope of what we could reasonably do in a short amount of time. The whole point of moving out here is the land and the garden, so we needed to protect it at the outset. Ron and Travis were fantastic, we are so grateful and love the fence. I haven't seen a deer since the day they arrived, which is good, right? I do kind of miss seeing them, but now that my plants are free to roam about the country I have forgotten about the deer. For now.

The quality of the fence seems excellent, the price came in ultimately less than what was quoted and they are just plain great people to work with.

Success.

Thank you Ron and Statewide Fencing. Job well done indeed! That is the report from Chickadee Gardens this week. Until next time, thank you for reading and happy gardening! 

18 comments :

  1. When I see these photos I can understand you are thrilled with this large piece of land. Good thing you let the fences to a contractor, you better save your muscles for gardening projects to come.

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    1. Yes, my muscles are feeling the burn from moving compost....I don't need more of a workout building a fence...hahah :)

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  2. Really interesting -- I love seeing construction projects documented! It will be nice to see the mud gone I'm sure. Yuck.

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    1. Yes, the mud will disappear eventually, right? It will help once I have new things planted in them, too I think (hope)!

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  3. You did this in the right order, you smart woman! Much of the torn-up areas are going to eventually be garden beds, right? And whatever isn't will heal quickly.

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    1. Thanks Alison - and yes the torn up areas are going to be garden eventually...the WHOLE PLACE will be one giant garden...waaa ha ha (evil laughs). Seriously, though - what's not garden will probably be some kind of meadow.

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  4. You always hear horror stories of hiring out. So happy to hear yours was a good experience, start to finish!

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    1. Thanks Mindy! We got lucky with Ron and Travis, to be sure. They were fantastic!

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  5. Our little privet removal and fence building project (on the north and south sides of only half of the length of the back yard) turned into a mega February mud-fest, Lordy I can't imagine what you've been living through! So glad yu found good guys to do the hard work.

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    1. Mud-fest is about the speed of things around here. Sheesh. Who told me to build a fence in January? Oh, I told myself, that's right. Anyhoo, it's done and we are very happy with it so onward through mudsville, right? I wish I could have done some cool fence like yours, Loree. THAT is a cool fence.

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  6. You might wish you had used metal posts in that wet corner. Nice fence though.

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    1. Oh, you know I hadn't thought of that and we were going by the recommendation of the fence pros. Hmm...maybe it will be an issue in the future, I'll have to keep an eye on it. Thanks for pointing that out!

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  7. It was a great move to take care of the fence so early. It looks great and you can still see Bambi on the other side - protection and views!

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    1. BAMBI! Where are you? Hahahah...well, hopefully she'll come back to visit. If not the people up the street have rescue donkeys and ponies and goats.

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  8. wow, you are making such huge strides on your compound! Go, T!!

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    1. Yes, the AZF (anti-zombie fence) is working out great - no zombies have penetrated the compound yet. COME SEE IT, Fifi! :)

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  9. How cool to get to see your new garden from the beginning! You're so wise to get this done early and what a joy to have someone else do it for you and so well!

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  10. Really smart to put in infrastructure BEFORE the plants. You are doing it right!

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