Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Arbor and Birdhouse in the Secret Garden

I was going to write about these separately this week, but time got away from me so you’re getting them all at once. 

How’s that for a bargain?

2 projects in one sitting!

You probably already saw the birdhouse, I bought it at TJ Max this spring.  It came on a metal post.

I showed it in some of my earlier reveals of the landscaping.

It was just holding a spot until I could use it where I really wanted to.

I removed the house from the attached metal post and instead attached it to this one.


The wooden post is from my salvaged porch parts.  This one was odd, looks like it was made to be a corner support, with 3 sides.   

It’s the blue piece leaning against the fence with red trim in the “before” photo below.


It was really tall and I immediately saw it in the center of the garden with a birdhouse on top.

A metal post stake pounded into the ground and a short 4x4 support the piece.


So there it is. This one was easy peasy.  I stained everything white. (I wasn’t very careful on the birdhouse, as you will notice)


And it has occupants in the top apartment already!



Oh, by the way, that sign Deb made for me is in Italian; I forgot to mention that when I showed it to you.

It says, “My Secret Garden”.

Thanks Mom, for reminding me to tell everyone. 

Now for project #2, the arbor.

Remember this spring I found these at the curb?

I knew they would be perfect in my Secret Garden.

Last week when Deb was still here we spent our last day together working on this.

It was pretty simple.  First we had to stabilize the old pieces, the nails had rusted out and it was pretty rickety.

Some glue and deck screws fixed that problem.

A piece of old wooden ladder was used for joining the sides together at the top.

Lord knows I had plenty of old ladders to choose from!

We used the taller one you can see on the left in the picture below.

It was just right.


I had some decorative wood corner brackets in my stash ($1 each from Real Deals) they dressed it up nicely.

After staining all the parts we walked it over to it’s new home. 

See the support bar in the picture below? 

That was to keep it from breaking apart as we carried it.


Once we got it there we discovered 2 problems.

First, it was too tall!  At 9 ft high the proportions were all wrong.

Second, It looked pretty plain.

Something was missing.

I left it there a few days and tackled it again on the weekend.

Only this time I didn’t have my helper.

I took some 1x6’s and just cut them down to size.

After tracing a curve in one end I cut it out with the jigsaw.  Then I traced the pattern on the other ends and cut them out.



After cutting a foot off the bottom to make it shorter I moved it back over to the garden entrance.

This time though, I left it on the outer side of the gate.



It just felt right.


Then I cut out a circle in the gate. 

I was thinking it would make the gate look more inviting, maybe tie it in with the arbor.

I’m actually not too sure if it works for me yet. 

Poor Mike is beside himself over that hole.



I used a rusty barrel ring to measure out the circle.  Then I inserted it into the hole to stabilize the boards.


I’m not done with that part yet, that will be another project.


Arbor #1, is done!


I can check that one off the list.

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  1. I love it all. Including the hole in the fence. It might be cute to add something decorative to the inside of the hole. Your secret garden is so inviting. Great job!


  2. I love how you use the word we. I supervised and you worked.

    That was the finishing touch the arbour needed for sure and it is the perfect height now. I love it on the outside of the gate too... good call.

    Oh poor Mike, give him time he will get over the hole... tell him we have a guillotine on order to finish if off... that should stop his whining... hahaha.

    For some reason I can see one of those bubble mirrors in that hole. Or maybe cut it bigger and put one of your metal crates in there... okay just kidding Mike.... shhhh, not really.

    Looks all good Rose... it is sure coming together nicely.


  3. LOVE IT! I like the port hole in the fence, too. Just paint some long eyelashes around the top of it, Mike will get all soft and say...'ok, I like it!' (right!)
    I'm also glad the arbor is on the other side of the fence, it seems to work better there!

  4. Love the birdhouse -- it's perfect for the center of your secret garden! I like the arbor a lot! brilliant to use a ladder for the top. :) It was definitely too tall. I sort of think it could be a little shorter... but I'm sure it will look fabulous when it has greenery growing up it.
    The window? how whimsical! :)
    I'm loving your secret garden and secretly wishing I cared enough about my back yard to clean it up.


  5. Rose I love both of the projects. What a pretty bird house and you made it even more special with that post. The arbor? Love it and the hole in the fence! The secret garden is coming along quite well! Hugs, Linda

  6. It's a great arbor, and I think the hole in the gate works! I really like the tall birdhouse, too. It's a great garden!

  7. Everything is coming into place perfectly! I wish I could find some architectural elements on the side of MY road, but this week it's mattresses once again. Love the birdhouse, of course, but the hole in the gate is my favorite. I'm picturing a little door like Dorothy had to knock on to visit the Wizard. Or a porthole from a ship. There's probably one laying in your alley. :@

  8. What a creative projects you have done. You sure have a lot of time in your hands to be able to do these. Its truly beautiful.

  9. Hi Rose!
    I think I've not been here in a while! I was thinking about you and if I don't see the post pop up on the feed here ...well, I just miss posts that way.
    I should probably subscribe by email...I just added that feature myself.

    Ok... love the secret garden. It looks wonderful. The birdhouse, the column...the arbor...the greenery, the path, the gate, the hole! The list just goes on and on... I love it all!

    ...'til next time, Pat

  10. I was just out looking at some of the sites that my newest follower, follows and I came across your lovely blog. I am so excited to met you and have been enjoying reading your posts. I've visited your site before . . . it must have been during the spell where my follow button was not working, or I would already be a follower. Your creativity is so captivating!
    Please come over and check my blog out. I would love to have you follow. Have a marvelous weekend. From one creative gal to another . . . your newest follower #648 . . .Connie :)

  11. Hey there Missy... it sure is a long time between posts... I want to see this garden before you have to chop it all down for winter.

    Or did Mike kill you for putting that hole in the fence... for real!!!! Should I come looking for your

    Miss you buddy... drop a gal a line once in awhile will ya?


  12. What a darling secret garden!! I love both of your projects. I love seeing others do such neat things with old stuff. Good job!


  13. I don't know which I love more, the arbor or that birdhouse! You did a great job with both. That was a great find at TJ maxx!

    I have been out of the blogging loop all summer so I'm trying to catch up with everyone! But I see it's been awhile since you've posted too :)

  14. Love the stuff you do!! I might have considered a round mirror on the gate!!!! I have such a hard time putting holes in something that doesn't have holes yet!!!


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