Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wattle fences and Autumn chores

So, What's quackin?
 Well, since finishing the "book",  little ducklings have grown to full-size stunners!

Big puppies had the "operation".
Here they are smiling, BEFORE the operation, ( little did they know). We are lucky to have a James Herriot vet, he  makes house calls! So the boys never had to leave home for the surgery.

Morning Glory madness has occurred... as usual.
And I had a bit of fun in my poor neglected  side garden.
   It was calling for some serious weeding and cleanup. September is a perfect time to tie up loose ends in the garden and maybe do a few quick projects that were avoided in the heat of summer.
My project is the area around the pergola James built last year. I've been slowly creating a garden around it and upon the slope in the foreground.
 There are many little paths meandering hither and thither, beneath and around this pergola garden. Don't you love pathways?
 I tidied these up a bit. We use pebbles, old brick, stone and pine needles to make walkways.

I love letting my chickens free range, that's my point in having chickens; to watch their antics throughout the day. It is delightful to watch them frolicking in the grass and perching on the arbors exhibiting kooky behavior, typical of this zany bird. BUT chickens in the gardens can create havoc  in 2 seconds flat. Those claws are lethal digging tools!

So, I had a plan to protect my slope garden from those feathered marauders;
 I decided to make wattle garden fencing.
 The biggest job in building wattles is collecting the wood. Any green wood will do, but willow is best and locust is even better, thorns removed, of course. I gathered both. Who knew those horrid Locust trees would become my best buddies?! Try to collect the most long lasting "whips" you can find, you don't want to go to all this work, only have your fence rot out in a year. 
 This bunch will only get me about 6 feet in length and 1 foot tall. I will need to collect a lot more.
  I have built some rather tall Wattle Hurdles in the past, but this will be a short and charming fence to wrap around this little garden. My chickens won't challenge even a short garden fence, as long as I extend the top of fencing with a bit of goat wire.
I used 24" rusty re-bar for my horizontal posts. Of course, this was not used traditionally, but I like to use it because it will not rot, and actually looks like wood. I hammered the posts into the earth, 1 foot apart, surrounding the garden area.
 Just strip off the leaves and excess twigs from your collected green wood. I like to leave a few side twigs for interest and thickness. Sometimes, I will even "braid" the thinner twigs together. The fun part is weaving your twigs and branches in and out ,it's like making a basket. On the fence above, which is about 3 feet tall, I used green fence posts as the uprights.

 I butted this taller fence up against the pergola posts to encourage a climbing rose that needs a head start next year. By the way, now is a great time to purchase leftover perennials from the nursery. This barrow-full of plants cost $1 a pot!
  The taller wattle fence connects to the short garden wattle fence. A dry creek runs beneath one side of this pergola and the hypertufa houses are lined along the shore.
 I planted moss, creeping jenny, creeping fig, and, ground cover sedum along this bank. Next year these plants will really fill in the bare spots.

 I nearly made it all the way around the garden with my wattle....

 but then I ran out of willow and locust, shucks! 

 I will have to finish the fence next spring, when new "whips"grow out of the decimated locust tree stumps... and they will; by the dozens! I'll work on filling in stones for the remainder of the dry creek over the winter months and plant more ground cover along wattle fence line.
Obviously, this is still a work in progress.

 These fences are very rustic and charming for the country garden. The stone steps going up the slope were from the salvage yard. They were once foundation stones in a downtown building from the 1920's. I laid these steps in February; you can do landscaping all year round.

 Next year, my friend Sharyn and I are simultaneously building wattle fences. Her's in Washington state, Mine in Tennessee. These will be full size fences, I hope. So those trees better get a growing, I will need a lot of whips!
Give this a try in your garden. My next project will be the making of various  hypertufa containers, which will have the entire winter to cure. I will post on that soon.  


  1. Oh Jeri dear, how charming.....a wattle fence is the perfect complement to your lovely path-
    studded garden... You are so industrious and clever....as always....what can you not do? Thank you for the reminder to go bargain hunting
    for end of season plantings.. Your sedum look so
    hardy and O the morning glories! Like stepping into a storybook garden....of course that is what it is .....ala Tasha or Beatrix...
    Thank you for the refreshing pause...

  2. Love the new look on the blog, but I am crazy about the wattle fencing and little houses. And, what I wouldn't give for walkways like that. The rebar is perfect for weaving the little fence through. I need to think where I could put a small little fence.

  3. YOU'RE BACK HOME! How was the event you attended my dear friend? OK, your wattle fencing is just gorgeous. I love and really prefer natural materials to use in the garden; we still have some vestiges of our "slap it up quick" days and there is that horrid (sorry to those who may use it) black plastic edging in our yard. I want to pull it up sometime and replace it with STONE. There is such a difference when all the materials used are organic! And the ducks are truly gorgeous and THE BOYS!!!!! YIKES! SNIP SNIP HERE, SNIP SNIP THERE....teehee...but they are safe now, and so are any of the females they may encounter!

    The gardens are smiling at this time; cool nights, bright lovely days. So good to see you sweet Jeri LANDERS! Anita

    1. Anita, The show was good with perfect weather. I ate fresh Blackberry cobbler for breakfast every morning and didn't gain a pound!

  4. OH! I wanted to say that the reason I don't like the black rubber edging is because it gets beat-up after time and I've tripped over it because it sticks up!

  5. Oh Jeri ~ What a delightful post. I love your wattle fencing and it looks 'so right' there in Hopalong Hollow. You've inspired me once again to work in my own humble, tropical gardens. I really look forward to doing that when the weather cools down.

    I love your different paths and the little hypertufa houses are fantastic. They add wonderful whimsy.

    Love your ducks, and it's great that your two pups did not have to leave home to have their little surgery.

    Enjoy working in your gardens now that your book is completed. I always enjoy hearing about your life there at HH.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  6. Beautiful post
    I'll have wattle fences on the brain until next spring.

  7. this is such a delightful post. I adore the fencing. I could use something like this to keep some of the strawberry patch for the humans and fence out my darling turtles to consume just part of the berries.
    Love, love, love your garden. I'm glad I stopped by here this morning...made me feel better just looking at the loveliness. Have a day that is as special as you are. Oma Linda

  8. Beautiful! You've created a true paradise!A hug. M ª Carmen

  9. Love the fence and all the meandering paths. Gardens are always a work in progress. I can't imagine ever being finished. Now if the temps would dip below 90, I might think about getting back to work. Hugs! Bonnie

  10. That wattle fence is charming.
    The little ,now big duckling are looking dandy !
    Jeri I have to tell you how beautiful your hair is , so envious I am ...it is gorgeous,

  11. My chickens would be over that in a heartbeat! We can't really let them out because they completely destroy gardens, landscaping and the sides of the house (pecking giant holes, after the bugs, I guess!) I spend a lot of time bringing them treats instead or giving them supervised field trips. We've often wondered if ducks would cause as much damage. I grew up with them, and I miss them! LOVE your gardens!

    1. Kyra, Ducks are not nearly as destructive, as long as they have a water source like a creek or pond. They pretty much stay away from the gardens, and use their feet for waddling only.AND they don't poop on my porch either!

  12. Jeri - such lovely gardens and pathways. I have heard of these fences but was not sure how they were created. I love the look and it certainly suits your beautiful landscape. Thanks for sharing...I just may have to build me one of these fences too. Have a great Sept. day.

  13. Jeri,
    First, I love your new header, and please don't change your background, I love it so.

    The boys are getting so big.. Your energy just baffles me.. There you are hauling the branches around.. What an enormous amount of work that is, and you have done such a great job, the fence is so YOU... I think I could live in your garden, just put up a little tent and I would be in heaven.

    I hope the show went well for you.. Good to have you back home.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

    1. Penny, I really debated on changing my header,but after 3 years with the same one, it was time. And I wanted an Autumnal look as well. You can camp out in my garden anytime!

  14. Jeri!!! HI THERE! I just saw that you came by and I see your reply here that you had BLACKBERRY COBBLER and didn't gain a pound! You know, when I was in France, since we were walking so many miles a day, I ate all the fattening stuff I wanted and didn't gain a pound either. What bliss to enjoy blackberries in this fashion! Isn't this a great time of year my friend?

    Thanks for coming by. School is keeping me busy but I LOVE teaching middle schoolers and high schoolers French. The high school kids are very sharp and know quite a bit, but I'm taking them to higher levels and making them sing for their supper! teehehehehehehe

    I was out on my deck the other night when we had probably our last warm night. I heard all kinds of shuffling in the bushes, crickets and some unusual calls and singing that I don't get to hear in the day. But I thought of your garden, and the many gardens around the world where creatures inhabit. It is a joy to sit under the moon and connect with the furry and furious creatures that I think we were meant to observe, be in awe over and even recreate in art. Have a FUN WEEKEND MY FRIEND! Anita

  15. Oh, I love your photos!

    I have really limited internet out here, so I couldn't see them all but what I did see... so cute!!!!

    And that's awesome about your vet making house calls.


  16. Message for Dimity Doormouse from Bebe.

    Please put on your party hat and come on over to Nowhere.. It's a birthday party!

  17. Dear Jeri,

    More impressive work, my friend! Your place is looking amazing already, and every year will look more so. Thanks for sharing your work and life with us; we love each and every post!



  18. Hi Jeri,
    I think I may have left a message regarding this post on another post, but just in case, I love your wattle work, very well done and the placing of the houses looks like an English countryside scene. Enjoy your Sunday!

  19. DDM and JERI LANDERS! Tea Rat here! Oh, Rattus is still asleep (too much wine from the region of Nowhere!) but today is his BIG BDAY and we just may go out for a slice of CHEESECAKE...every civilized rat's favorite! We want to thank you for stopping by Nowhere to wish him a fine day. You are just so kind, and isn't our Penny just a sweet heart? I was also telling Ruben about you early yesterday and your endearing stories about your farm animals. Sometimes both of us just want to escape and run off to visit farm animals and listen to the sounds and even experience the "perfume" of the stalls, meadows and barns. Really!

    Have yourself a fabulous early fall day! Anita

  20. Jeri,
    Thanks for your visit! I have spent a LOT of time on your delightful blog since. How beautiful...and your details in your artwork are incredible. The wattle fence looks great! What a lovely, restful spot.

  21. I love your beautiful fence, Jeri!! I have a dear friend who has made a tiny one in her garden, and I thought it was so charming...
    And please give your sweet boys a hug from me... :)
    How did the CL Fair go?
    - Irina

  22. Hee...just want to add that your ENTIRE garden is magical...not only the fence... :))
    Sometimes I get so overwhelmed emotionally by the images, I forget what I want to say... :)

  23. Hello dear-Your gardens are so beautiful-and the fence looks like it was meant to be...I made wattle fencing, and used mostly willow from our basket willow trees-they all sprouted and grew (the sticks in the ground, that is). It looked other-worldish. The fence lasted about 5 years I think. I made a huge outdoor basket too, to contain the bamboo I planted-or I should say to protect it from deer. If I had know then what I know now about running bamboo, I would never have planted it-and I would have sent invitations to all the deer to eat it up!
    Can't wait to see you tuffa stuff.
    Love, Debra
    PS-Fionna and Mavis Mudd always make me smile!

  24. oops-I meant 'your' tuffa stuff!

  25. I love your wattle Fence!!! Its so pretty and rustic. Your duckings are so cute and almost grown. and I love how you said...LOL...Little did they know...LOL...Poor boys. you have a beautiful place . I would love to walk along one of your pathways.
    Take Care,
    Marie Antoinette

  26. Oh my...the "operation." Too funny! Honestly Jeri, I don't know how you keep up with everything. It's all so beautiful.

  27. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    We love your wattle fences and with the little buildings it looks like a pretty village in England!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah, and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at the
    Corgyncombe Courant

  28. Back to work to create something using random weave, fortunately it was advantageous to work outside as the works got bigger. The newly learned skills flowed into these works as well.cedar fence pickets


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