The hundred and fifty dollar fence ….

I love being able to step out the front door into our play yard!   On a day like this, when cold winter chill is the mother of brief brisk gallops instead of long leisurely hikes, it is a real boon indeed! 
For the longest time, I didn’t fence the yard … imagining it to be the type of impossible dream that would take a good lottery win to achieve!  On days like this, it was always ‘wrestlemania’ in the house when the big dogs couldn’t burn off enough steam outside!
Then one day, I had an Ah Ha moment and realized I really did not need to fence the whole yard.   Indeed, it actually worked out much better to have most of the gardens well outside the wear and tear of the play yard!
It was a lot of work to dig the thirty four fence posts when it was ever so much warmer than today.   With the quaint local flare for understatement that categorizes a day like this as “fresh”, my yard is considered to be “a bit ledgey”!  
I am a middleaged grandmother, not a twenty-nine year old farm hand, so it really did take me the best part of late summer and early fall to finish the project.
Mind you, it is a bit misleading for me to call it the ‘hundred and fifty dollar fence’!   That sum is based on the amount I actually spent on it the year it was built and did not take into account the cost of the recycled stash of material I had squirrelled away.  Nor would it pass muster in more elegant suburbs with careful covenants.  
This is the kind of weather when we are all planning our outdoor project to do lists!    If a play yard is on your wish list, here are a few things that I found helpful:

  • here in Kings County, at this time, one does not need a permit to build a fence as long as it is not over six feet tall.   They do recommend that fences be set back from the property line far enough to allow for painting and maintenance.
  • When I retired, I bought a Fiskars post hole digger to transplant small trees.  Over the years of moving around, I have borrowed a wide variety of post hole diggers and have found this one to really live up to Fiskars well earned reputation for ergonomic tools.   Who knew I would actually build a fence with it one day
  • Even if you live in suburbia, four by four landscaping ties are much cheaper than fence posts of the same size.   They generally go on sale every spring 🙂
  • Kijiji is a great place for things …. if you are patient odds are you could find good buys on fencing wire and perhaps even boards.   If you live near a base, you might even find fences for sale in the spring when people who rent are transferred.
  • Funny thing, but feed stores are often the most economical place to get fencing wire and staples
  • Pay attention to what is going on in your community.   I bought a nice chunk of used 6 foot galvanized wire when one of our local kennels was renovating.

As it happens, not being able to fence the whole yard has really had all sorts of unanticipated side effects.   It is wonderful to still see so much wildlife in the yard on the other side of the fence.   It is great never to have to worry about children being able to tease my good dogs.   Best of all, it allows me to have the best of both worlds when my garden is ever so much more than a ‘pretty face’.

And that is how I see it on Thursday, January 12th …. the FIFTY – SEVENTH  day since the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board created the renegade shelter.

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