The weather has warmed up enough to where it is comfortable to work outside and I have been taking full advantage of it. You could say that it is a race against time as Mother Nature has already started her regrowth project for this year and new foliage is springing up wherever I look. This means I have to be extra careful where I plonk down my big feet if I happen to be working in the garden area.
To date, I have cleared up all of the “frozen” plant growth and the garden looks quite barren in some respects. On the plus side, I can see from one end to the other and can even spot the dogs when they are doing their doggy thing way down in the “Murmuring Creek” area. In Richie’s case, that is sniffing around to see what latest animal smell remains or in case the black Manx cat from next door has been visiting again. Sometimes he is barking wildly and racing around from one end of the garden to the other at an overhead and far distant buzzard who in its swoops and spirals, sends Richie into all kinds of doggie fits. Pete, on the other hand, ignores the buzzards and usually barks in the general direction of the latest squirrel. Ginnie just barks just because the other two are making a noise.
I have also been working on a fence project that I have been putting off for a couple of years which comprises of trying to make the below fence area more secure just in case Richie decides that he doesn’t like living here anymore and tries to dig out from under the fence. Years ago, to combat this problem, I installed an electric doggie fence all around the perimeter of the yard. It seemed to have worked at least when the electricity was flowing through it as Richie makes a point of staying away from it. The problem is that Richie being a Dachshund, stands just six or seven inches off the ground meaning that the fence is also down that low and any vegetation that grows up around it, quickly grounds out the electric current making the fence useless. I try to keep the plant growth mowed with my weed wacker but it is still a worry. He must have touched it at least once when it was working as he still steers pretty clear of it.
So, my latest attempt to make the yard doggie escape proof is made up of several different factors. On the inside of the road side fence, years ago, I installed railroad ties to keep the garden dirt away from rotting out the bottom of the fence and kept them a foot away from the fence to allow water to flow when Murmuring Creek overflows which is does when we have a real gully washer. Since I built a berm on the outside, that particular problem no longer exists so what I have just done is to remove the electric fence and moved the rail ties up against the foot of the fence and then filled in the space on the garden side with regular dirt. That has eliminated all possibility of Richie digging out on the road side.
What I have done on the bottom side is to replace around fifty or so of the fence pickets that were showing signs of disintegrating and if needed, the two by fours to which they are attached. I plan on putting a layer of riprap rocks stacked against the bottom of the fence for its full length to act as a barrier to prevent Richie from digging. I can’t use rail ties here in case it does flood and they float out of position and trying to anchor them to the rocky ground is almost impossible. I also reattached the electric fence and made sure that it is working properly. The fence on the neighbor’s side still has the electric fence on it and I will keep it to safeguard that side from my escape artist. Hopefully, when I am through, I will have eliminated the constant worry when Richie is too quiet or I have not seen him for a while.
The outside of the road side fence is more than thirty years old and it shows in many of the pickets. I kept this side of the fence more for show as it has pickets on the inside as well as the outside in essence making it a double fence. It was looking so ratty that I spent some time re-attaching the loose boards and where the fence is opposite the 24 inch rain water drain, I straightened it up and then braced it to help it when we do get the very occasional gully washer. The finished product looks much better even with the very old pickets. Sort of has an “antique” look.
Now, all I have to do is to place the riprap rocks to finish off this project and hopefully eliminate the worries of my little breakout artist.