Entering a Magical Garden

My room-mate & I are pretty lucky that these two, Mollie & Lady, like to play with each other & stick around the yard pretty good.  [Yup, simply a little bear wrestling above.]  😉

But, other than hedges, trees, huge rhododendrons, & the ocean, there’s no fencing to stop the dogs from dashing after a cat or whatever else they might spy.  Because we rent, we didn’t want to install fence posts.


So, my room-mate [aka Mr. Redneck Carpenter — Reddie] came up with these portable fence sections that sit on their own legs.

Made of 2″x4″s & 1″x3″s, they’re quite light — I easily moved this corner with one hand for the photo shoot.

We’ve got four 8′ sections up, along the road side.  They look great, have stood the test of wind, & the dogs respect the boundary line.



Of course, there was nothing to stop our smart pals from going out under the arbor — we needed a gate.

Mr. Reddie had a couple of rough-milled, pointed poles [an idea that didn’t pan out for a backyard daybed] that he cut & pounded into the dirt beside the metal arbor.

He was thinking of making the gate with milled lumber similar to the fencing, but . . .

My son [a landscaper/tree pruner] had given me a pile of wood that included a couple of beautiful arbutus tree branches.

The Arbutus [arbutus menziesii] sheds its rough bark near the base of each branch — it looks like it’s been damaged — to reveal an ultra-smooth, reddish ‘inner bark’ that continues along each branch as the tree flourishes.

Being Albertans, we’d never seen such weird & gorgeous tree bark before.  The B.C. provincial government site notes that the arbutus tree is Canada’s only native broadleaf evergreen tree.

And, it is only found on small stretches of our southern coastline, along the Georgia Strait on both the mainland & Vancouver Island, and parts of the western Island coastline.


So, when I saw this cool gate at HOME ~ HAVEN, I asked Reddie if we could use our branches to do something like this.  Next thing you know, he’s got this beautiful baby up.

Which of course, the dogs could still walk through — they simply go single-file.  😉

We discussed what to do about the middle section & picked out a few more branches to close the gap — this is our gate for now:

Hmm, Lady’s not too sure about this.

I simply love it — it goes so well with the arbor.  And, it is absolutely magical:

Definitely time to move the old van.  😉

I tried a few old suncatchers in different spots to get ideas for some stained glass inserts:

I’m thinking of a few designs but also looking at whether to frame the glass in wood or maybe attach it straight to the branches with soldered wire.  On the back burner for now — it will be a later project.

We’ll keep adding sections of fence to enclose the front yard.  But something a little more creative will have to be devised for the little hole in the hedge that both dogs have already used to bypass the gate — eek!  😛

Simply A Dawne Thought


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