The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Fences

Inca, the Min Pin prisoner

Inca, the Min Pin prisoner

This was the subject matter of the email that Anne Mary sent Danny yesterday morning. He forwarded it to me. The combination of FWD and fences made my heart sink. The high winds that we had last week had clearly taken their toll.

Most of our fences are over 30 years old. John and I replaced 7 fencing panels about 4 years ago. It was such a palaver that it put me off replacing the rest of the panels, even though the other stretch looked dodgy back then. The lengths that bordered the *human graves had not stood up to the weight of the earth pressing against them. Several times Inca had escaped into AM’s garden and her exit holes had been stopped by bits and bobs that I’d found knocking about in the garden.

Over the past year or so the escape holes have been increasing at an alarming rate. In fact I’ve heard Inca attacking the fencing with her teeth. She is on steroids after all and is now a muscular, toned and rounded Min Pin missile. With enough Vorsprung Durch to forced her nose through the sort of elderly fence that might be examined carefully on Antiques Road Show.

Anne Mary was alerted to the fact that our fences were down when one of her Labradors escaped into our garden and refused to come back. AM mentioned that Poppy smelt a bit fishy on her return. Ah yes! That was the pack of fish flakes that must have been dashed to the ground during the storms. Later that night I braved the rain with a torch to retrieve our oldest Min Pin lady. She is now blind and suspecting that she was in trouble I searched for her for some time. I eventually found her feasting on the same fish flakes. She was furious when I scooped her up to take her to a place of safety.

Danny went out to investigate the fence situation. This is quite a palaver as it means removing lace up shoes and pulling on the nearly new Wellington boots that’s he’s had for the past twelve years. He came up to the bedroom to report. Lace up shoes to the fore.
“Well the damage is quite bad. At least three panels are down.”
“I have a plan. We’ve got that six foot pallet in the drive it’ll be a good prop.”
“It may need a bit more than that.”

Luckily I had a roll of chicken wire in the shed, along with sturdy staples. It took me about an hour to temporarily secure the gap and make it Min Pin/Labrador proof.

There is a good side to this story. With the fences down, far more light streamed into the garden. As we have hedges along most of the fence line we’ve decided to replace the stretch of old fencing with one made of chicken wire. The old fencing posts were set in concrete so I’m going to burn/scrape the rotten wood out so that I can hopefully just slide new posts into the old holes. I’m also going to soak the base of the new posts in wood preservative for a few days to give them a longer life.

Meanwhile the Min Pin escapee is not impressed with my endeavours. Within a day we have moved from a canine version of Ford Open Prison to Alcatraz.

*human graves
These are vast piles of earth that were dug out of the garden to make the large 28’ pond.

 


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11 Comments

  1. While the weather was frosty last week the lads and I took a break from working on my gate lodge to do some fence repair.There is something satisfying about looking back at a length of new fence after a hard days graft.

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