During a brief foray to the plot this week, I startled a blackbird that had slipped under the netting I’d settled over the strawberry bed. Luckily, he managed to escape untangled, as we both fluttered about in surprise. I gathered more sticks and canes, topped them with old plastic pots to raise the height, added another piece of netting to drape over this extended structure, and tried to preclude entry along the edges with anchoring bricks. I don’t want any birds getting caught in the net (or eating up any more of my strawberries!).
No sooner had I finished that construction project, I noticed that the new growth on the red currant bush (also under netting) had been broken off and flattened. More sabotage! The culprits this time: hefty pigeons. Once again my attempts at protecting my ripening fruit had not been up to scratch. Since the netting was basically draped over the bushes, the pigeons were landing on the currant and wrecking it as they attempted to reach the tasty morsels below the barrier. I set to work again, creating a new freeform structure that stretched higher and wider. It looks rather zany and haphazard, but hopefully will be a more impenetrable barricade. Time to build a proper fruit cage one of these days.
Ideally I want my garden to be lovely – a joyful mix of vegetables and flowers, order and natural chaos, tranquility and exuberance…
But I also want to eat what I grow.
A garden covered in netting and fleece? Less aesthetically pleasing, but definitely more productive.