Friday, 6 May 2016


I have a great garden at the back of my house, albeit it is only 7m square. It's very sheltered but doesn't get a great deal of sunlight due to a 3m high wall on the south side. But Pauline has done a great job over the years of getting the space looking great, with just the right plants that love shade. The birds love it, and we have a resident field mouse.

However, the neighbours cats love it too, as a toilet.

It is really disgusting, and I do find it intolerable, especially as dog owners are responsible for cleaning up their pets mess, but cat owners can just let them out to crap anywhere they like . . . except their own back yard!

So my job in the garden over the years, has been creating a fence structure that deters them. It's impossible to keep them out completely, but I've managed pretty well over the years.

The main fence though, which stands a metre above the stone wall, has now become so badly wind damaged that the cats can simply walk right through wherever they like. I've been repairing it over and over, and the past year has seen that happening more and more frequently, to the extent it is now an eyesore of a patchwork mess.

So a new fence was needed.

This time I plumped for something pretty substantial, and went for woven wicker panels. They stand 1.2m above the wall, and the worry was that I was creating a strong climbing frame for my feline enemy. But a few months ago I discovered online someone who had screwed perspex panels to one side of their fence, and the cats found it impossible to climb as they couldn't get a grip.

So this is what I've built (you can just make out the perspex on the photo above), but I've also attached the perspex at a slight angle away from the fence, and sitting proud of the top. Then on the top edge of the wicker there are plastic cat-deterrent spikes, just in case they want to try and tightrope-walk the top edge.

The amount of debris from the old fence, plus masses of ivy, required four car loads to the local dump. Thankfully I had the help of my good friend John, who dragged the vegetation up the steps from the garden, through the kitchen and down the front stairs, obviously leaving a trail of vegetation and snails behind him.

The design of the fence is good, but my concern was that I was in effect creating a giant kite, and if the wind was to blow hard enough it could bring the actual wall down, so there was no way I could attach it to the stone. So, just to add to my workload, I sank 3" square, 2.5m long, fence posts, two feet into the ground, and concreted them in!

I'm almost finished. I've lost a few bits of greenery here and there, especially the ivy, which was the only thing holding the old fence up, but I'm sure everything will grow back well due to the sheltered nature of the garden.

I'll bet the cats are plotting already to try and find the structures weak points.

Let battle commence.

No comments: