We have a very long driveway. Along this driveway runs a very long planter bed.
This is what it looked like when we bought the house:
So originally, we built a raised bed of pressure-treated wood to hold in all the dirt. For the last few years, it’s looked like this:
When we acquired the chickens, there was a whole lot of this going on in those beds:
Because of some very serious neat-freak issues, this just wasn’t working for me. The obvious solution is to fill the planters with so much vegetation that there is no free dirt for the ladies to get into….but this is a huge bed to fill, and, though I am working on it, I needed a quicker solution (and also, I happen to get a kick out of watching their dirt bath antics).
Enter our ever-expanding piles of scrap wood:
With so many projects going on all the time, we are constantly collecting remnant wood….in fact, most moments, we are completely overrun with scrap because I refuse to throw it away. So when we can come up with a use for it, especially a cute use for it….I get unnecessarily excited.
The scrap that I used for this started in all shapes and sizes: slabs of plywood, bits of 2×4, planks ripped off the side of the old garage, cedar fencing, and more. You may remember this photo from a previous post about our scrap pile.
I selected my victims and cut the wood into completely random bits, all roughly around a foot or so tall (but sometimes as short as 6 inches tall, just to get a really good gap-toothed vibe), varying widths. There was really no rhyme or reason, at all.
Then I gathered up all my miscellaneous cans of leftover house paint (my theory was that these were all colors I had used throughout the house and garden and so, therefore, they’d coordinate. Right? Right.), and painted them randomly and sloppily. A lot of these pieces already had old paint on them–I slapped new paint on a few of them, but mostly left the old weathered pieces alone. Also, I left quite a few pieces completely unfinished.
I wanted the paint finish to be patchy on these, because I want them to weather a bit naturally–I like the look of old, chippy weathered wood. Obviously, if you want these to last a good long time, you’d better seal them up really well and not follow my lead. But I want mine to weather. I may seal them once they’ve aged a bit. We’ll see. I get distracted pretty easily.
After the bits and pieces dried, we screwed them in, in random order to the inside edge of the pressure-treated wood curb. Obviously, not everyone has such a curb–I share my recipe for a stand-alone version down below.
The real point of this edging, for me anyhow, was to keep the chicken dirt bath spray somewhat contained. Remarkably, it’s totally working!
The chickens don’t seem the least bit fazed by it.
We are currently in the process of turning our back garden into a ‘Chicken Garden’; what was once my enchanting, flower-filled oasis has literally gone to the birds. As part of this do-over, I want to use this scrap edging back there, as well. The only problem is, there’s no wood curb to attach it to….we needed to modify it so that it could be free-standing.
From Home Depot, I grabbed some cheap garden-variety garden edging that comes in two foot strips that click together on the ends. I also got me some metal garden stakes.
For my purposes, the metal stakes needed a couple of holes drilled into each of them (though I am sure there are stakes that come like this, I just haven’t found them yet). This is a little time consuming, but easy enough with a metal drill bit.
Now lay out your wood pieces and attach the plastic edging to their backsides with an industrial stapler. Let the pointy side of the plastic edging stick out beyond the bottoms of the wood pieces–this goes into the ground and helps stabilize the whole thing.
Now screw in your stakes, one on each end of the two-foot length of edging.
Unfortunately, the Chicken Garden is a work in progress….you’ll see the final results of this edging project when I do the reveal post on that. Soon! Very sooooon. Bear with me.