The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Branching Out


Some girls collect shoes, I collect branches. Here’s a stash in my shed …

Where do I get them from (since you might know from past posts that I don’t have any mature trees on my lot)? People here put them out on the curb after pruning or cleaning up their yards for the village to pick up – unless I get there first. Sometimes they put out nice pine and evergreen boughs, too, that look lovely in the window boxes and baskets over the winter. I also can find whatever size branches I need at the local dump free for the taking. Big piles of all sorts.
What do I do with them? Well, I noticed that the birds tend to “line up” for the feeders and bird baths and would land on my flowers and bend them down to the ground. So, I stuck a few branches nearby for them to use as perches instead – this worked like a charm! Here’s a “branch perch” over a bird bath …

Above is a Gold Finch perched upon it. Below is a Gold Finch poised on a “branch perch” (lower left corner above the big Monarda seed head) angling for a spot on the bird feeder …

There he goes!
I also use branches to make my own rustic trellises. All you need is a power drill, some screws, hammer, nails, and maybe a little wire for the smaller branches. Here’s one in the kitchen garden …

And here’s one I made for a wild rose that I will train to climb (and that will hopefully spill over and cover up some of that ugly chain link fence – ugh!) It adds a little more height and should act as a privacy screen …

And here’s one I made for this beautiful honey suckle to reach the lattice work on the front porch …

You can also use branches and seed heads (like Black Eye Susan, Bee Balm and Cone Flowers) to dress up your pumpkins on Halloween. Branches make nice “hair.” I just use a screw driver to punch holes with. Or you can make gourd ghouls like these …

Happy Halloween!

Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

5 thoughts on “Branching Out

  1. What great ideas for sticks! Very cute gourds!

  2. I love your ideas for branches! I have to try making a rustic trellis – I need 4. Thank you!

  3. Thank you so much for your comments … I hope you enjoy making a trellis AZ – all four!

  4. I believe that a rustic trellis is in my future, thanks for the ideas!It's amazing how just a few carefully placed twigs near bird feeders brings in the birds…

  5. I love this post! Now I need to start collecting twigs too. I especially like how you gave the birds a perch – very smart.

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