The Garden Reflections Wooden Bird House – review | Champagne Twist

Picture Source - QVCUK.com
Garden Reflections Wooden Bird House. Picture Source – QVCUK.com

It’s arrived! I have been waiting an absolute age for this, and after weeks of internal self debate, I finally took the plunge and purchased the bird house and it arrived yesterday.

Of course, knowing my luck the delivery was twice delayed by the worse delivery service known to, well everyone, but still I’m so happy that my brand new, half price bird house has finally arrived.

It may not be the colour I wanted, sage green, but that was snapped up by faster shoppers, so I’m for the moment happy to make do with the grey.

Setting up the flat packed bird house wasn’t so challenging, the instruction sheet wasn’t the best, but I managed to muddle through the DIY process in about 40 minutes, only slowed down by taking photographs and the ridiculous lack of pilot holes.  Honestly for an item that was originally priced as the best part of £40, you would have thought they could have drilled in the pilot holes.  For the DIY novice, who may be a little heavy handed or over enthusiastic with a screw driver, this could prove disastrous.  The wood used isn’t very dense, I suppose to ensure a lower end cost, however it means that it is quite easy to split the pieces, rendering the entire bird house unusable.

That said, the top is very heavy once assembled, and I wonder if the design could be further improved with a quadrapod rather than a tripod base – we shall see.

For the sale price of just under £20, I think I may have made a good deal.  I certainly wasn’t going to purchase it for the original sale price of around £40, it simply isn’t worth it, considering the rather poor standard of the pieces.  I’m glad that they included a couple of spare screws – at least I hope they are spare – but the paint finish looks like it will need retouching in only a matter of weeks.  I have a sample pot of Wilko English sage green in standby.

Picture source - Wilko.com
English sage paint – picture source Wilko.com

 

The over all look of the bird house is pleasing, and which initially led me to this item.  I’ve compared other bird houses in a few major DIY and garden stores, and shape wise, this is my favourite.  Selling from £40 upwards, the quality varied from cheap and tacky to fairly robust but over priced.  So for £20, I’m pleased with the end item, but it’s just a pity that more attention to detail and quality control, this could have been so much more.

Rating 3 out of 5

Bird House purchased from QVCUK.com – https://www.qvcuk.com/Garden-Reflections-Wooden-Bird-House.product.518199.html?sc=SRCH

 

 

 

Saving the birds and No New Year Resolutions | Champagne Twist

I have long given up on making new year’s resolutions.  Partly because by this time of year, i.e. the 2nd of January, I’ve broken half of them.  But I have started to implement my plans to help encourage birds and beneficial pollinators to my outdoor space.  I’m starting with the birds by making sure that I supply various foods to sustain their diet during these cold winter months.

January and February tend to be the coldest months of the year, and food is very scarce both for food gardeners and wildlife.  I’ve taken advantage of the Christmas and New Year sales and purchased a bird table and bird food supplies.

Wilko is my go-to bird food supplier, I normally buy a tub of 50 fat balls for £4.  The birds which especially love these fat balls are robins, blue tits, magpies and the occasional big pigeon.

 

In an effort to attract a wider variety of birds and to tempt the blue tits away from my already blossoming honeysuckle, I’m trialing these suet blocks.  So far, however, they are not at all tempted by the, preferring to stick to the fat balls.  I’m think maybe I need to give the birds a bit more chance to discover them, or move the blocks elsewhere in the garden.  I’m hoping when the bird table arrives, I can place the blocks on it, and save my poor honeysuckle!

DSC_7042

DSC_7041 2
DSC_7527 2

I also placed a bird seed feeder outside, but again, the birds are not biting. Oddly, I’ve never had much luck when it comes to loose bird seed.  A few years ago, I was filling a seed feeder, when I spilled some on a now defunct garden table. I went inside to get something to clean it up, and in the few seconds I had turned my back, a family of squirrels appeared in the garden.  For a split second, I thought I was a Disney princess, and the squirrels had come to visit me in my fairy tale garden. Then I remembered how I spilled the bird seed.  I admit I was more than a little hurt that the fantasy didn’t pan out, and more than a little bit cross that at least 10 squirrels, came from nowhere to deprive the birds of their lunch.

I’m glad to say that the squirrels have not returned in such numbers, although we do get the occasional visit from a solo squirrel, one who I suspect keeps digging up my raised beds. But thanks to the neighbourhood cats, mainly stays out of the way on the roof tops.

While I hope that encouraging birds into the garden now, will encourage them to help me control the snail and slug population later in the Summer, I’m also doing this to help increase the local bird population. Some species have been declining for years, so every effort I make can only help them flourish.

I’m looking forward to receiving the bird table, and hopefully a bird feeding stand, currently on waitlist, and will review them, along with the bird food in due course.

This may not be a new year’s resolution in the true sense, but I’m glad that I’m actually doing something that will help the environment.  Far better than trying to be more healthy – that kinda went out the window yesterday morning when I ate 6 Spiced Blueberry Panacakes for breakfast, which I covered with icing sugar (not so bad on sugarless pancakes), vanilla yogurt (quite good) and half a bottle of maple syrup (ooops!).

Wait, blueberry is a super food right? Maybe I can still keep my ‘be more healthy in 20’ resolution then!

OK maybe not.