Picket Fence Weblog

A little More Security
January 30, 2008, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter

I thought that I would touch on some more security features and products that shoppicketfence.com has.  I had been blogging about ponds and pond gardens, but today, here in western NY, it is freezing cold, windy, and snowy.  So, gardening, ponds, and lawn care are about the last thing on my mind.

At shoppicketfence.com there are more security products than just the camera that looks just like a flood lamp.  We also have a wireless driveway alarm, too.  This sends a signal to a transmitter that sounds an alarm, so you know if someone has pulled in to your driveway, or started up your walk. Many people like and use this product so they do not miss deliveries.  It’s great for businesses too.

There is also the Transonic Pro.  This is not so much a measure of security or alerts as it is to keep pests away, which is a kind of security.  The Transonic Pro can drive pests away from your garden, home, garage, or storage space.  It keeps small and large pests and rodents away for good.  I’ve heard of some folks who use this in the spring and summer for their garden and then use it for their garage and/or storage in fall and winter.  They really are multi-useful.

Just a few unique products from the QCI Direct

As always, Art.


Special Security
January 29, 2008, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, Links, yard fun

I heard a great story the other day and I felt compelled to share it.

A friend of mine lives in the suburbs.  He has quite a bit of land behind his garage and this is the fourteenth year in a row that he has had a garden.  Each year it has gotten bigger and bigger.  The last 4 years though, he was growing a lot of vegetables to can with.  He also makes different sauces and salsa’s throughout the year and makes gift baskets with his creations to give away at Christmas.  He spent years as a chef before owning his own business, so he knows his way around the kitchen.

Anyway, over the last four years, he noticed that a few vegetable would always be missing. Not every night or anything, just once in a while he would go back there to dig up a carrot or grab a tomato or onion, and notice that some of them were missing.  He couldn’t figure out what he was up against since no pest repellent seemed to be working. I suggested a special camera that looks just like a flood lamp.  It sends a video signal to your television so you can watch what types of animals are getting into your garden.

I know that most people use them for security against  criminals, but this is just an alternate use. Anyway, I talked my friend into buying one.  I even helped him set it up.  He called me a few days later, he had caught the animal red handed!  It turned out, his next door neighbor, an old man into his 90’s, was helping himself to whatever he felt like that day.  When asked, the man told my friend, “not to worry, he’ll keep an eye out” for whatever is stealing the veggies.  My friend said he didn’t have the heart to blame the man.  So now, once a week, he leaves a basket full of vegetables on the mans front door step, no matter what time of the year.  He has never had his garden raided since, and the old man has yet to say another word to him.

I wonder if he’s still “watching out” for the culprit.

As always, Art.

A small breakthrough
January 28, 2008, 11:37 am
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter, yard fun

Ok, I know in Western New York it is still winter, but we’re having a little bit of a warm up. In fact, it is supposed to be in the middle 50’s by tomorrow. It wasn’t all that warm this weekend, but it was sunny enough, and by gosh just warm enough, for the topsoil to thaw slightly. I decided to go up to camp and make sure everything was ok. I mean, as long as the weather’s good I may as well spend a little time there. It also got me out of chores around the house. Anyway, it was even warmer at camp then in the city. I thought that maybe I would measure out the are I was thinking for my new garden pond and place markers in the ground, surrounding it with twine, so I could see the shape of the pond.

So I put stakes in ground and set up the string and stood back to look at it. The shape was great. I could tell it was going to look natural. Since the ground was warm, I decided to plunge the shovel into the ground, just to see how many rocks were going to be in the soil. Since the camp is so close to the river, it’s mostly sand for the first foot or two, and after that its actually not all that bad. Sparse large rocks posed a problem but they were easy enough to cast aside. Before I knew it, I had almost dug the pond out.

About half of the pond is already dug out. It’s a lot easier than I thought. My pond is only going to be about 7 x 12 feet, and about 3 feet deep, so it’s not all that large. But the ground, it is still partially frozen, but because the river is close to the lake, it wasn’t frozen all the way, which actually made it easier, I think. I realized that I had spent most of the day digging, it only took a few hours to dig half out. I stopped though, and cleaned up and headed for home. It’s really made me excited for spring, to have a new project ready for me when the sun comes out and the snow quits for good. It is a small breakthrough, and it sort of cured those winter blues a little, plus, there is no turning back now, I have to put a pond in. Unless I want to return in a few weeks and fill it back in. Which dosen’t seem likely. I’ll keep you up to date on what my next step is, which as of now, I’m not sure of.

In the meantime, check out some of the fun spring categories at shoppicketfence.com. Pond, lawn and garden, and patio, deck, and pool are some of my favorites.

As always, Art.

Car Talk
January 28, 2008, 9:22 am
Filed under: Links, Winter

So, how is your car holding up in the cold weather? My car is 8 years old, going on 9. It’s a lower end car (chevy prism), but has served me well through the years. I would love a new car, but since that is not going to happen anytime soon, I need to take care of the one I have. Besides regular oil changes and keeping the tires properly inflated, I also strive for safety. I recently bought the Porta Jump to have on hand to jump start my car. If I was stranded with a dead car battery, I would have no idea how to jump start it. The Porta Jump stores in your glove compartment until needed. You just plug it into your cigarette lighter, wait for the green light and start it up. No more trying to figure out which cable goes where or relying on another car or another person! Other handy car accessories I have from Picket Fence include Tire Minders. These go over your existing valve cap and change color, alerting you when your tires are not properly inflated. Last but not least, I have the blind spot mirror so I can see what I would normally not be able to. Drive safe this winter and beyond! Until next time… Ann 🙂



“Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.” – Erma Bombeck


More about Garden Ponds
January 24, 2008, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, yard fun

I have been searching around for more articles and blog spots about garden ponds.  It’s been really great.  There are some truly fascinating stories out there about individuals who built their own ponds, or folks who are trying to build their own garden ponds, as I am.  It’s nice to see a community of people out there who are true DIYers (Do It Yourself-ers).  I guess that probably comes from upbringing, or maybe just the quest for knowledge and pride.

I have finished designing where I want my pond and what shape I want it to look like.  Its going to be a small oblong oval shape.  I made it so it was not completely oval, it has some strange curves to it.  I tried to make it look as natural as possible.  I’ve started looking for liners, which is a technicality, because I’m more into what is going around it and how I am going to finish the overall design.  I know I am going to put a bird feeder close by, possibly a fishing boy, and maybe even a flamingo.  I’m not sure that I’ll be able to fit all that in the small space that I have designed, but I will try.

I’m going to put rocks up on one side, and then let the grass come up on the other.  I’ll probably place a lawn border or maybe a fence there, to keep the grass a few inches away.  I hope it attracts some local wildlife, which everyone tells me is one of the best benefits of having a garden pond.  I’ll write more when I get more decided.

As always, Art.

A Simply Amazing Garden Addition
January 21, 2008, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Garden, pond, yard fun

As most of you know, I love to garden. It is a joy of mine to plant and grow, and to use my fresh vegetables and herbs in cooking. I am learning the art of canning and freezing too, in order to provide myself with my own brand of veggies throughout the winter as well. It’s a great way to save money and provide yourself with good food.

But up until just recently I have always planted my garden for utilitarian purposes and left little room for aesthetics. I’m not much for growing flowers, which are naturally aesthetic and eye pleasing, so I wasn’t sure how to make my garden look more like an oasis. I showed some friends pictures of my garden and was partially confused when someone suggested adding a pond. My response was that there wasn’t a pond near my garden. I told them that the body of water they were seeing was the Chaumont River. They then explained to me that a garden pond was mostly decorative and could be easily installed by using simple landscaping techniques. I decided that I would do some research into this and write a blog each time I have some new information and every time I take a step forward in the development of my pond.

The first step is designing how you want your pond to look.  It is not going to do me a lot of good to go out to camp with a shovel and start digging one now, since winter has officially set in and the ground is frozen.  But the other night I decided to draw up what the area looks like around my garden.  I made it rather official and used graph paper to get size as accurate as possible. I’m not quite sure of the size as of yet, but I do have the basic shape down and where it is going to be placed in my garden.  It’s a good idea to start planning for these ventures now, so when spring comes and you are ready to get started, all the kinks have been previously worked out.

There are hundreds of great websites out there that can help you plan your pond and garden, and the more research I do, the more of them that I dismiss for not being accurate.  But I have found of few that have piqued my interest, I just haven’t finished going through them all and checked all their sources.  But I have found myself getting excited about this project.  There are some awesome products at Shoppicketfence.com for  ponds. Reviewing products like these can really help you decide what you want your pond to look like.  I will be researching how to build one of these soon, and I will post my findings as soon as I know more.

As always, Art.

garden pond

Containing Winter’s Worst
January 21, 2008, 11:03 am
Filed under: Links, Outdoor Enthusiasts, Winter

Cleaning my house takes about 2 hours. It’s a job I’m not particularly fond of, so if I can find things to reduce that time, I’m all for it. This year I made a vow to take my shoes off and leave them by the door. This has made a world of difference. It keeps the mud and muck outside where it belongs. No more constant mopping up the grime left by dirty, melting snow and slush. These Shoe Covers are also good debris busters. They slip right over your shoes. I also this Boot & Glove Dryer to keep boots and shoes dry. Less drips means less cleaning. Spring is 9 weeks away so don’t get discouraged by the cold, dark days – sunshine and milder weather is on the way!

Until next time… Ann 🙂

“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”