How to Build a DIY Garden Fountain

How to Build a DIY Garden Fountain - Greenwood Hardware

A fountain in your landscaping is an excellent way to add a little beauty to your yard as well as a great way to attract birds and butterflies. Fountains can be adorned with pretty flowers and floating baubles for added beauty. If you have been dreaming of sitting next to your very own fountain in your backyard, now is the time to make it happen. You can build your own garden fountain this weekend. Head to Greenwood Hardware and pick up what you need to build your fountain. It is so rewarding to build something beautiful with your own two hands. Your friends and neighbors will be asking you how you managed to make something so awesome!

Fountains

You only need a few actual materials to make your fountain. It will really depend on the type of fountain you are looking for. Some of the more common types are the bubbling urn or pot fountains. These are incredibly simple to make and can be placed nearly anywhere. The fountain is basically self-containing so you don’t need to worry about digging a large hole for a pond unless that is the kind of water feature you are going for. There are literally hundreds of different ways you can create a fountain to suit your own particular landscaping style.

We are going to include two different ways of creating a backyard fountain. Keep in mind; you can tweak these designs to suit your needs. Make them bigger, smaller or more intricate as you see fit.

Pot Fountain

Materials:

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Steel mesh wire (about 1 square foot)
  • 1 Ceramic pot (size should be tall but no larger in circumference than the bucket)
  • 1 shallow pot/bowl that will fit inside large pot
  • Silicone
  • Fountain pump
  • Tubing (40 inches should be adequate, but it will depend on the height of your large pot)

Instructions:

  1. Dig a hole deep enough to place a 5-gallon bucket. The rim of the bucket should be even with the ground.
  2. Place the fountain pump into the bucket with the tube attached and leading out of the bucket.
  3. Place the mesh piece over the bucket opening. You will likely need to use wire cutters to make a hole big enough to pull the pump tube through.
  4. Insert the tube into the bottom of the largest pot. There should be a drainage hole.
  5. Place the large pot over the mesh with the tube going into the pot.
  6. Squeeze a line of silicone around the upper rim of the large pot.
  7. Place the shallow bowl inside the larger pot with the tube going through the drainage hole in the shallow bowl. The tube may need to be cut so it is flush with the opening in the shallow pot.

Allow the silicone to dry overnight and your fountain will be ready for use. You can put stones around the bottom of the pot to hide the bucket and make it look more natural. Fill the bucket with water (through the mesh grate) and turn on your pump. You have just created a work of beauty for your yard.

Bowl Fountain

This is probably the simplest fountain you can make. It involves very little work on your part.

Materials:

  • Large outdoor pot in a bowl shape (sizes vary)
  • Fountain pump

Instructions:

Place the bowl in the area you choose and insert the pump into the bowl. There is no need for a reservoir or tubing with this design. The pump will create an air stream that will bubble the water up, creating the look of a fountain. It is truly a no fuss no muss fountain. You can add rocks or flowers around the fountain to make it blend into your landscaping.

Your backyard fountain will offer you a place to unwind after a long day. The gurgling water is very soothing and will effectively drown out other sounds in the neighborhood. Head on into Greenwood Hardware and pick up what you need to create your own serene spot in your yard. And if you have any questions, we are here for you. Come on in, or contact us online today!

Compost Days Success

Thanks to everyone who participated in Compost Days with us!

Cedar Grove Compost Days just ended and with our help Cedar Grove donated 495 bags (or equivalent yardage) to their “The Big Give” campaign, just from our sales of Cedar Grove Compost’s Buy 2 get 3rd free sale.  The designated yardage will be donated to our local community and will grow veggies for low income families, community gardens and homeless shelters. Thank you all our valued customers.

When you get, Cedar Grove gives and the community receives!

Willows chick story:

I wanted to carry chicks at Greenwood Hardware, but just to have them in the store and promote a healthy egg option.  My husband and daughter wanted them but I was firm in the fact that I did NOT want to care for them at home, more critters to clean up after and more chores to do.

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Buff Orpington chick, Blondie, hanging out in the sun

 

The moment the chicks arrived in the first batch on March 10th, I started to crumble.  Within a week we had plans to build a coup.  A week later I took 4 girlies home.  I have spent the funniest and sweetest times since then watching their silly antics.  The new batch arrived and I knew I needed a couple more to add to my flock.

The coop is almost done and my girls are so happy (along with my family).  Raising chicks has become a family activity that we do together, and constantly chat about what said chick did today that made us laugh.  

I love that I can get all the things we need right here at Greenwood Hardware.  From informational books, Scratch and Peck feed, to 2×4’s for coop creation, the store has it.  ALSO after researching in depth, I have a coop that requires minimal upkeep, throwing my “clean up after” comment out the window with the compost that I’ll be making from my coop leftovers.

Having the girls in the store has created a great environment to foster conversation with the many families that have come in to “see how big the babies have gotten today.”  We have watched many families, just like mine, “give in to the cuteness” and start flocks of their own with the community support of friends, neighbors and those adorable cheeping faces.

Bring on the eggs!

Warmly,

Willow

Tips and Tricks for Raising Chickens

Tips and Tricks for Raising Chickens - Greenwood Hardware

Raising chickens is a rewarding experience that the whole family can appreciate. With rising food costs and concerns about food safety, it is reassuring to know exactly where your food is coming from. If it is your own backyard, that is even better. There are several benefits to raising your own chickens. Some people do it for the eggs, others do it for the meat and if you would rather not eat the eggs or meat birds, chickens make excellent cultivators, fertilizers for the garden and control pests and weeds.

You can pick up your new baby chicks at Greenwood Hardware. If you like to be a little different from the rest, check out the Araucana chicks that are available in the store. These gorgeous chickens are unique and lay blue eggs. It is like Easter all year round without the hassle of dyeing the eggs!

If you are ready to start raising chickens or have already picked up some birds, you probably have some questions. These tips will help you raise a healthy flock.

Cleanliness

Chickens are messy critters—like most animals. You will want to keep up with the area they are going to be sleeping in, laying eggs in and spending the majority of their time in. The coop is where you will want to focus your cleaning on. Make sure there is plenty of fresh bedding in the roosting area and laying boxes. Chicken poop will start to emit a very strong odor if it is not cleaned out of the coop on a regular basis. If you smell something close to ammonia, it is definitely time to clean out the bedding and start fresh.

Pine shavings are an excellent material for spreading in the bottom of the coop. It absorbs the waste and keeps the odor down. The frequency in which you clean the coop will depend on the number of chickens you are keeping. Plan on adding fresh shavings at least once a week and doing a full clean out anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.

On a side note, fresh bedding in the laying boxes leaves you much cleaner eggs.

Feeding

Chickens are not picky eaters and will eat almost anything. Kitchen scraps can be tossed out to the chickens for them to enjoy, but be careful what you throw out. The following list is some things you can safely feed your chickens. Some folks will feed their chickens cooked meat bits, but it is really personal preference.

Do Feed:

  • Leftover salad ingredients
  • Bread (no moldy bread)
  • Grains
  • Leftover veggies
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruits
  • Baked potatoes
  • The crumbs from the bag of chips
  • Scrambled eggs (yes it seems odd, but eggs are high in protein, which is good for layers.)

After dinner, simply scrape your plate into the chicken bucket and toss it out to the chickens. These tidbits are just little extras and in no way make up a balanced diet for your chicks. This is one way you can keep from wasting food!

Don’t Feed:

There are a few things you shouldn’t scrape into the chicken bucket.

  • Potato peels
  • Garlic and onion
  • Avocado skins or pits
  • Raw meat
  • Greasy foods

Treats

Along with their regular diet of pellets and scratch grains, you can give your chickens extra treats to give them a little protein boost that will help encourage egg laying.

  • Yogurt
  • Oyster shells
  • Meal worms

Chickens require very little extra work to take care of. They will go about their business and do not require a great deal of attention. A visit to the coop a couple of times today to give food, refresh the water supply and collect the eggs is all that is needed. They are really a very inexpensive pet to keep and do not typically require vet bills or expensive medicines and chickens can most definitely become pets. They will know who you are and will likely rush to greet you in the morning. The Araucana breed is notorious for being very friendly as well as excellent egg layers.

You can find everything you need to get started raising chickens in your own backyard at Greenwood Hardware. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you choose exactly what you need for your baby chicks.  And if you have any questions, we are here for you. Come on in, or contact us today!

How to Make and Install A Window Box for your Home

How to Make and Install A Window Box for your Home - Greenwood Hardware

Window boxes are the perfect way to bring spring blooms up to eye level. When you look out your windows, it is virtually impossible to see directly below your own window, which is where many people tend to plant flowers. In fact, you would have to be outside to see the blooming spring flowers. Why not give yourself the best of both worlds and construct window boxes to place some pretty flowers in? The task is fairly easy and can be a great way to spend a weekend afternoon. You can even get the kids involved! You can find everything you need to build your own window boxes at Greenwood Hardware.

Materials Needed

  • Lumber
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain or exterior paint
  • 3 inch wood screws (optional if using nails)
  • Wood glue
  • Flowers of your choosing
  • 2 inch galvanized nails

Tools Needed

  • Circular saw (optional if using precut lumber)
  • Hammer
  • Electric sander
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • Paintbrush
  • Level

You can skip the sawing and buy lumber that is already cut to the right length for your window box if you would prefer. This is a much quicker, easier and often safer option for those who don’t have much experience using a saw.

Constructing the Box

There are several different methods of making a window box. Some folks who are a little more familiar with hand tools and such will knock these out in no time at all. Novice woodworkers will need to take a little more time getting used to working with wood.

  1. You will need 3 pieces of wood the same length as the window you will be placing the window box and 2 end pieces. Sand the wood with either an electric sander or by hand.
  2. Place wood glue along one side of the wood that will be the bottom of your box. Press a side piece against the bottom piece and allow it to dry for a few minutes.
  3. You can use screws and a drill to hold the box together, hammer and nails or a nail gun. Once one side is secure, repeat the process for the other side of your box.
  4. Glue the end pieces on and each end and either hammer or drill the wood together.
  5. Using a small bit on the drill, drill 3 holes along the bottom of the box. The holes should be evenly spaced apart to allow for drainage.
  6. Stain your wood box with a water resistant stain. You could also paint the box with an outdoor paint to match the exterior of your home.
  7. Mount the box under the window of your home with several screws. You will need to do a little research before you mount the box to determine what kind of material your exterior walls are made with. If people will be walking under the boxes, make sure they are secure and will not fall. When the boxes are filled with dirt and plants, they will become very heavy.

Finished Product

Your window box is now ready for some gorgeous plants and flowers! Head to Greenwood Hardware and choose the perfect blooms to compliment your home. With the flowers being so close to the window, the floral aroma will be plentiful. Choose wisely. Many people also choose to grow herbs in their window boxes outside the kitchen. Herbs are hardy and plentiful. When cooking, all you will have to do is open your window and pluck off a few fresh herbs to add zest to any dish!

If you are ready to make your own window box, head to Greenwood Hardware and pick up your supplies. And if you have any questions, we are here for you. Come on in, or contact us online today!

How to Raise Chickens in Your Backyard

How to Raise Chickens in Your Backyard - Greenwood Hardware

If you have been considering raising chickens in your own backyard, now is the time to do it. Spring is the time to pick up a few chicks and begin to experience the joy of raising your own chickens. It is such an exciting adventure to watch the chicks grow into full grown hens who will lay fresh eggs for your family! There are some folks who raise chickens with the intent of learning a little more about sustainable living as well. No matter what your reasons, spring is here and so are the chicks at Greenwood Hardware.

Before you buy your chicks, you are going to need some equipment to make sure they grow up healthy and will be protected from predators like dogs, cats and other wildlife.

Coop

Your baby chicks, which will be full grown in about 6 months, will need somewhere to call home. A chicken coop can be made of many different materials. If you are handy with a hammer and nails, you can construct a coop out of wood. If you would rather not build your own, there are plenty of plastic options available at your local hardware store.

These plastic coops are aesthetically appealing and tend to look like a children’s playhouse. They are easily assembled and are very durable. Another bonus to these coops is the fact they are portable. You can move the coops around the backyard to give your chickens a change of scenery and fresh terrain to scratch. Many people who raise backyard chickens find the plastic coops are much easier to clean. A clean coop is essential to healthy chickens.

Your coop will need to include an enclosed area for the chickens to be outside. Chickens are excellent weed eaters and can clear a patch of land in a few weeks. If this isn’t your goal, you will need to move the outdoor enclosure around your yard to prevent the chickens from tearing up your lawn.

Feeders and Waterers

You will need to purchase a feeder for your chickens. The size of feeder you need will depend on the number of chickens you will be raising. You will also need to purchase a feeder designed specifically for baby chicks. As they grow older, they will graduate to the adult feeders. There are varying sizes and styles for you to choose from. The most common feeding systems hang from a hook or nail in the coop. This keeps the chickens from scratching dirt and debris into their feeder.

A watering system looks a lot like a feeder and can be hung or placed on a brick or some other platform. The size of the waterer will again depend on the number of chickens you will have in the coop. Look on the labels of the feeders at the hardware store. This will tell you the appropriate size for the number of chickens.

It is helpful to invest in the heated waterer now instead of this winter when you will really need it. Chickens must have a fresh water supply at all times. If the water becomes frozen, you will likely be unable to take off the top to fill it.

Feed

When you first take your baby chicks home from our hardware store, you are going to need only one kind of food. This is referred to as Chick Starter. It has all the important vitamins and nutrition your baby chicks need to grow into healthy adult chickens. Your baby chicks will need this for the first 2 months of their lives.

Once your chicks are at least 8 weeks old, it is time to graduate them to pellets. If you are raising chickens with the goal of having fresh eggs, you need to feed your hens a specialized food to encourage egg production. Layer pellets contain the higher calcium levels layer hens need.

Your chickens will also need scratch grains. This is what you can sprinkle on the ground for the chickens to scratch around. The feed is a mixture of grains that helps encourage the chickens to scratch. Laying hens need this to stimulate egg laying. There are also plenty of treats you can offer your chickens like meal worms and crushed oyster shells.

Bedding

Pine shavings will be needed to line the bottom of the coop. This helps absorb the droppings and cut down on the odor. It also makes for easy cleanup. Baby chicks will need a steady supply of fresh bedding to nest in. As they grow older, they will roost. The laying boxes will also need fresh bedding.

Heat

Your baby chicks are going to need to stay very warm in the first few weeks after you bring them home. The best way to do this is to hang a heat lamp in the coop.  The first 2 weeks of life the chicks will need a brooding area that is between 95 and 100 degrees. Over the next 3 weeks, you can start reducing the heat by about 5 degrees a week. A red heat lamp is best and will not over-stimulate the chicks. The heat should be in one area of the brooding area so the baby chicks can move away from it if they become too warm.

You can find everything you need to get started raising chickens in your own backyard at Greenwood Hardware. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you choose exactly what you need for your baby chicks.  And if you have any questions, we are here for you. Come on in, or contact us today!

The perfect beginner’s chicken book:

We’re getting more chickens April 21st!
Araucaunas are a very special and fun breed.  Often called “Easter Egg” chickens because of their varied and colorful eggs.

If you don’t have chickens but are considering them, we HIGHLY recommend reading “Chickens In Five Minutes A Day.”
Easy to read and simple enough for children; you can find out all the basics of owning chickens in an hour.

If you are uncertain, on the fence, or just want to know more, this is the book for you.  Put out by Murray McMurray Hatchery.  Raising chickens for almost a hundred years!

April’s Artist for Phinneywood Art Walk 4/11

patart

This month we’re featuring the work of local Phinneywood artist Pat Gallagher.
Art walk this month is Friday the 11th.  Come on in any time to take a look!

 

From his Artist Statement:

A lamp can just be a lamp, and that’s just fine.
But then, a lamp can be a dragon, a visitor from another planet, or a table top mushroom cloud.
A lamp can break out of the imagination, drive 10 miles over the speed of light, and illegally park half a century in the past, half a world away.
Show me the toaster that can do all that.

 

This is a sampling of three different styles I call Critters, Spacepunk, and Thermonuclear for the Home.

Little Green Dragon evolved from farm equipment – its tail is more than a century old. Unlike us, its parts are not all the same age.

Mururoa and Bikini, both South Pacific atolls that provided some well illuminated beach time for French and American nuclear test personnel, were carved from African padouk, aluminum, and the high copper brass of a vintage marine spotlight. The glass is vintage, too.

Arecibo and Tharsis hail from more humble beginnings – doorknobs, candleholders, and the stolen body parts of other hapless lamps that met their untimely end in my laboratory.

I live and work on Phinney Ridge. When I’m not dissecting marine spotlights or accidentally belt sanding my own hand, I’m a mechanical engineer and climber. If you have any questions about these pieces, feel free to contact me.

Pat Gallagher
PatGallagherArt@Yahoo.com
206.271.4153
http://patgallagherart.com/

We will be showing his work until the beginning of May.  Come on in!  Submit purchase inquiries directly to his email or phone.