Northwest NEWS

April 29, 2002

Home & Garden

The Backyard Gardener

by Swend Trefethen
   Special to the Weekly
   Several years ago I rebuilt a shed-like building into a closed-in garden shed/greenhouse. It's about 6' X 20' with one south-facing retaining wall. On the north side I framed in a couple of double-hung windows and sided the rest of the wall with 15 mil. visqueen using lattice to hold it in place. The building already had a corrugated fiberglass roof, so except for the door I built, it was closed in.
   For all but four months of the year it makes a dandy shed and green house. I built a potting bench with some shelves underneath and some wire shelves above to hold flats and pots.
   On a March day when the sun comes out it will get up to 75 degrees in there. On an overcast day, it will get to about 65 not bad when the outside temp is 50.
   The other day when I walked in there to get some tools, a wren flew out from the lower shelf of the bench. I didn't think much about it until it happened again a day or so later.
   I searched on the bottom shelf and found some grass and leaves and thinking she was trying to build a nest, I brushed them out on to the floor.
   Two days later, I was back there and the same wren flew out of the same spot, but this time I saw where she came from.
   She came out of the hole in the side of an old box of 4-12-12 bulb fertilizer.
   I pulled the box out and lifted the two sides of the lids and there was the nest with the five eggs you see in the picture.
   I put everything back like it was. When I went in there a few hours later, she was on the nest, so no harm was done. I'll let you know when and how many hatch.