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9th July 2019

How to Prevent Birds From Ruining Your Plants

Robin on a branch - how to prevent birds from ruining your garden

You know the feeling; you’ve worked so hard to build and plant a garden. Lovingly tended the delicate little shoots, watched them flower and blossom into tall, elegant shoots bearing precious fruit and then a feathered little mooch comes rocketing down out of the sky, eyeing your labour as a free snack.  But how do you stop the little feather-brains from snatching your crops? Well, you poor frustrated farmer, read on, friend. Read on.

Moving Objects and Noise

Either of these is a good idea, but after a while, birds can get used to one or the other, dismissing it as harmless. The key to making them work is to combine them into one big distraction. Put up pinwheels or shiny CDs as a visual deterrent and back them up with a noisy radio or wind chimes. Even better, if you’re able to occasionally swap out the visual cue with another or change its position, the irregularity of the distracting object will continue to disconcert the little pests. This will make them more reluctant to swoop down into your garden.

Plastic Predators

The only kind of bird you can likely expect in your garden are small ones like robins, finches or pigeons. These birds are prey items for larger birds like falcons and owls. You can use this to your advantage by acquiring a fake owl or other bird of prey as a decoy. You can find these at any hardware store. Some models even move and make noise, further spooking your little friends. It’s advisable to place the decoy in a place where it’s easy to reach, since moving it around from place to place simulates a live animal and increases the deterrent effect of the item.

Terror Eye Balloon

This is arguably the best method for dealing with unwanted pests. The terror eye balloon is the best of all worlds, providing a source of fear and nerves for birds that moves and shifts all on its own. Birds can see in color, so the more outlandishly colored the balloon, the better a visual aid it becomes. They’re usually large yellow balls with red and blue bulls-eyes printed on them, but it is possible to make your own version at home. They’re a little bit unnerving to look at, so making your own could definitely be up your alley if they freak you out more than the birds do. If you need help finding a balloon or something similar, check out the variety of bird scaring products on BirdBusters. They have a great selection for any discerning gardener.

Netting Framework

This is a classic method relying on irrigation tubing and specialized bird netting stretched over an arch-like framework poised over your garden. Most nets are made of strong polypropylene, which is lightweight enough that it won’t sink on its own weight. It can be anchored down with most any kind of weight like rocks or even clamping it down. Fortunately, you have some time after planting to get it set up, as most birds aren’t interested in your crops until the produce starts to appear. Netting can also inhibit you, however, so plan accordingly.

Other Animals

If you have a dog, make him earn his keep. Sure, he can’t guard the garden 24/7, but whenever you’re outside to watch him, he can act as his own deterrent for the garden, chasing away any winged intruders looking for lunch. Not just dogs, either. Cats are a classically excellent source of bird hunters, though there’s always the risk of your cat actually catching the animal.

We’re willing to bet you don’t want to hurt the little pests, so with a little research, you can learn all kinds of different ways to keep them out of your hard-earned rewards. Birds are easy enough to scare and with a little innovation, it’s possible to keep them out entirely. Experiment and figure out what methods work best for your situation and the kinds of scavengers you wind up with.

This is a collaborative post

Why Isn’t My Home Selling?

home not selling

You can feel like you’ve tried everything you possibly can, done everything by the book, and yet sometimes your house still won’t budge off the market. Selling and moving on is stressful enough, without the wait for your home to sell going on for a lot longer than expected, and you having to sit and twiddle your thumbs and wait for someone to finally put in an offer. Sometimes it can just be hard luck, but if you’re in this situation, have you actually sat and considered why your home might not be selling as quickly as you’d like? It’s very easy to sit there and blame the estate agents you’ve chosen, and the housing market of today, but these aren’t always the biggest reasons why your house may not be selling. Below are some of the most common reasons behind properties ending up stuck on the market for a long time.

The Exterior isn’t Selling it

Have you ever heard the expression, “never judge a book by its cover”? Of course you have. Well, in regards to selling your home, ignore this nugget of advice entirely. Of COURSE buyers judge a book by its cover (or a house by its exterior) when they’re coming to view it, and if the outside of your home and your front garden are looking a little tired or untidy, chances are they’ll have made their minds up before even stepping in to view the rest of your home. So don’t sell yourself short like this, do something about it.

A great place to start is by simply tidying the front garden. Give your lawn a trim and a treatment, get your hedge looking shapely, paint your fence and plant some colourful flowers. While you’re at it, if you have a garden gate, make sure it’s well painted and oiled. There is nothing less welcoming than struggling to even step foot on the property because of an old, stiff gate, so make sure this isn’t the case with yours. Adding a lick of paint to your front door and a welcoming doormat on the step can just add the cherry on top too. Remember, the people approaching your home are probably excited to be looking at what their future could be, so encourage that to continue by giving it a warm and welcoming feel!

The Pictures Aren’t Representative of the Truth

With the internet and estate agent websites being one of the biggest forms of property advertisement nowadays, chances are no matter who you’re selling your home with, there’ll be photographs of the property online. If these photographs are the issue, this could be one of two things:

  1. The photos are not good quality, and therefore don’t show your home off to its full potential and won’t catch the eyes of homebuyers.
  2. The photos are good but are completely unrepresentative of what your home actually looks like when people come to view it.

If your problem is the first one, there are several photography tips available to you online, so there’s really no excuse for not getting the best pictures that you possibly can – and if you’re really struggling, consider hiring a professional. As long as you’ve considered lighting, angles, and used a good quality camera you can’t really go wrong if you follow an online guide. Oh, and make sure your home is clean and tidy too!

Which brings us to the next crucial point. If your problem is the second one, in that the pictures themselves are fabulous quality and make your home look lovely, but when people come to view them, this is really just down to carelessness. There is nothing more frustrating for a budding property buyer than false advertising, so make sure that they aren’t expecting something you’re not delivering. It can be exceedingly difficult if you’re still living in the property, but if your home is pristine and well lit in your pictures ensure that it is when people come to view it too. Even if it’s unachievable to keep it like this all of the time, make sure that it’s returned to this state before viewings. You even have the pictures for reference!

It’s Not a Fair Asking Price

If in relation to the rest of the market your home is above the average asking price, this could be a big reason why it’s not being taken off the market. If there’s one thing that people can not stand, it’s being overcharged unfairly, when they could get a better deal elsewhere.

If you’re concerned about this, confer with your estate agent, and if they’re still adamant, consider looking elsewhere. Remember that this is your sale, and you owe them no loyalties – it’s a business transaction and nothing else. If I wanted to find out what my house was worth, I would do my research and consider getting it valued by not only estate agents, but alternative companies out there too. After all, they’re more often than not, a lot cheaper!

This is a collaborative post

I See You – Book Review #26

I bought I See You by Clare Mackintosh on Audible a couple of weeks ago when they were having a sale.
I’m getting used to listening to books now and I enjoy being able to work on my crafts while listening to a book 🙂

I’m still reading the 3rd Game Of Thrones book. I only get to read a few pages every night but I’m happy because I’m taking my time and enjoying the experience.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make…

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. It’s the first I’ve read by Clare Mackintosh and it won’t be the last.

I liked the main female protagonists, Zoe, the victim and Kelly, the policewoman. We hear the story from these two and also from the ‘stalker’.
There were a couple of twists, one I saw coming and one which I totally didn’t!

To enjoy this book I do think you need to take it as is and not think how it would play out in reality. It wouldn’t really make sense for someone to set up the kind of website the criminal is running for a start and the perpetrator’s reasons for adding Zoe to the website are a bit poor.

I’m really looking forward to reading I Let You Go by the same author. I’ve just downloaded it on Audible and will be starting later today 🙂

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 26 books read

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