Butterfly Fence

Sue decided to dedicate a spot in the garden for butterfly friendly plants and other things that might attract a passing butterfly.  Of course this spot needed to be marked out and so the idea of the butterfly fence was born.  It’s a five panel fence where each panel is carved and painted.  I’d never done anything like this before so I wasn’t entirely certain how it would turn out.

Since I’m not much of an artist we hunted around the web looking for images to draw inspiration from (i.e. copy them).  Then I spent some time drawing them out on graph paper until we were satisfied.  The graph paper was so I could easily mark the panel with squares and copy the design that way.  As it turned out it was easier to sketch on the panels than I first thought so instead of the early designs being copied verbatim they ended being notes that I referred back to.

Four foot sq panels are not the cheapest things in the world so I went with OSB (the cheapest stuff you can get) and reasoned that with enough exterior paint than it should cope with the weather.  A slight issue with this wood is that it has a very rough surface, which means pencil lines often wander and the final finish looks best  from a distance.  A really long distance.

All this thinking and drawing probably took the best of six months as a background task, now it was time to do some ‘real’ work and get the jigsaw out.  At this point I noticed that all those nice tight curvy lines and right angles where going to be difficult to cut out.  Cue some slight reworking of the designs on the fly.

Here’s what some of the panels looked like


Finally it was painting time which took weeks; as I wanted to give them as much protection as possible.  Each side has three undercoats and two or three top coats of exterior paint.  Frankly I lost count at one point and some sides may have had more.  There was a lot of painting to do.

So after about a year of mucking about this is the finished article.



6 thoughts on “Butterfly Fence

  1. Very cute finished fence! If I were a butterfly I know I’d appreciate having it ‘marked’. Like your hypertufa projects too. Sorry they take so long to dry in Canada. Here in Texas they can dry in less than 24 hours (in the middle of summer)!
    See what I’m talking about: trulyunruhly.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks. I had a look at your projects, very interesting. We may not be able to dry ‘tufa in 24hours up here in Canada but if you look earlier in the blog we can trap snowflakes for all year round viewing!

  2. Wow, the snowflake capture was beautiful, and I am So wanting to try that sometime (as *if* we’ll ever get snow…). Winter and fall are great times of year but we do miss out on them here. Thanks for looking at my site. It’s funny – I often do plant my succulents very soon after the pots are made and I have never had trouble with any lime issues. I don’t use any fixatives however; just Portland cement, peat, and perlite. The engineer husband tells me that Portland cement does not contain lime.

      1. LOL, thanks, that could well be! I hope I don’t get turned in to the plant-version of PETA for cruelty to plants, but so far… so good. The sedum I tossed out into the lawn, judging it for a gonner, has taken root. Apparently they thrive on bad treatment.

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