Using Birdhouses for Garden Architecture

Once while browsing ebay I discovered these birdhouses and I gotta say I’ve become addicted. I now have 5 dotting my property, and I’ve given 3 as gifts. These are made by a small business and while they aren’t cheap, at around $80-$100, they are a good deal for the money I think. I’ve seen nearly identical versions of these in one of those luxury home décor catalogues for as much as $300. They make a variety of models but my favorite is a single story 4 unit model, so there are 4 units inside the house, with an opening on each side. This means that my cost is down to around $20 a unit which is much more feasible. I know, $500 for birdhouses seems a bit steep, and admittedly it might not be in everyone’s price range. However, even one looks good and you don’t really have to be obsessed with birds to put up nice birdhouses like these. Sure, I like birds, I like how they eat bugs, but my feelings towards birds hardly justifies these houses. Rather, I buy the houses for the sake of the houses themselves. Even if no bird ever uses them (but they do, my most recent one was occupied within 48 hours), I love these houses because of their style. Every garden needs more than just plants, it needs some type of architecture. An arbor, a bench, a statue, a brick wall, something. These birdhouses provide that something for me. I live an English cottage style house that is white with brown trim and I have a white privacy fence. These birdhouses come with 3 coats of exterior white on them and cedar shingles on the roof (copper is available for extra). I paint 4×4 posts white, sink them into the ground, and paint the roofs brown to match my house. They look great. Of course one of the posts has a feeder attached to it, another one has a clematis I’m training up it. I’ve also screwed hooks into the bottom of a couple for hanging those little disposable bird treats. All told I like my setup, and the birds seem to too, nearly every unit in my yard is currently occupied. The maker of these birdhouses as I said is a small business. They sell through their website, forthebirds.net, but also through ebay occasionally (I assume when they’re overstocked). The ebay prices also seem to be about 20% less. If your garden doesn’t jive well with the formal feel of these bird houses, try getting crafty ones. If you go to any craft fair you’re bound to run into someone selling interesting bird houses, just remember to think of them as garden art as much as a home for birds.

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