(click any photos to enlarge)
On a trip to New Hampshire a few weeks ago, I happened upon a yard sale that was just shutting down. I made a quick U-turn because this beautiful blue cage caught my eye... It's not vintage, and it's not in the greatest condition, but it was perfect for what I had in mind...
... so for a couple of dollars, this pretty cage came home with me! (I still can't believe it hadn't been scooped up early on in the yard sale!) Let me show you how it started out, and how I put everything together... Maybe you can learn from my (many) mistakes if you decide to make one of your own. I'm also going to list this on Susan's (Between Naps on the Porch) Met Monday. Be sure to visit her blog to see some amazing room-by-room transformations done on an antique home and to find a list of other bloggers with incredible before and after transformations!
Step 1 - Find a cage
Look past dirt.. (Picture it after it's been cleaned up!).
Step 2: Find a table or base (optional)
I got out a few of my garden/patio tables...
...and found one that was the perfect size for the cage to rest on.
Note: With the combined weight of wet plants and a garden statue (even a resin one), I wouldn't recommend hanging the birdcage as I don't think the cage/base attachment system is all that sturdy. I know with mine, I'd always be in fear of the bottom falling out and everything crashing to the ground on top of one of my little Chips (chipmunks) or Sammies (squirrels)!
Step 3: Choose your garden statue
I thought this rascally rabbit might look good in the cage (but as you can see from my first 2 photos, he didn't like living in a cage and was replaced with Mrs. Bird!!)
Here's where you can start learning from my mistakes (many of which you'll see in the following photos).
1) If your cage comes with a tray, remove it. That way, when you water your plants, the water will run out through the slide-out tray opening, rather than sitting in the tray (mine has since been removed, although not until after I took these photos)....
2) The same goes for any feeders or water cups. Remove them because, like the tray, water just sits in them after you water the flowers (again, mine were removed after taking these photos). After all, the end result should be a beautiful patio decoration, not a romantic mosquito breeding ground...
3) Since my cage had a large/tall base, I decided to place my garden statue on a suet feeder to raise it up and give it some height. Unfortunately, I didn't pay any attention to how tall that ultimately made the statue; therefore, after arranging all the flowers around it and getting ready to attach the cage to the base, the rabbit ended up being too tall for the cage (which meant taking everything apart to remove the suet feeder, and then starting all over again). So measure the height of your garden statue to make sure it will fit before arranging flowers all around it!!
Step 4: Start arranging your flowers
I decided to put trailing flowers in the four corners (I chose a petunia type flower called Calibrachoa, color Caloha Pink)...
Doesn't it look pretty against the blue base?
I then filled up the rest of the base with impatiens and double impatiens in an assortment of colors...
I left all flowers in their original containers, just snipping apart 6 packs or whatnot (if necessary) to make them fit, and then just placing them in the base. (I've done this in past years in other containers and have always had good luck as long as everything is watered on a daily basis... I'll let you know at summer's end how it worked on this project!!)
It was then time to carefully attach the cage to the base. I gently pulled the trailing flowers through the corners, first trying to do so with my hand reaching through the little cage door (which didn't go too well!) and then with the cage slightly tilted back before attaching it to the base... and that brings me to another HUGE mistake that I made - one that would have made things SO much simpler!
How did I not notice that this particular cage not only attaches at the base, but also has a 'lift off roof' that can be removed?????
If I had only know that, I would have arranged all the flowers (especially the trailing corner flowers) with the cage sides intact so that I'd only have had to attach the roof when done (rather than painstakingly being so careful not to crimp or crush any flowers while attaching the cage to the base)... I've never had a cage where the 'roof' was removable, so I'm guessing that's a more modern feature (I'm so used to the old vintage style birdcages)...
But in the end, it all worked out and I'm happy to report that Mrs. Bird is much more cheerful about living in the cage than Rascally Rabbit was. (The last I saw him, he was down in the yard hopping around after the pink flamingos!)
NOTE: Make sure that the cage door
is securely closed so that no poor
creature (bird, chipmunk, etc.) is
able to enter the cage through an
unsecured door, only to have
it close behind them, thereby
trapping them inside the cage.
(Okay, this is the second bold case 'warning' I've issued in this one little post [about a decorative bird cage, no less!!]... Blogging definitely promotes self-awareness and self-realization. As I read back through my post, I'm beginning to see why my girls call me "the worrier." It's clear I have earned that title and do, indeed, worry about every little thing - and to excess, I might add. A little worry is a good thing; it keeps us safe; but anything done to excess is not healthy and this is definitely something I need to work on!!! Okay, end of self-realization moment...)
We are having a major mess with all the oak catkins in our yard... Maybe I'll get some pictures of them to share with you in an upcoming post. I'll sure be glad when they're done falling!!
Wishing you all a lovely week!