Chicken wire is the answer! (maybe)

A new plot brings new challenges (I was going to say enemies, but that seems too fierce) The latest was discovering that magpies and crows will peck at anything that comes through the soil.  This included my peonies, rhubarb and tulips.  Swift action was needed.  At plot 34, the challenge was the ninja pigeons who would line up and watch silently from the tree line as I planted young brassicas but secure netting would keep them out.  That was just Hitchcock-esque bravado; this is sassy wings-on-hips-watcha-ya-gonna-do pecking.

I googled wire cloches, to discover that Burgeon and Ball is the only UK supplier and £16.95 per cloche seems steep, even to protect my peonies.  Pinterest came to the rescue, with a dozen easy-peasy make your own chicken wire cloche pins.  It was bone-chillingly cold and I had two days off work; what’s a girl to do but buy a roll of chicken wire, pointy end pliers and wire snippers?

There are several ways to go about making a wire cloche.  I used a terracotta pot as my template for diameter.  I cut each roll in half, giving a height of about 12″.  The tricky part was to form a nice even dome.  I experimented:

  1. Get son to cut out a circle-like shape to fit top of cylinder.  This worked well but did produce a cylinder shaped cloche.
  2. Squish sides together, snip out the excess and form a dome-like shape.  This reduces the height considerably and is quite hard on the fingers.
  3. The middle ground between 1 and 2.  Gently push in the top of the cylinder and cut out a circle shape slightly smaller than the hole.  Weave the wire ends together.  This produces a pleasing, slightly domed cylinder.
Cylinder and stubby domed cloches

I was too engrossed to take photos of the process, but I need two more so I’ll make more of an effort next time – if you would find that useful and/or interesting?

I had some perfectly servicable and functional cloches, but frankly they looked plain and Pinterest has some lovely examples of ‘pimped’ cloches (who knew!)  Back to B&Q for some 40mm wooden cupboard knobs and a few Cuprinol sample pots. Oh what fun;)  but then disaster, the screws are far too long – designed to go through the thickness of a drawer front – duh!  Off I went to Screwfix for some shorter screws.  They could have sold me a 100 25mm and I’d have been happy but instead the nice man said “madam, these are crop bolts, you cut them to size”  Now, being a short female, I’m always on the alert for elbow grease type jokes in such establishments so the nice man took the screw/bolt between two pliers and snapped to size.  A miracle and surely the best invention since sliced Hovis. I left happy, educated and richer.


Here is the finished, mismatched and quirky set of 6.  My son thinks funky cloches will alienate my plot neighbours – if you were my neighbour, what would you think?  Answers on a postcard….