- Author: Sharon L. Rico
Doing monthly maintenance at the Children’s Memorial Garden in Fairfield has been more enjoyment than labor. The volunteer Master Gardeners who participate, show up early on the appointed day, with their tools, always eager to begin the task at hand. Everyone finds a job from weeding, deadheading, raking leaves and removing debris. Often we talk and share plant information or discuss upcoming Master Gardener events. Occasionally, in silence, we listen to the hum of bees and observe dragonflies and damselflies as they zoom in and out between the plants. Earlier this year, we observed a crow and heard a meadowlark in the magnolia and arbutus trees behind the little garden.
It was listening to the sounds of the garden that gave me an idea. Why not add a birdhouse on a pole to the garden. It might become a home for the birds and would be a delight to the adults and children who pass by daily. My husband and I had a rustic birdhouse that was embellished with a western motif (metal horse head, stars and horseshoe). The pole we envisioned was something natural, not something perfect or man-made. When we found a seven foot long tree branch in the alley behind our house, it was exactly what we were searching for. After removing most of the branches and cleaning the trunk, the birdhouse was attached to the pole with glue and screws. One weekend we took the birdhouse on the branch to the Children’s Garden and dug a two foot hole to place and stabilize the pole. Not many people notice this addition as it blends into the garden like it has always been there.
As of this writing, there are no new residents in the birdhouse. Maybe the birds are unsure of the horse head significance on their potential nesting home. The birdhouse is standing guard over this tiny garden the Master Gardeners planted in memory of the children of Solano County who have passed away.