Friday, April 18, 2008

Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show Purchase

I know, I know it has been some time since I wrote about the Indianapolis F&P Show but I wanted to show you what I purchased while there. I bought two Purple Martin Houses. I have always wanted one of these so I took this opportunity to get a couple.

They came as a kit, all predrilled with screws provided. I thought they went together easily. The difficult part came when I had to paint them. Not that the painting was difficult, cleaning up my mess was the difficult part.

It was too cool to paint outside so I set up on the diningroom table to paint. I put cardboard on the table to protect it and went to painting. The bad part was that I didn't tape the cardboard to the table so when I scooted the Martin House to paint a different side the cardboard went over the edge and yes, you guessed, the paint can went to the floor. UGH... Luckily I was using white Latex paint. I dashed to get the dust pan. I scooped up all the paint I could and put it back into the can. Then I yelled for my Dearly Beloved to HELP. He got the carpet shampooer that we have and went over and over the area. With his diligence he got the paint out of the carpet. Thank you DB.
With that drama over I present to you our Purple Martin Colony. Ready and waiting for occupation. My DB had no hope for anything but House Sparrows to occupy these lovely little homes until we were sitting in the back yard yesterday when we saw 8 Purple Martins swooping above our garden. It was so exciting just seeing them in the area. I hope some of them take up residence here.

We had a 5.2 earthquake in our area this morning and the PM Houses are still standing so I guess they are anchored in the ground well.
Below shows the set-up that the people selling the houses displayed. I used this set up but with only two of the houses. The center post on our set up is going to have a weather vane that I have to place on it. I got the wrong fitting to screw it onto the post. Being the impatient person that I am I wanted the houses up before I went back to get the correct fitting. Besides I was a little leary of the weathervane being there. I am not sure if the PM's would find it acceptable in their space. We are anxiously awaiting new neighbors.


  1. Lisa, The purple martins obviously appreciated your hard work--cleaning up the paint and all!
    I am so glad you are ok. I just heard about the earthquake--I slept through it--and I thought it might have affected your area more than us.
    BTW, loved the blue jay watercolor on your other blog. You are so talented.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    As a former purple martin mentor, my advice to you would be to forgo the weather vane and add a pole for martins to perch on instead. Also if you could additional perching poles out from the roof of both houses, I believe you would have a much better chance of getting those purple martins to stay around. They're a very social bird and will spend hours just perched and preening their feathers and chirping with other martins on the perch. The martins I've had in the past fly out of their gourds every morning and sit atop my TV antenna tower. (anything you can do to discourage house sparrows will also help guarantee the success of your martin colony).
    Good luck as a purple martin landlord and I look forward to seeing future updates on your progress with these fantastic birds.

  3. Lisa,
    The purple martin houses look great! Glad to hear that the paint didn't ruin your floor. I'm such a clutz any project I do that can make a mess does.

    What did you think about that earthquake? I had just gotten up to get ready for work and for a split second thought it was the wind, but then felt AND heard the shaking. I knew immediately it was an earthquake, I lived in California for a couple of years about 20 years ago and have felt my share of earthquakes and tremors.

  4. Lisa, we just talked to T&T and they said you were okay. I was up and felt S up and made him sit with me awhile. I'm a big chicken I guess!

    The purple martin houses look great and I'm sure you will have 'renters'. How is the clean spot looking now? Have a good weekend!

  5. Hi Lisa,

    I wondered whether you felt the earthquake - what a way to start the day!

    There was a dilapidated martin house in place when we moved in, packed with English sparrows. We read that martins won't use the houses unless there's a large clear area around them with no trees taller than the house nearby. Ours had pecans and crepe myrtles looming next to it and was beyond repair so we took it down later that year.

    It sounds like you'll get martins in your pretty houses instead of sparrows!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Lisa, we felt that here in Noblesville too and I just felt another one about 11:30. Weird!

    I love your purple martin houses. What a treat for you if they choose your houses. I hope they do!

    I hope we are finished with this earthquake business too!

  7. Spilling that paint sounds exactly like something I would do. I am anxious to see if the birds will rent these new houses.

    I wondered if you felt the tremor.

  8. Dear Lisa,
    Glad you are okay! I was concerned for you when I learned of the earthquake.
    The Purple Martin Houses are lovely! How incredible Purple Martins already know where they can nest.
    My area has too many tall trees to have Martin houses. Glad you can have them in your yard. They are very beautiful birds.

  9. Lisa....I am loving this post so much. They are lovely, I do hope that the purple martins take up residence. No doubt you will let us know. That was a wonderful purchase.

    Hope that carpet is okay.

    Have a good weekend.

  10. Good luck with your Martin houses. We see Purple Martins but have never had any occupy the house we put up. There's probably something wrong with our location up on a ridge or with where we erected the house. I've also been told that the martins prefer having more than one house in the immediate area. If that's the case, then your duo should be ideal.

    (Sorry about your spilled paint. Sounds like something I'd do.)

  11. I have always wanted one of those houses! Good luck with yours.

  12. oh great that you put some purple martin homes up. Be sure not to allow the darn English sparrows to move in (you'll be sorry and so will all the songbirds in the neighbourhood). But if you get some purple martins or their cousins, the tree swallows -- LUCKY YOU! They are wonderful to have around.


  13. Lisa,

    I was glad to hear that you weren't affected by the earthquake... your new birdhouses look crisp and clean. I like their shape and the way you've got them installed. The Purple Martins must have been happy.

    Paint and my floor are familiar companions, unfortunately. In a few places, I now have scatter rugs artfully arranged over the scenes of the crime.

  14. My sister and her neighbor have erected a 12 space Martin house, have read the Stokes book, and are even playing the "Morning Song Martin CD" trying to attract a colony. :c) I hope they succeed, and that you do too Lisa! Beautiful houses for beautiful birds!

  15. Hello Lisa,
    I just tagged you, so please have a look in my blog. I hope you will be in :)

  16. Rose, I want to thank you for your kind words.

    Thank you Ruthie. We will put a perch on the top rather than the weather vane. There are some power lines not too far from these boxes so they will have plenty of places to perch.

    Karen, the earthquake was a very strange sensation. Of course I was still in bed asleep when it came through. I thought it was a tornado since we have those come through here more often. I had never "heard" an earthquake before. It roared as it went through here shaking the house like nothing has ever done before.

    Beckie, it is amazing how the spot looks ok. You couldn't tell unless you really look for it.

    Annie, I am aware that there shouldn't be trees around the houses. I took the picture so that you could see the pretty tree in the background. If I showed a different view you would see that there are no trees very close to it on one side and the other side is a vacant lot. So here is hopeing that they come back. Nothing is using the houses now.

    Robin, I am glad that you liked the Martin Houses.

    Thanks so much for your concern Sherry. All is well here.

    THanks Cheryl, I hope you have a good weekend.

    Teri I sure did feel the Quake and one very strong after quake.

    Thanks Marvin and Christine.

    Diane don't worry I will keep after the sparrows and starling if they dare to move in.

    Thank you Kate. I hope I don't have any more major paint disasters. It is good to know that you and several others have had similar experiences.

    Hi Jayne. I won't try the tape unless I don't have any luck. There are obviously Martins in the area. I just hope they move here.

    I will have a look Ewa.

  17. HI,

    Great information!!! It is really interesting to read your article.

    Most people paint their home as a routine part of maintenance and to keep up appearances with the neighborhood but if the paint is of poor agility or the work is poorly done, you defeat the entire purpose of the project. Anyone can paint but to do the job right takes a certain degree of talent so you don’t want to hire anyone that claims to be a painter until you check them out first. Whether you’re looking for someone to paint a single room or the entire exterior of your home you want to make certain you’re hiring a qualified Indianapolis painter.
    for the job.



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