Revitalizing my Garden Swing: The Squirrel Dilemma

garden swing cover

Making a cover for the swing

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I made a cover for my swing a few years ago after one too many years in the sun and rain. It looked great for a couple of seasons, but last July a nesting squirrel started taking it apart. The soft cotton cording was the first to go. Mama squirrel returned to remove the rest of the upper corner and at that point the cover was beyond repair. Originally I thought I would sew a new cover, but omit the nest-worthy piping. Apparently the poly fill is just as appealing. They’ve been making off with that for the last month as well.

garden swing damage

The squirrel folded back the corner, then chewed through the piping

garden swing exposed stuffing

My half-hearted attempt at covering the swing with a bright shower curtain

My neighbor saw the squirrel race through his yard with a mouthful of white batting last month and thought the squirrel was foaming at the mouth. We had a good laugh over that one. Last week I found a small scrap of the pink fabric used for the piping underneath the orange tree. We now have two squirrel’s nests in the tree in addition to the ‘condo’s going up in our neighbor’s tree.

swing stuffing and blanket

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse

So, what do I do with the swing? At this point, I need to replace the stuffing and make a new cover. I’m reluctant to spend money on the higher-quality outdoor fabric, only to have it shredded once again, but anything cheaper will fade quickly, so that doesn’t seem like a good use of money either. I did provide a nice offering for their nest last year, but it wasn’t enough. They took all the leftover piping, the strands of yarn, part of the swing upholstery and the batting.

What would you do?

2015 Squirrels in the garden

Mischievous and cute

10 thoughts on “Revitalizing my Garden Swing: The Squirrel Dilemma

  1. They are greedy little buggers and will take everything you put out. You almost have to have metal and cart the cushions in and out. I tried that too. If I forgot to put the cushions away, the next day they were chewed. they even ate the canopy cover, the little dickens. I tried putting cayenne pepper on the swings and cushions. Didn’t slow them down. If someone out there has a good idea, I’m all ears…and eyes.:)

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  2. I am so tickled by Marlene’s answer there is nothing more to add! Obviously it is hard metal or yukky plastic [boo-hiss!] or you keep sewing and supplying nesting materials….. Looking forward to hearing of any resolution though šŸ™‚ xoxo

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  3. I’m afraid I have no ideas Alys. We have a dark green plastic barrel with a tight lid for storing our hammocks in the summer, so maybe that is the only answer – to put the cushioning away when you go indoors! I do hope you can solve the problem. šŸ™‚

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  4. Are there falconers or hawkers in your neck of the woods? Bringing one to the neighborhood for some hunting would take care of things. I know that may seem mean, but it’s the only thing that’s made our courtyard habitable–A big, beautiful red tail hawk took the squirrel population down to a minimum. Having a dog in the yard for a few days might help as well.

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  5. I vote you hire a beefeater to stand guard of the lawn furniture. But maybe you can retitle him a squirreleater.
    Poor, Alys. This is a sad way to thank one of the greatest examples of Mother Nature personified. I think we campaign to do some ingratitude shaming of those creatures.
    Yeah, the beefeater and societal pressure to conform. That’s the best I’ve got. šŸ™„

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  6. LOL, a Beefeater sounds grande. Could you go buy the cardboard Chris Pine and stand him on your patio near the swing. He’d be easy on your eyes and maybe the squirrels would think there was someone standing there. I’ve seen these motion sprinklers that are to deter cats from the garden or Canada Geese from the lawn šŸ˜‰ They are activated by motion thru a laser beam. But maybe you can’t do that because of water use. You can also buy fake plastic owls for your garden to deter rodents, maybe check your local hardware store. Or how about a bunch of colourful ribbons dangling from the canopy? When they blow and twist in the breeze, it would mimic movement and maybe that’d scare them off. PS, secretly, we both know they’re cute-paw-2T’s šŸ˜€ xoxox

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  7. You know, I’ve not had this problem because my outdoor cushions are inside the screened in porch. BUT with the new un-screened porch coming soon, I’ll be sure to bring the cushions inside at night.
    Wish I had a better solution!

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  8. We have cats that go outside during the day and very few squirrels hang around–would you like me to send you a cat or two? Your photos really show you cute they are–is one a black squirrel?!

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  9. Pingback: Swinging into Action | Gardening Nirvana

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