In our modern world of industrial activity and technological aesthetics, people are becoming more and more drawn to the natural world. So when planning how to divide their property from the neighbors, consumers are looking past the chain link fence and going right to the garden center.
The idea of using trees and shrubs as enclosures or space demarcation is not a new one- hedges were used in 16th century Italian gardens to make lanes of travel within the garden, and hedgerows, which are simply lines of bushes or trees of the same species planted close enough for limbs to intertwine, have been in use in England for more than seven hundred years.
Hedges used as an alternative to fencing does more than simply functioning as property lines. They can cut wind and erosion to a minimum, block out noise from traffic, and help keep neighborhood kids and pets from running through your freshly planted rose garden.
Hedges also help to restore native plant life, which may have been dwindling because of construction and development. They also are a natural habitat for all types of insects, so you will hear songbirds early in the morning as they forage for breakfast. Financially speaking, a hedge fence is usually less expensive than chain-link, won’t rust and break, and rarely needs replacing.
If you’ve decided on using hedges as an alternative to traditional fencing, there are a few things to keep in mind before you go in search of shrubs to plant. First, commit to setting aside some spare time to work on maintaining your hedges after work or on the weekends.
Newly planted flowers or shrubs of any kind require a lot of attention while they spread roots and settle into their new homes. You may have to water them more often and perform a lot of routine maintenance, such as weeding out unwanted species and pruning plants that aren’t growing well. Just remember that the time you put into your hedge fence initially will come back to you in the way of a healthy and attractive landscape down the road.
Once you’re certain that you can provide the time and energy needed to start your hedge fence, you’ll need to do some research as to what your native plants and shrubs are. You don’t want to plant any kind of shrub that won’t survive your local climate.
Native plants- those that are found growing wild in your area- are best to use as a foundation to your hedge fence because they have already proven themselves, they’re robust and suited to the soil. Check with your local nursery to find the right foundation plant if you’re not sure about your area’s native plants.
The time has now come to plant your hedges for your fence. Keep in mind the advantages of the fencing you have chosen rather than the work you will have to do to put the fence together.
A little bit of planning now can save a headache later. Plan for the final, mature size of the shrub or hedge that you are planting, not how close you can get them right now, and plant ‘extra’ shrubs or flowers along the front or in between the row of foundation hedges, not in place of them.
Replacing a section of a hedge fence because of disease is one thing; having to buy a hedge to replace a plant that didn’t belong in the fence to begin with is quite another. More than likely you’ll never have to deal with replanting once the fence is established and growing well.