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Frann Leach

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Organic Gardening:


Barrier Hedging


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If you are growing crops, you will probably need to take measures to exclude animals, even if only the two-legged variety. Fences and walls only work against the least determined of your uninvited guests. Keeping the others outside may require a bit of creativity.

Barrier hedging is an excellent solution, which adds interest and provides a habitat for smaller species to increase bio-diversity, while at the same time keeping burglars, deer and so on OUTSIDE.

Be aware that many of these plants are thorned or otherwise armoured, and if you have young children, tell them to keep away. After one or two brushes, it's unlikely they will continue to try and get past your defences, and your peace of mind knowing that intruders are kept out, and your children in, may well be worth a couple of tearful episodes. If this approach doesn't appeal to you, then you need to rethink the use of barrier hedging.

Plants for animalproof hedges

Plant name Latin name Characteristics

Deciduous

BeechFagus sylvatica Slow growing, keeps leaves in winter
BlackthornPrunus spinosa Quick growing, viscious spines
Field mapleAcer campestre Best in mixed hedge
Hawthorn/quickthornCrataegus monogyna Quick growing, spiny
HornbeamCarpinus betulus Slow growing, keeps leaves in winter
RosesRosa rugosa Spiny, decorative flowers and hips, informal
Sea buckthornHippophae rhamnoides Spiny, informal

Evergreen

BerberisBerberis x stenophylla Spiny, decorative flowers, informal
EscalloniaEscallonia Informal, decorative flowers
HollyIlex aquifolium Spiny
Leyland cypressX Cupressocyparis leylandii Quick growing. Difficult to restrain and may cause a nuisance
PrivetLigustrum ovalifolium Quick growing
YewTaxus baccata Poisonous, slow growing


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Article ©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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