Re: Live fences
- Hi Zack, In NZ, Privet is a "noxious weed" and is supposed to be pulled out
because its flowers cause such allergic reactions particularly for asthma
sufferers. We have just started planting live fences also and one I hope is
going to work well for us is Poplar trees under planted with flaxes. I have
found a variety of flax that grows to 3 m tall so should make a good
shelter, but also have the taller trees in amongst them to break the wind
higher up. Both have very good health giving properties for stock if you
Another tree that I like the look of is the Italian or Black Alder ( Alnus
cordata or glutinosa). It is one of the nitrogen fixers and I have seen them
planted quite close and still look reasonable attractive.
- Our live fence is physically small, visually thick & tall, to
protect young children from wandering into the alley, & to keep cars,
bikes, & motorcycles from accidentally or recklessly running down into
the playground at the foot of the hill. Truckloads of mulch were
gladly donated by power line clearance crews. They were shaped by
school work-parties into a serpentine berm two to three feet high, &
two to five feet wide, along the alley at the crest of the hill. A
shallow trench down the middle of the berm was filled with dirt as a
The children of the school scattered wildflower seeds & seedlings
collected from alley walks & neighborhood gardeners. Some contributed
"heritage" seed from the earliest European settlements here on the
southeastern coast of the US. Some contested the heritage that this
represented, since we need not look too far back to see many "locals"
were actually introduced from elsewhere. Next spring we will see how
well our found mixture works in the natural garden. We did look for a
combination of shapes to fill the space until the saplings grow. Tall
stemmed, vining, & spreading forms that have survived & thrived on
benevolent neglect through this drought include (please excuse the
lack of scientific identities here) Queen Anne's Lace, hollyhock,
forsythia, Roman chamomile, & honeysuckle. It appears much taller
than it actually is when looking up the hill to it.
We requested permission from the city to plant poplars alongside
the berm, as we too envisioned a handsome, quick growing Lombardy
lane. In this case it was denied, we were told by a grumpy park
supervisor, because their shallow roots would not hold in hilltop
wind. He is already put off by this natural garden project (an
"eyesore") where some would expect an evenly spaced flower bed, so we
do not plan to challenge the shallow root claim. We have not pulled
any research on poplars in use as a windbreak, only views of Italia.
Would like to hear how yours does.
The school has many special needs children who have respiratory
sensitivities. These children must not be down wind of the berm
itself when there is any action on the garden, because of the tree
pollens & molds that turn up as the top layers break down & the shape
softens. Privet is out of the picture here as well. That noxious
weed is a commonplace hedge here in Virginia. (As a child I thought
that the plant's name was in some way a reference to the German skirt,
a dirndl, because it was always uttered "Go trim that durned ol'
Pulled out privet, & crabgrass that just gets pulled off the berm
by habit, is not called weeding, in honor of moving toward the goals
of Mr. Fukuoka. However, we do "harvest it as biomass" to continue
building the far end of the berm, half down the block, for a
homeopathic exposure. When the flowers & foliage are up thicker &
taller next year, maybe we can afford to trust more in nature on our
beautiful eyesore, & let it get it past a supervisor. Or he may send
in the weedwhackers to the whole row.
Ray & Jenny Ridings wrote:
> Hi Zack, In NZ, Privet is a "noxious weed" and is supposed to be[Image]
> pulled out
> because its flowers cause such allergic reactions particularly for
> sufferers. We have just started planting live fences also and one I
> hope is
> going to work well for us is Poplar trees under planted with flaxes.
> I have
> found a variety of flax that grows to 3 m tall so should make a good
> shelter, but also have the taller trees in amongst them to break the
> higher up. Both have very good health giving properties for stock if
> have any.
> Another tree that I like the look of is the Italian or Black Alder (
> cordata or glutinosa). It is one of the nitrogen fixers and I have
> seen them
> planted quite close and still look reasonable attractive.
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