How to Build a Living Fence

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How to Build a Living Fence

Living fences might not seem like such a common feature. But the truth is, they’ve been around for centuries. And if you’ve ever seen a living fence, you’ll know why! Living fences are among the most stunning garden features. They’re practical, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically appealing. So why aren’t they more common?

It’s simple: most people don’t know how to build a living fence. It can be a bit tricky, too, so that’s not surprising. But with these tips, building a living fence is something anyone can do.

Before you build a living fence, it’s vital to choose the right plant – here’s what to look for!

If you do one thing right, it has to be this: choose the right plant! Living fences need to thrive, otherwise, they simply don’t do their job. And to thrive, your living fence needs to be built from a robust, bushy, and resilient plant. That doesn’t exactly limit your choices, though; there are plenty of plants that meet the criteria. Usually, native plants are a great choice. They’ve evolved to suit the conditions of your garden, so they’re more likely to thrive. We definitely recommend consulting an expert for this stage!

When it’s time to build your living fence, placement is everything – this is what you need to do

Building a living fence is all about placement, as well. When you plant your carefully chose plants, you need to make sure they’re spaced out well. They need to be far enough apart that they can establish themselves and grow comfortably in the early stages of their lives. But they need to be close enough that they grow into each other, and fill in the gaps over time. With the right placement, your living fence will be effectively impenetrable. But with placement that’s slightly off, the plants may struggle, or they may grow singularly, without merging adequately.

How long will it take to build a living fence? That depends on the plant you choose, but patience is essential!

Building a living fence is an ongoing project. It will be improving constantly over its life cycle, too, so your rewards will be there to enjoy for a long time. But patience is essential. It can take years before your living fence resembles the thick, bushy barrier you want. When it does, though, the wait will be more than worthwhile. Again, plant choice is an important factor in fence growth.

Some plants are very slow-growing, so they make take some years to fully merge. Others grow quite quickly and could leave you with a great living fence in a year or two. Whatever you choose, it’s important to nourish your living fence, and stimulate its growth with fertiliser, water, and general care.

Think about what you want your living fence to achieve before you build it – here are some ideas

Living fences are practical, as well as beautiful. You can grow them to serve all sorts of purposes. If you want to build a living security fence, we recommend adjusting your choice of plant. Go for something dense, tough, and even prickly. It will still look welcoming, but it will be nearly impenetrable. If you want something neat, choose a hedge that you can trim and shape easily. Your options are plenty!

Finally, don’t be afraid to use fencing to guide the growth of your living fence as you build it

Some plants – especially natives – can seem to have minds of their own. If you want to reduce the time spent trimming and slashing, try using a pre-existing fence to guide their growth. It’s also a great way to ensure you build your living fence along the straight edges of your boundary.

As well as that, you’ll get an interim fence while your living fence expands! And as always, don’t be afraid to contact the experts and get some tips.

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J.G. Mullan Construction has engaged the services of FenceCorp for over five years. During that time FenceCorp has exclusively supplied and fitted aluminium balustrading and fencing to our Home Unit Multiple Dwellings and our Prestige Housing Projects. We hold FenceCorp and it's principal operator, Steven Fitzgerald, in the highest regard. Steven is a highly skilled operator and with his team at FenceCorp Delivers a first class product, on time, and at a very competitive price. We would not hesitate to recommend FenceCorp to all concerned.

John Mullan (Brisbane)