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Updated: Feb 13, 2020

Stemming from my obsession with all things Outlander, I have recently been intrigued by the lost art and new to America the practice of hedging. You know, in the UK, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, where the countryside of rolling hills are separated with lovely rock walls topped with greenery? This landscape feature is called hedging. Hedging provides a living livestock containment system while providing habitat for songbirds, game birds, rodents, and insects. We have a crisis now of lost habitat for game and songbirds outside of strictly forested areas. How cool will it be to provide habitat while also providing beauty and security for the farm?

My past landscaper self has a mini heart attack thinking of removing this tangled choreography of living flowers, thorns, leaves, seeds and, carbon matter. After thinking this through, I soothe myself with the knowledge I won't ever have to brave this web to remove it. I will instead enjoy its progress and natural changes year after year.

On our property, we have a white vinyl fence that harkens to the Kentucky Thoroughbred farms but is just an expensive maintenance nightmare of plastic. With this fencing, I still have to run a line of hot wire to keep the animals from the road. But what if I cover it up with a blooming bird habitat hedge? The tangled beautiful mess will take the place of the hotwire!

Follow along as I explore the best hedging options the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I am thinking vine maple, hawthorn, pyracantha, osier dogwood, Flaviramea dogwood. What varieties would you like to see, make a tangled natural mess?

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