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Hedges / Living Walls


Stone, wood, and metal are all fantastic options for fences and walls. Depending on the varieties used, however, they can also be rather expensive. Transporting stone from faraway quarries is not cheap, and specialized labor may be required to build the wall, compounding the expense. Wood in particular requires a good deal of maintenance, and runs the risk of rotting due to wooden posts’ constant contact with ground-level moisture from the earth. There are alternatives to all of these materials, however. Hedge bushes may be used to form living walls and fences which can last a lifetime. They offer seclusion, sound insulation, and nesting materials for local birds. Though homeowners may initially balk at the idea of incessant pruning, the truth of the matter is that properly-maintained living walls do not require an oppressive degree of maintenance.

Like any good fence, the first thing that DIY landscapers should be concerned with is the foundation. Hedges need fertile soil with access to adequate drainage in order to grow properly. Homeowners are advised to consult the USDA plant hardiness zones to make an informed decision with regard to the hedge variety chosen for the task. The hedge bushes need to be hardy enough to survive the local winters if they are meant to be a permanent fixture on the property. Maintenance and pruning also differs by variety, so DIY landscapers should use their individual preferences in that regard when determining which hedge bushes are available for planting. A “maintenance budget” with an acceptable amount of time devoted to each task associated with the fence (watering, trimming, fertilizing, etc.) as well as the frequency of these tasks will help landscapers to bring their labor under control.

Living walls, on the other hand, may be located indoors or outdoors. They serve multiple roles, from improving air quality indoors to providing passersby with an unconventional, beautiful piece of landscaping outdoors. There are two main types: green facades and true living walls. Green facades are what homeowners have probably seen before: facades of ivy or other climbing plants that have covered an inorganic surface, such as a brick wall. This is often done to add rustic charm to a new home or to ease the transition between a home and its natural surroundings. True living walls, on the other hand, are formed by plants that grow together through, in, and around an inorganic framework. Living walls are frequently constructed in urban areas where buildings absorption of heat causes indoor temperatures to rise to uncomfortable levels. Through the process of plant transpiration, living walls help regulate a building’s temperature without excessive construction or energy investment.


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