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Green Landscaping: Greenacres


Wild Ones Handbook


Wood Projects 


"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to plan in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike." - 

John Muir


wattle fence

If your natural area needs a bit of structure for shelter or to look purposeful, consider a section or two of wattle fence. Examine photos to determine its appropriateness to your home's style. It will be more natural if it meanders a bit, and all panels need not even be the same length or width. Some existing fenceposts and supple one-inch branches from dogwood (or whatever the neighbors are pruning) may make it quite an inexpensive project. Labor costs may be less than expected, too, because your whole family may decide to get involved when they see how much fun it is to weave in and out! Version 1 needs three fairly straight horizontals, about 3" in diameter. Version 2 starts with a split log laid on the ground, with holes drilled about 6" to l2" apart. Verticals will need to have 2" to 3" diameters for more critter protection. A three-foot height is quite workable.

Fresh, 'green' wood is best for the weavers, but you may prefer seasoned wood for the others (less shrinkage.) You might need to replace a few of the weavers if they loosen or use a few galvanized nails here and there. Late in fall, when I couldn't bring myself to compost the almost horizontal stalks of browning asters, I nipped them off at the ground and wove them into my fence in a few spaces. They are still there just barely poking their seedheads through our late winter snowbank. I'm going to have to do that every year from now on - Barb Glassel


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