Plant a wildlife hedge instead of building a fence

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CC BY 2.0 drinks machine/Flickr Here’s what to plant to keep wildlife happy and the neighbors out of sight. Benjamin Franklin famously advised, "Love your neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge." Unfortunately, hedges have generally been pulled down to make way for fences and walls; hard barriers that are often made with treated wood or plastic. They can also divide wildlife habitats and impede the flow of traffic for animals that may have traditionally crossed in the area. Which is why the idea of a wildlife hedge is so great. Rather than a fence or a wall, and more cottage-garden wild than a manicured topiary hedge, a wildlife hedge is much like the hedgerows of the UK. Unlike the uniform American hedge with its one type of shrub and straight lines, a hedgerow includes a variety of plants. For a wildlife hedge, think of a mix of taller and shorter species, filled with fruit for eating, and nooks and crannies for cover and nesting. Not only will a wildlife hedge provide habitat for birds, pollinators and others, but it also assumes the services that a regular fence would, like creating privacy, noise reduction, and defining the edge of […]

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