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Soften the edge through a Biodiverse hedgerow - ideas?

 
pollinator
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Location: Portugal
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I would like to cultivate a hedgerow along my fence line. Think it would be a fabulous way of inroducing bioduvesrsitt. Habitat for critters and birds; wind screen; privacy screen.  

Currently only a diamond mesh fence between us and our neighbour.

It will have Walnut in it for the pesticide potentially coming from next door.

What else could I plant?

Zone 10
Portugal
Mediterranean climate

Looking forward to reading your suggestions.  

 
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Hi Jenny.
I don’t know what grows in Portugal.
It could be easier to plant fast growing ordinary hedgerow plants that block the wind and design a garden for biodiversity behind it. Digging a pond usually greatly enhances biodiversity.
I’ve planted fruit trees a buddleia hazels and willow and some trees i found here and there in naturewhere they were abundant and too closely spaced together ti florish.
Look at neighbors, collect seeds, take cuttings, keep them in the shade and plant out in the rainy season. Look what’s there allready, birds droppings contain seeds! They might be there allready! Stop mowing where the small trees grow. Mark them or providesome mulch and compost. Water them in times of great heatwaves only if they show real distress. Otherwise spoiling them might stop them from growing deep roots. Check nature around you. Get to know all flowering plants trees shrubs and transplant them or bring the seeds and plant ghem where they would grow in your place. Most things will die but a third will work. And put in the right place grow nicely. Providing joy to keep going.
Tell people you look for plants. Say yes to everything, they’ll keep coming.

Maybe this link can provide some ideas.

https://permies.com/t/145856/Project-Intense-Food-Forest-Mediterranean

 
Posts: 125
Location: Elk Grove, CA
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Jenny Ives wrote:I would like to cultivate a hedgerow along my fence line. Think it would be a fabulous way of inroducing bioduvesrsitt. Habitat for critters and birds; wind screen; privacy screen.  

Currently only a diamond mesh fence between us and our neighbour.

It will have Walnut in it for the pesticide potentially coming from next door.

What else could I plant?

Zone 10
Portugal
Mediterranean climate

Looking forward to reading your suggestions.  



Hey Jenny,

I’d like to help you out but I would need a ton more info before so could even begin to make any real recommendations. What, where, when, why, and how… Soil type? Irrigation? Formal or informal? What is it that you actually want from the hedge? Height, width, edible, floral (if so, when do you want it to bloom and do you have a preferred flower color), evergreen, preferred foliage color, etc. what do you consider to be a hedge? What is the sun orientation? You mentioned walnuts, which would need methodical pruning in order to allow anything to grow under them. Are there walnuts there already or are you going to plant them and grow them along with the hedgerow? Are you looking to attract pheasant?/other game birds? etc. Do you have a picture of the look you are hoping to achieve. Some plants can quickly destroy a chain link fence, is that a concern? Is it a shared fence with a neighbor or do you own the entire fence? Do you want the hedgerow set back from the fence so your neighbor doesn’t have to trim it or will you be trimming all sides of it? There are so many unknowns that I could recommend thousands of plants, bushes, trees that you probably wouldn’t want or wouldn’t work. Arborvitae, boxwood, Red-Tipped Photinia, Forsythia, Weigela, these are more traditional suburban choices. Hazelnut or pineapple guava (Feijoa), are good edible choices for some areas. Do you prefer local native plants? Etc. You can go as crazy as you want if you are prepared to do the work, but if you are looking for easy maintenance then you have to listen to the land and give it an acceptable choice. So… Just some things to think about.

Good Luck!




 
pollinator
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Only thing I know for sure in people in some parts of Europe like using Privet, Sloe or Wild Rose, but those get pretty aggressive & I don't know if they're native to Portugal. If you want other things in there beyond wildflowers, I'd make sure they're all planted together.

I'm personally blanking out on Portuguese plants other than Cork trees.
 
Posts: 1670
Location: Fennville MI
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I cannot speak to what will grow in zone 10 Portugal, but I can offer the example of what I am doing in zone 6 in Michigan, USA.
Our site is a forest to begin with, so I have conditions favorable to trees and shrubs as a starting point. We want some additional screening between us and our closest neighbors, so I'm starting a food hedge.
I'm planting hybrid American Chestnut and american persimmon as the overstory, pawpaw, Chinese chestnut, service berry, littleleaf linden as understory trees, gooseberry, elderberry, seabuckthorn, aronia berry, as shrubs, blackberries as a cane fruit, schissandra and wisteria as vining elements and then a wide variety of herbaceous perennials.
That is all going into a space roughly 9-10 meters by about 110 meters.
Our site overall is a little under 10 hectares.
So, while this is intended as a hedge filled with food, it's also being designed as a food forest.
Depending upon your space constraints, that might not be a good fit for your situation.
If you are in a really tight space, I might suggest researching food producing shrubs for your region that will pleach and growing what is known as a Belgian Fence.
 
Jenny Ives
pollinator
Posts: 119
Location: Portugal
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Hi Jenny.
I don’t know what grows in Portugal.
It could be easier to plant fast growing ordinary hedgerow plants that block the wind and design a garden for biodiversity behind it. Digging a pond usually greatly enhances biodiversity.
I’ve planted fruit trees a buddleia hazels and willow and some trees i found here and there in naturewhere they were abundant and too closely spaced together ti florish.
Look at neighbors, collect seeds, take cuttings, keep them in the shade and plant out in the rainy season. Look what’s there allready, birds droppings contain seeds! They might be there allready! Stop mowing where the small trees grow. Mark them or providesome mulch and compost. Water them in times of great heatwaves only if they show real distress. Otherwise spoiling them might stop them from growing deep roots. Check nature around you. Get to know all flowering plants trees shrubs and transplant them or bring the seeds and plant ghem where they would grow in your place. Most things will die but a third will work. And put in the right place grow nicely. Providing joy to keep going.
Tell people you look for plants. Say yes to everything, they’ll keep coming.

Maybe this link can provide some ideas.

https://permies.com/t/145856/Project-Intense-Food-Forest-Mediterranean



Thanks for the response and link.

I like the pond suggestion and there is water available.

A new friend has offered a willow tree and fig so they are going in first.

I am going to look out for hazel as that has been suggested a few times.

We are keeping our eyes peeled and I brought back some wild lavender, which is doing well.  Apart from bringing home surplus it is an opportunity to forage fruit. Once the oranges season finishes figs follow.

One of the neighbours is an absolute gem. He brings us annual vegetables and then shows how to plant them. At the same time we get a fireign language lesson.  

We have some European plums tha have babies and I will transplant them. Good idea.

 
Jenny Ives
pollinator
Posts: 119
Location: Portugal
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Paul Eusey wrote:

Jenny Ives wrote:I would like to cultivate a hedgerow along my fence line. Think it would be a fabulous way of inroducing bioduvesrsitt. Habitat for critters and birds; wind screen; privacy screen.  

Currently only a diamond mesh fence between us and our neighbour.

It will have Walnut in it for the pesticide potentially coming from next door.

What else could I plant?

Zone 10
Portugal
Mediterranean climate

Looking forward to reading your suggestions.  



Hey Jenny,

I’d like to help you out but I would need a ton more info before so could even begin to make any real recommendations. What, where, when, why, and how… Soil type? Irrigation? Formal or informal? What is it that you actually want from the hedge? Height, width, edible, floral (if so, when do you want it to bloom and do you have a preferred flower color), evergreen, preferred foliage color, etc. what do you consider to be a hedge? What is the sun orientation? You mentioned walnuts, which would need methodical pruning in order to allow anything to grow under them. Are there walnuts there already or are you going to plant them and grow them along with the hedgerow? Are you looking to attract pheasant?/other game birds? etc. Do you have a picture of the look you are hoping to achieve. Some plants can quickly destroy a chain link fence, is that a concern? Is it a shared fence with a neighbor or do you own the entire fence? Do you want the hedgerow set back from the fence so your neighbor doesn’t have to trim it or will you be trimming all sides of it? There are so many unknowns that I could recommend thousands of plants, bushes, trees that you probably wouldn’t want or wouldn’t work. Arborvitae, boxwood, Red-Tipped Photinia, Forsythia, Weigela, these are more traditional suburban choices. Hazelnut or pineapple guava (Feijoa), are good edible choices for some areas. Do you prefer local native plants? Etc. You can go as crazy as you want if you are prepared to do the work, but if you are looking for easy maintenance then you have to listen to the land and give it an acceptable choice. So… Just some things to think about.

Good Luck!






Paul, I am learning as I go.

The soil is dark and loamy. Not clay. Although it has been ploughed many times in previous years before we arrived a few months ago.

We are going to put organic material back into the ground here. Firstly, we are pruning the olive trees and instead of buring we ate mulching and using to create hugel beds.

We won't be irrigating. Dry summers but we are in a valley and the ground almost seems water logged. Where the hedge will go is raised so the plants shouldn't have wet feet.  I think a well placed Willow would be a good choice.

Fortunately, I am not too demanding of my future hedge.  What I want is to soften the border between us and the neighbor.  Only a wire fence between us now. The hedge does not need to be edible for us but I want wild life habitat.  If the hedge could 'purify' the soil that would be icing on the cake.

I like wild, natural look.

We are not going to plant Walnut after all. Too big and I don't like that other plants don't get on with it.

I will take any bird who wants to visit our plot. We have seen stork, golden oricle, woodchat shrike and Iberian magpie, tree creepers, tits willy wagtailsalso .  There seems to be an otter in our winter stream.

A pineapple guava!! Good heavens that sounds like a dream.  

Thank you for your patience and guidance, Paul. As you say, some things to think about.

We are going to set the plants away from the boundary to spare the neighbor trimming his side.

My current list of bigger plants
European Plum
Willow tree *not in the hedge*
Hazel
Holly
Wild strawberry tree

I found a wonderful resource which I downloaded and will upload soon.

An_Iberian_perspective_on_Upper_Paleolit.pdf
 
Jenny Ives
pollinator
Posts: 119
Location: Portugal
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D Tucholske wrote:Only thing I know for sure in people in some parts of Europe like using Privet, Sloe or Wild Rose, but those get pretty aggressive & I don't know if they're native to Portugal. If you want other things in there beyond wildflowers, I'd make sure they're all planted together.

I'm personally blanking out on Portuguese plants other than Cork trees.



Sloe would be s good one to plant as I see them around quite a bit.  The cork oak and holm oak are so Portuguese. I love them.  
 
Jenny Ives
pollinator
Posts: 119
Location: Portugal
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Peter Ellis wrote:I cannot speak to what will grow in zone 10 Portugal, but I can offer the example of what I am doing in zone 6 in Michigan, USA.
Our site is a forest to begin with, so I have conditions favorable to trees and shrubs as a starting point. We want some additional screening between us and our closest neighbors, so I'm starting a food hedge.
I'm planting hybrid American Chestnut and american persimmon as the overstory, pawpaw, Chinese chestnut, service berry, littleleaf linden as understory trees, gooseberry, elderberry, seabuckthorn, aronia berry, as shrubs, blackberries as a cane fruit, schissandra and wisteria as vining elements and then a wide variety of herbaceous perennials.
That is all going into a space roughly 9-10 meters by about 110 meters.
Our site overall is a little under 10 hectares.
So, while this is intended as a hedge filled with food, it's also being designed as a food forest.
Depending upon your space constraints, that might not be a good fit for your situation.
If you are in a really tight space, I might suggest researching food producing shrubs for your region that will pleach and growing what is known as a Belgian Fence.



I have never heard the term Belgium Fence.

Wow. Your project sounds well thought out and I feel quite 'green' but I guess I have to start somewhere.  Think I need pen & paper and startung pencilling what to plant where. We only have a 1,000 square feet. A perrenial garden is the dream, she says with a bunch of annual veggies planted first.
 
Jenny Ives
pollinator
Posts: 119
Location: Portugal
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I found these lists of native plants within the article a useful resource.  And it includes English and Portuguese names.

The first few pages are Portuguese but read on for English.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258365143_Reconstructing_food_procurement_in_prehistory_through_the_study_of_archaeological_plant_macroremains_seeds_and_fruits
 
Are you okay? You look a little big. Maybe this tiny ad will help:
paul's patreon stuff got his videos and podcasts running again!
https://permies.com/t/60329/paul-patreon-stuff-videos-podcasts
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