Neighbours : Fences & Hedges & The Things In-Between

We’ve spent a decent amount of time at the new garden over the last few weeks and it has allowed us to chat with old neighbours and meet new ones. As I think I’ve mentioned before, we’re not new to the neighbourhood given that the house has been in my wife’s family for some considerable time. But it’s exciting to be actually looking forward to taking up residence there. Soon.

We have a real mix of neighbours.

Couples with young kids like ours, or retired folk with visiting  grandchildren. Retired farmers, working executives, busy grandmothers, single mothers …

Evidence of community is around us everywhere. In comparison, we rarely see the neighbours around our current house. We know most of them, we see them in cars from time to time coming and going from their homes, but that’s usually about it for interaction. At Tillellan we chat with the neighbours, kids play together outside, we have garden produce shared with us over the fence and we have discussions about stuff.


Stuff like fences – or the lack of fences. Like the in the picture above.

Whether its the broken and falling down fence that has had a car roll through it or the total absence of any sort of territorial divide.

There has never been a fence between the back of the house and our longest standing neighbour. It was an open space and a thoroughfare to each others house for my mother-in-law and the “Aunty” that lived with her family in the house.

Given the diversity of things we’ll have going on in the backyard block I do feel the need for both privacy and security. Several houses look out and down onto our property which I don’t mind as the house itself is not all that visible. Especially once the garden grows and evolves. AND I want something that is eventually going to keep the grass from creeping over from the neighbours lawn. This is a big one for me.

So I had been thinking for some time about a ‘fence’ for the fenceless fence line. As posted previously I have observed the wormwood just thriving with being trimmed and it’s just growing in sand. The fence line is an ideal situation for a wormwood hedge. It’s been ticking all my boxes for a temporary solution.

  • Cost efficient – each time I’ve pruned the wormwood I’ve propagated them to build up a large collection of small plants to plant as the hedge.
  • It is dense enough to block out most sunlight and will hopefully stand up as a barrier to grass from the neighbours house.
  • It will permit a modicum of privacy and security from the direction of our neighbours house and the road going past it.
  • The neighbour is happy to have a hedge as he had been thinking of a fence but didn’t really want to spend the money.
  • Frequent pruning will initially form the hedge plus provide highly valuable green material to keep the engine of the garden chugging away.
  • Our neighbour is happy for us to use the garden arbour which has been laying neglected in the yard since his wife’s passing. This can be incorporated into the hedge and we’ll add the gate from our existing chook pen to complement it.
  • A hedge of wormwood running the extent of the top half of the upper block – in my minds eye – will look stunning.
  • It is relatively fast growing and can be shaped nicely for a formal, joint hedge.
  • I love the smell of the leaves when brushed against.
  • It is great to have nearby for the chickens and their well-being.
  • It necessary I can gradually replace parts of it as required simply from cuttings.
  • Over time I can also gradually introduce elements of an edible hedge if appropriate.

Anyway, back to the neighbours. All this conversation about stuff is pretty handy because you find out things and create a stronger community.

All good things when it comes to win-win situations.

p.s. I really like wormwood.

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