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Create an Instant Garden Hedge Part 2; Fence and Additional Plant Suggestions

By Stephanie Boles (josette63July 3, 2008
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If you want to create an instant garden hedge then this is the article for you. In part 1 I introduced you to my 'instant hedge' which also doubles as a garden wall. I spoke of how you can achieve a 6' tall hedge almost instantly. If you are in need of an instant windbreak as we were, but haven't the funds to purchase trees or shrubbery large enough to create it perhaps this may be a practical alternative. Part 2 includes fence building instructions. Part 3 will explain how I fashioned unique 'toppers' for the hedge.

Gardening picture

Introduction

Firstly let me say, this fence is not perfectly constructed.  It is practically constructed.  It was designed to look nicer from the front view than the back, yet be easily and quickly put together.  The back may appear somewhat unfinished to the perfectionist.  My methods of construction may also offend those of you who are carpenters.  I apologize beforehand.  Alas, I needed a fence, and my husband was too busy to build it.  As a result, I built it.  Now for those intrepid few who have remained with me...let's build!

This is a moderately difficult project. 

Supplies needed for the body of the fence.

  1. 2- 8' long landscape timbers
  2. 3- 2x4's 8' long (pressure treated)
  3. 4'x8' lattice panel (pressure treated)
  4. Exterior screws 21/2-3 inches long.  Phillips head work well.
  5. Small exterior nails for nailing lattice to 2x4's.
  6. Exterior primer and paint in your choice of colors. (I used latex)
  7. Paint brush and/or roller. (I used a roller. The primer and paint rolls onto the lattice very quickly.) 
  8. If you want to add concrete to the post holes when you 'plant' your instant garden hedge then you will need 1-2 bags of concrete mix per 8' section. (You choose the type.)
  9. If you need to brace your fence panel use a 4'-5' section of 2x4 cut at a 45 degree angle on one end.  This will be braced between the fence body and a landscape timber which has been set into the ground.  You'll need to purchase an extra landscape timber and another 2x4 if you brace the panel.
  10. A drill, bits and driver.  The size is dependent upon the size screws you purchase.  You may pre-drill the 2x4's if you wish.  I did not. 
  11. A skill saw, table saw or hand saw to cut the 2x4's.  I used my table saw.
  12. A tape measure.
  13. A pencil.
  14. An assortment of plants to decorate your lattice fence panel which will give it the appearance of a hedge.  

Note:  The fence panel will appear unfinished at the top.  I fashioned unique 'toppers' for mine.  I will give instructions on how to make your own in part 3 of this series. 

Power tools are dangerous.  Use extreme caution when working with them.

There is heavy lifting in this project.  Take care.

Instructions to create one section of instant garden hedge

Step One:  Painting

ImagePrime and paint every part of lumber which will go into the fence panel.  Hint: To trick the paint into the inside edges of the lattice lay your paint roller in that direction and press it in.  It may take 2-3 coats of each depending on the brand of primer and paint you  use. 

Step Two: Attach lattice to 2x4 supports

Image With the primer and paint dry begin by laying 2 of the 8' long 2x4's parallel to one another on the ground.  This is my cheater's method of squaring the fence.  (I apologize to all the carpenters who are cringing at this point.)  Adjust as needed to keep all edges even, ane then nail the lattice panel to the 2x4's all around. 

Step Three:  Lay out the panel

Image Simply lay the 2 landscape timbers parallel to one another on the ground at about 8' apart.

Image Measure 35 inches up from the bottom of each timber and draw a line across the width of the timber.

Image Measure 12 inches down from the top of each timber and draw a line across the width of the timber.

Step Three:  Assemble the panel

ImageLay the lattice panel onto the timbers being certain to keep the top and bottom edges of the 2x4's along the lines you marked on the timbers.  (Sometimes there is a bit of adjustment needed.  Simply maneuver the lattice panel until it looks nice to the eye.  Even if it is a little off of your lines, do not fret your plants will not mind.)

ImageScrew through the 2x4's into the landscape timbers thereby mounting the lattice panel section to the timbers which will act as posts.  

Image In this segment measure before you cut.  The remaining 2x4 should be cut to fit between each 8' 2x4 on top of the 4' sides of the lattice panel.  (In other words make a butt joint here.) If it does not fit evenly  you will need to use an additional 2x4.  If if does fit evenly, then cut the 2x4 in half, and screw it to the landscape timber as you did the 8' 2x4's.  Make certain the 2x4 ends butt together nicely.  (Actually, some of mine did not.  I did not concern myself with them as we have planted shrubs to grow along the back of the fence panels.  This part of the fence will not be noticeable.)

Image You have now created one 6' tall, 8' wide section of instant hedge.  Caution it is heavy and extremely awkward.  Do not attempt to pick it up or move it alone.  You will require help to transport it about the yard and 'plant' it in the ground.  Now, measure the distance between the posts (this is the landscape timbers at the very bottom of the fence panel), dig holes 2' deep, prepare concrete according to instructions on the bag, pour it into the hole and 'plant' your instant garden hedge.

Image If needed make braces by cutting a 2x4, 4'-5' long, with one end angled at a 45 degree.  Dig a hole and bury a 3' section of landscape timber 3' from the lattice panel post.  Use concrete if desired.  Tilt the bottom of the brace out and mount to the landscape timber you buried in the ground.  Now mount the brace to the lattice panel's landscape timber post.  Use the same size screws you employed on the fence building. 

Plant suggestions for your instant garden hedge

Image If you do not mind an aggressive climbing rose try 'Seven Sisters'.  It is an old variety rose with lovely springtime blooms and will cover your fence with little effort.  Caution:  This rose might prove invasive in your area.  It also has very sharp thorns.  Be wary. 

Image I planted a variety of shrubs along the backside of my 100' long area of instant garden hedge to gently cover it and to create living garden walls for our yard. 

They are listed below

Caprifoliaceae Weigela florida (W. rosea) Mind is 'Variegata'
Hydrangeaceae paniculata 'Grandiflora' Peegee hydrangea
Sorbaria sorbifolia Falsespirea (This plant will grow to take over a space. But it is still beautiful.  And great for garden walls.)
Spiraea japonica 'Shirobana'
Spiraea vanhouttei 'Renaissance'
Spiraea bumalda 'Froebel'

For additional ideas on how to landscape your instant garden hedge try an internet search for climbing plants, shrubs or go here.

Suggested uses for your lattice panel fence section

Make several more and put them together as a boundary fence.
Use one as a large trellis and grow roses on it.
Use it as a privacy screen for a patio or other area.
Paint it white, add some stars or other decorative elements and make it the backdrop for a moon garden. 

No matter how you use your lattice panel fence do please grow lovely plants on or around it.

Part 3 of this series will give instructions on making unique fence 'toppers' of your own and list more suggested plants for your instant garden hedge.

All photos are from my own gardens.

~Pleasant gardening


  About Stephanie Boles  
Stephanie BolesStephanie is a Floridian, transplanted to Missouri and married to a Missouri farmboy. She is a mother who enjoys the farm, teaching Sunday school, working as a church musician and a freelance writer. She spends a large part of her time helping the DH on building/remodeling their house. She designs the gardens and her DH helps to landscape them. She makes old fashioned bed dolls in her spare time. She is currently working on a historical romance book series. The first book of the series will be available for purchase in spring 2010. Book 2 in the summer of 2010.

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Discussion about this article:
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Great phicks 1 14 Aug 28, 2008 7:48 PM
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