By now you may have begun your instant garden hedge. In this article I will explain how I made unique 'toppers' for my instant hedge. You can do the same or create decorative tops all your own. More important than the 'toppers' is the choice of flora you adorn the panels in. Depending on the purpose you have intended for your instant hedge your plants will vary. You may want to cover it with climbers, perhaps put an assortment of shrubs in front of your instant hedge.
The 'toppers' I fashioned for my instant garden hedge are made from weather-resistant plastic border fence. It is the type which is only 12-13 inches tall that you situate along the borders of flower beds. My local overstock store had an abundance of it the year I built my own instant garden hedge. So, I stocked up on it.
I first measured my fence and determined the number of mini fences it would take to fashion tops for my 100' area of instant garden hedge. Then I cut off the legs (attached posts) which are made to poke into the ground. After that I simply attached the plastic fence sections to 1x2's using small exterior screws. Note: If you do this be careful when you cut the legs off of the fence as the plastic tends to break and fly at you. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
The 1x2's were then mounted to the landscape timber posts of the lattice panel fencing (instant garden hedge). You may use nails or screws for this.
Along the top most portion of my 'hedge' I nailed a 1x4 (8' long). Then I nailed another 1x4, which had been cut in a curving design, to the 1x4's edge at the top of the fence. The design on the 1x4 was drawn freehand. Once you cut one 1x4 with the pattern of your choice you then have a template to follow. Use pressure treated 1x4's which have been primed and painted for this step.
There are many ways to finish your fence with a 'topper'. You could nail the top most 1x4 on then hang garden lights from it to dangle between the top and the body of the fence. This will give your instant garden hedge sparkle. Perhaps you like to collect old bottles. Why not line some along the 8' long 2x4 lattice support? It would be beautiful. The way you embellish the top of your fence panel is hindered only by your imagination.
Suggested plants for your instant garden hedge.
Roses are always lovely no matter where you plant them.
Rosa borboniana 'Zephirine Droouhin' is thornless and will give you a hedge of gorgeous bloom. Rosa alba 'New Dawn'. This is an old variety rose. It has delicate little blossoms of blushing pink. Simply lovely. Rosa 'Silver Moon'. The flowers are perfect white and would work in a moon garden theme if you are planning to use your instant garden hedge for a moon garden backdrop. Perhaps plant a Damask rose garden in front of your lattice panels. These roses reach upwards of 6' and have long canes which arch delicately. They are spring bloomers. Some varieties are 'Mme Hardy' and 'Versicolor'.
Any of the hydrangeas look nice against the setting of this fence. Try one of these or a combination of them to create a subtle garden wall along your lattice panel fence (instant garden hedge). Hydrangeaceae paniculata 'Grandiflora' Peegee hydrangea Hydrangeaceae quercifolia Oakleaf hydrangea Hydrangeaceae arborescens 'Annabelle' Hydrangeaceae annomala Climbing hydrangea. This one would be good to twine through the fence. Keep in mind that hydrangeas prefer a shady spot or a location with dappled sunlight.
This fence is the ideal background for a cottage garden theme. There are many plants which work for a cottage garden's charming mix of flowers that grow together in humble accord. I have a small cottage themed dooryard garden near my instant garden hedge. It is the favorite of all my gardens.
Polygonaceae aubertii Silver Lace Vine. This vine is on my instant garden hedge. Silver lace can grow up to 100 square foot in a season. I, however, have not had that luck with mine. Mine has gently covered about 6 square foot in 2 seasons of growth. Some kinds of polygonaceae tend to be aggressive growers, including the silver lace vine, and must be controlled.
Enjoy your new instant garden hedge.
All photos are from my gardens.
About Stephanie Boles
Stephanie 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.