How to Design a Rustic Fenced Garden

Overview
A rustic, countrified garden rests along the contours of the land. The flow of a rustic garden is laid out so that the whole thing blends with the landscape, instead of fighting it. One problem country gardeners must deal with on a regular basis is the possibility of herbivore invasion. Keep your garden near the house to deter most deer. A fence will keep out smaller pests. A wattle fence is an ancient, woven fence design that has been used for centuries. Place a wattle fence around your garden to add to the rustic feel and protect your plants.

Things You’ll Need
Willow branches
Handsaw
Sledge hammer
Shovel
Various vegetable and herb plants
Mulch
Stone
Work gloves
Safety glasses

PART 1 – The Fence

Step 1
Grab a willow branch firmly in one hand. Run your free hand along the entire length of the branch to remove all of the leaves. Repeat this process to strip every willow branch in your pile. Throw the leaves and scrap into your compost pile.

Step 2
Look through your stack of branches. Find a few that are at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Use your handsaw to cut these into stakes that are 4 feet long. You need one stake for every 3 feet of fence you intend to build.

Step 3
Drive each of the stakes 1 foot into the ground with a sledge hammer. Place a stake every 3 feet along the entire fence line. This type of fence does not permit sharp corners, so place your stakes so that the fence is roughly circular.

Step 4
Weave one of the remaining longer branches back and forth around the stakes. Push it all the way to the ground. Repeat this process all around the fence line to form your horizontal base layer.

Step 5
Weave a second layer of branches on top of the first. Weave the second layer opposite from the first. Keep the joints of the second layer at least 3 feet away from those on the first layer.

Step 6
Repeat the process until the layers of woven branches are stacked to the top of the stakes. Remember to alternate the weave of the branches from layer to layer.

PART 2 – The Garden

Step 1
Plow up the top 10 inches of soil inside the perimeter of the fence. Leave at least 36 inches of space between the fence and the excavation. Leave a 36 inch strip of soil in the center of the circular garden untouched as well.

Step 2
Plant various vegetable and herb plants in the plowed areas of the garden. Keep each type of plant with others of its kind. This will allow each plant to grow to its full size, and the organization makes it easier to find the plant you are looking for when it is time for harvesting.

Step 3
Cover the plowed areas with mulch to hold moisture in the soil. A 6 inch bed of mulch also discourages weed growth. Place the mulch by hand to avoid damaging the young plants. Water your garden liberally once the mulch is in place.

Step 4
Spread a 4 inch bed of stone on the bare walkways. Stone pathways deepen the rustic appeal of the garden and make it easier to see your way in low light while keeping you out of muddy areas.

Warnings
Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.

Reference
Plant Ideas: Fence Design


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