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How the Zero-Cost Hedgerow Grows

This is how the Zero-Cost hedgerow grows at Mezzacello. This being my Manhattan Euonymus hedgerow from cuttings along the alley to the south of the property. It’s making progress.

Off to a Rocky and Salty Start

It’s taken a few years because a neighbors snow plowers kept pushing against the fence to scrape the parking lot, burying my tender plants in ice and salt. But finally I’m getting ahead of them. Once established it will tolerate it better.

Frugal and Free From The Neighbors Behind Me

Eventually it will expand and grow and hide the chain link so that it becomes a green fence.

Richard Riley

I literally took clippings from a neighbors hedge and just stuck them in the ground after stripping the lower leaves. I Velcro tape the leader, using the chain link as a trainer. Eventually it will expand and grow and hide the chain link so that it becomes a green fence.

This can be done with a variety of plant material. Privet is fast. This is Manhattan euonymus which is faster.

For hedgerows I prefer boxwood as it is a very hardy and elegant plant that means a great deal to myself and my family. But boxwood require time and patience and although they are worth it, they are not fast – or cheap. They are not easy to propagate, but they do make a very handsome hedgerow.

Building Fences and Beauty With Good Neighbors

This is also a great example about how clippings and care can create a garden from nothing. Most of the plant material here at Mezzacello was either started as a clipping or was gifted to us by kind neighbors and friends. They say fences make good neighbors, but in this case, fences are made from the kindness of neighbors.

Faster growth will mean more maintenance, so there’s that to consider. But this is how poor boys get a lot of plant material cheap. And privacy from busy Broad Street is worth the effort.

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