Wednesday October 10 2018

Bring nature to your home with green fences

A green fence can be used a solo boundary

A green fence can be used a solo boundary barriers or to enhance concrete or metal fences. Photo BY Isamil Kezaala 

By Charlotte Ninsiima

A mere glimpse at a homestead endowed with colourful nature soothes the mind and enriches optical nutrition. A green fence blends with the artistic structure to enhance the beauty of the home.
A green fence is one that comprises plants, shrubs, trees or flowers in creating privacy zones in residential or commercial setups, explains Jim Kawesa, a construction manager at Carve house limited in Industrial Area.
“A green fence can be achieved either by planting hedges to act as solo barriers or by enhancing a structural brick, metal or concrete fence with a hedge. In the first option as much as the initial cost is low, there are concerns of human intruders or animals and also shrub/plants take long to grow.”

Besides privacy and an embellished look, a green fence helps in the production of oxygen and intake of carbon dioxide.
In short, the green fence gives life to the surroundings. It also provides protection especially thorny climbers like carpool that deter anyone trying to trespass and wandering wildlife.
Kawesa advises against carpools. although it is commonly used, it excretes acidic liquid from the tips, which once combines with cement, causes the wall to peel off. Some instead plant it alongside a chain link fence.

Several examples of hedge plants include different varieties of conifers, bamboo, duranta, dwarf hedge and several others. Those mentioned here are the main ones with non-destructive root systems.
Some of the plants that can make a good fence include ficus benjamina, Duranta reptens, weeping willow trees, Bamboo, Rosemary, mango stem, and green acalypha.

Ethel Namono, a landscaper at Iconic Hedges Limited, recommends vines as preferably better as opposed to climbers. “Climbers are common plants grown on fences. They grow on the wall containing water capacity that can weaken the cement and sand in case it was of poor quality hence causing the wall to crack and break thereafter.
However, climbers are ideally planted along water proof cemented structures.”
Kawesa recommends a timber member and buffer wall plant so that the plants do not rest directly on walls rather on timber frame work.

Namono advises one to maintain a green fence by spraying a chemical called super gro and instill good and quality pruning. Also, add enough nutrients in the soil like manure and water regularly.
Trees with thin stems are suitable for a green fence because they do not break walls.
She says it is critical to understand the format of planting either opting for a chain link or planting around the wall. Gauge 12.5 is the recommended chain link for a green fence.

Luke Sempijja, a gardener at Mac Compound Ltd, creates a green fence depending on the size or space available in a home, nature of the soil, how many plants and painted colours of a house also determine how much green, the home needs.
Also, water the plant during hot seasons at most twice in a day.
Like a baby, a green fence needs financial investment and patience for it to sprout to the desired beauty. Most of the plants grow within three months.

One needs to take good care of them by doing routine checks to prune out the dead leaves or flowers and uproot withered plants to give room for new plants. It is advisable to propagate the plants to ease alignment while fencing.
“Wall climbing plants that have no over growth include ficus pumila commonly known as the creeping fig vine.
There is also ficus repens also known by the same common name though different in leaf shape,” Kawesa outlines.

How to keep it safe
Namono recommends fumigating at most twice a week to get rid of snakes, caterpillars and mosquitoes. For proper growth, remove weeds, cut withered parts from plants, change the soil, and add new plants since they also wear and tire.
Sempijja argues that whereas butterflies are vital for pollination and are beautiful to look at, they pose a threat on the leaves by laying eggs, whose pupa, a caterpillar, endangers the plant by feeding on its leaves. “It should be eradicated as soon as possible after a mere sight of it.”
For hard grounds, silt or black soils is added for easy water penetration. Feed the soil with manure every after three months.

Wild growth
Some plants grow wild from the desired shape and deprive the plant of light. It is appropriate to regenerate the plant by trimming the overly grown branches so that new parts can grow and get illuminated.