Black Friday Barrier Hedges

It has been 30 years since I have shopped on Black Friday.  All I wanted at the time was a couple Transformers for my son, who loved those things.  Never again, Pilgrims.

Still, after just watching Black Friday films… bloodletting over trash made in China?  Leaping barricades?  Seriously?  I cannot ignore that gardens may someday be at risk to similar crazed behavior.

My sister once tried to chase me down for older sibling punishment… and I crawled under a big patch of gorse (huge in Oregon with 2 inch spines).  I evaded capture but was not out of earshot, while she screamed her rage and called me a coward and such.  I didn’t want to be a coward, but didn’t come out for a long time.  Even then I recognized crazed behavior.

I suppose my dad caught wind of this because he started telling his littlest daughter how being invisible, low key, and having barrier hedges is how most animals survive bigger, meaner predators.  I had enough experience in the woods to recognize the truth.

Dad told me there were so many edible barrier hedges in Europe during WWII that they slowed or defeated military tanks.   They were mostly sited on berms and were a pretty impenetrable mass of thorns and tree trunks.  They fed and hid wildlife from predators.

 They also fed people in hard times.


y dad was awesome.  At 6 foot 4 inches and brawny you wouldn’t think he would be so empathetic toward the littlest girl, but he made me feel smart for diving under that gorse bush.

Never mind he was the youngest of grandpa’s pack of big brawny boys that took no prisoners.  I imagine he was a fast runner in his own time, with a few hidey holes . Today’s

 military is unlikely to worry about barrier hedges, but there are lessons to be learned from armed men with tanks having trouble gaining access

.  My take is that barrier hedges can discourage most people most of the time. Hedges can slow down even the most determined folks.  In the country, where it routinely takes law enforcement officers 30 to 60 minutes to show up, a barrier hedge might do the trick.

My property has a couple mild barriers now.  It is 20 feet above the road, with one driveway access.  The enclosed area has a 4 foot chain link fence at the top of the steep embankment with its 75 degree slope.  This is enough of a nuisance to keep most burglars at bay.  I park facing out, blocking the driveway, which was dug from the hill and has steep sides.

Any vehicle coming up the drive must stop on a steep incline about 30 feet from the house.  In all, my property is not particularly inviting to burglars.  If I am not home, we have neighborhood watch, the best security of all.

Here is another project for me… a barrier hedge.  I am good at creating projects!

My barrier hedge will basically be prickly pear at the top of a steep incline.  My property drops off sharply from my 4′ fence to the street, about a 75 degree angle.   Oddly enough, it is very bare of plants, yet does not erode.  This is such a dry spot that prickly pear or tree cholla is my best best.  I will probably have a mixture of both, pushing tree cholla toward the outside edge, since it gets 6 or more feet tall.

I have three tree chollas, and access to more for the outside edge.  My dozen prickly pears are growing and can donate pads.  I will ask around to see if I can bring in more.  Tree chollas and prickly pear are everywhere are here and look quite natural.

Inside the cactus line, I have a half dozen Honey Locust seedlings, which sport veritable daggers.  I will sprout a few more this year.  My frontage along the road is about 350 feet.

I plant barriers for my wildlife, and am planting barriers for me, too.  Most importantly, my garden and I are not visible from the road.  As my barrier fence grows, it will not line up like a soldiers, but will flow naturally around my terrain.  It will be filled with life and food.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
This entry was posted in Circular Economy, design, food forest, gardening, home, plant uses, Prepper, wild edibles and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Black Friday Barrier Hedges

  1. Helen says:

    Interesting information about the usefulness of barrier hedges. I didn’t know that they stopped soldiers in WWII.

  2. They did, I also read about it later. Of course they were on a berm and the berm had deep tree roots. The tanks weren’t able to go over them, perhaps not enough force at a steep angle to knock the trunks down. Tanks kept more to roads because of it and were easier to ambush. My barrier hedge won’t be on a berm, but a 20 foot embankment is no mean feat to get up and over, especially if topped by cactus. I admire the barrier hedges with blackberries and hawthorne, but I live in New Mexico. Deterrent is more about looking like you are more trouble than you are worth. I didn’t realize this when I bought the property, but it is
    fairly inaccessible. How would you haul a TV off through that? Let alone food or
    water… if you could see food or water. I am pleased at this bonus aspect of my Food Forest.

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