In the middle ages, when farming was the primary means of making a living, hedges became the popular choice for marking boundaries between land. The hedges acted as a means of keeping livestock in pastures and out of crop fields. However, in the modern world, fencing has advanced and other options are available, such as timber fencing or Colorbond fencing. Hedges do, however, retain some old world charm, and some people still use them to market he boundaries of their homes. In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of both hedging and modern fencing and discuss why the latter is a better choice.
The pros and cons of hedges
Hedging isn't all bad; first of all, it has the obvious advantage of being visually appealing, if implemented correctly. Hedges add greenery to your yard and, particularly in the spring time or after a rainfall, can look extremely attractive. In fact, the seasonal variation of hedges could be seen as a benefit in itself, giving your home a different look throughout the year. There is also the option of growing fruit on your hedge, depending on the type of hedge you've chosen.
However, the benefits of hedging don't really extend past the aforementioned points, and the disadvantages begin to weigh heavily. First of all, the construction of a hedge is not an overnight affair; it can take months and even years to get your hedge to the appropriate size. Years is probably most likely.
And this isn't the only way that time can be an issue -- there's also the time that you'll have to dedicate to the upkeep of your hedge. An attractive front yard hedge must be trimmed regularly in order to ensure it doesn't become overgrown and unappealing, and also to ensure it doesn't encroach on your neighbour's property.
Additionally, hedges are rarely a secure option. If the hedge runs right around the boundary of your front yard and is intended as a means of keeping young children or animals inside, then you may find that they can escape through gaps in the bottom of the hedge. If your hedge is simply a means of creating privacy from next door neighbours, you'll have a difficult time growing a hedge tall enough to keep prying eyes out.
The pros and cons of modern fencing options
Before we extol the virtues of modern fencing over hedges too strongly, first let's point out the biggest disadvantage: it's undoubtedly going to cost more to install a timber or Colorbond fence than it is to begin growing a hedge in your front yard.
That being said, fencing contractors will generally get the job done very quickly -- in less than a day, depending on your requirements and the size of your yard -- unlike hedges, which may take years to grow properly.
Modern fencing also requires minimal upkeep, particularly if you choose to go with Colorbond fencing, which is highly resistant to the extremes of Australian weather conditions. Timber fencing may fall victim to decay if left unsupervised, so maintenance will still be required every now and then, but there will be nowhere near as much maintenance required as if you have a hedge.
Finally, modern fencing is far more secure than hedging, with fences and gates able to keep intruders out of the home if necessary and fences able to be designed to suit your security purposes from day one.