I love the natural, old fashioned look of wattling – the process of using natural elements especially branches and twigs – to make fencing or other useful items. It has a timeless look to it and fits easily into any era. It ages beautifully and best of all is free. Mostly anyway – nails and wire are the only costs involved. Not only are the branches and small trees easy to harvest but wattling can be done from landscape refuse materials that would normally go to fill a landfill or get burned.
We started with a simple need – how to keep the animals (goats and horses) out of our garden. So the initial fencing went in, the posts are sunk anywhere from 4 to 8 inches. Placement of the doorways is crucial, make your doorways wide enough to accommodate your garden carts, wheelbarrels and tractors. (we made a couple of fence section gates that blend in for larger carts).
Making trellises and frames for the climbing vegetables can be done using vine maple and pole saplings – we used a bit of wire to hold the branches together.
To help keep the deer out we built up woven half wheels which creates an airy and confusing pattern that so far (cross your fingers) the deer have respected.
For some of the fencing we used the existing open wire livestock fencing as a base and wove vine maple through it. Which toughens up the wire fence and beautifies it at the same time. When one sees it now, all they see is the wattled design – you can’t see the wire at all until you get close.