Creating a Benjes hedge

Garden Life
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Hedges generally take on the function of a privacy shield or windbreak and serve to structure a garden. However, they can do more than this. With a Benjes hedge in your garden, you become the observer of a natural event - because the hedge, which consists of deadwood and other natural materials, transforms itself over the years into a thriving habitat for animals.
First we determine the location of the hedge. Here you can plant smaller trees and shrubs as natural “fence posts” at an appropriate distance to one another (approx. 2.5 metres). Between these, you place layers of cuttings from deciduous trees. The branches are layered approximately three metres wide and one metre high to form thicket barriers, then intertwined with each other and shaken. However, light and air should still be able to get to the ground so that germinating plants can still grow through them. In this way, the Benjes hedge provides an increasing amount of protection and habitat for animals as it develops – your active contribution towards environmental protection in your own garden.

The hedge growth is structured into three phases: leaf, field and tree hedges.

Such hedges grow very naturally and slowly. You should be aware of this. On the one hand, an increasing amount of new life is generated within the hedge; on the other hand insects, fungi and bacteria contribute increasingly towards turning the tree cuttings into humus which promotes soil life.

The Benjes hedge is named after its inventor, Hermann Benjes, who was born in Lower Saxony, Germany, in the year 1937 and who died there in 2007.