In our concluding post on Common Area Hedging, we look at how functional areas can, with a little thought, can be enhanced and made attractive.
Common Area Hedging: The Development’s Perimeter
Some developments will be open with no physical barrier separating it from the surrounding areas. But if a more tangible separation is required, then hedging is an effective and pleasing way to go. And if this separation has to be particularly definitive with a 2m+ barrier then a wall or fencing will be required but this can create an unwelcoming, even oppressive feel. To counter this, plant a hedge or place planted containers in front of the barrier. This will negate its potentially negative impact and transform it.
Common Area Hedging: Delineating Car-Parking Spaces
Because land is expensive and cars essential, any space suitable for car-parking will be put to that use. Not to would be commercial folly. However, car parks do not need to be just asphalt (or even block paving) and white lines. The addition of beds and large containers (see below) can mark out the area without compromising capacity and help turn a desolate space into something more attractive.
Common Area Hedging: Large Containers
The use of container planting is relevant to any and all aspects of a development’s grounds. Common areas are no different to any other public area and potntial theft needs to be considered. That’s why, here at least, big is undoubtedly best:
- Once in place and filled, a large container will require the same amount of effort to steal as a Henry Moore sculpture but as its cost and resale value will be considerably less, it won’t attract the attention of thieves
- You can choose the style, material and colour of even the largest containers to suit and enhance the architecture of the development
- The underlying soil on which the development is built is of no consequence – the container is filled with the type of soil that best suits the chosen plants
- Any hedging plant, planted correctly, will be happy in a container
- Large containers are essentially self-maintaining during the first season after which they will need feeding
A final tip – whatever you plant and wherever you plant it, apply a really generous layer of wood chips as a mulch. It looks great, ties the planting together, helps retain moisture and will keep the weeds at bay.