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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ocotillo: Privacy Fencing Comes to Life

The beauty of the desert Ocotillo continues to draw my eye with those long spikes, tiny green leaves and brilliant orange flames that drip from the tips.  We often see them spotted in our desert landscapes, but rarely seen as a privacy fence, until now.  In this day and age, we see “re-purposing” many items, and Ocotillo plants to form fencing are just one more step in living green in the Sonoran desert.

History books talk about settlers that used Ocotillo to line the properties of adobes in the 1800’s as a barrier and thier stalks as fencing material to keep predators away from livestock.  Well, now you can add a privacy fence of Ocotillo fairly easily.  I recently stumbled across a Tucson-based nursery that is making pre-wired panels of Ocotillo for fencing – Visit Civano Nursery on line for information and some great information for growing a desert garden.

The recent issue of Sunset Magazine highlights the living fence.  According to the publication, place the panels in a 6” deep trench and secure them with posts and in no time, you’ve got what’s sure to be the talk of the town.  The 5' x 6' panels run about $60.  Now, that's living green! 

Photo from Flickr courtesy of Clinton Steeds.


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