• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Living Ocotillo Fences – Fouquieria splendens

ocotillo cactus closeup

by Walks On Rocks

I am fascinated with a recent discovery.   In the desert southwest the Ocotillo Cactus (Fouquieria splendens) is harvested to create living fences and other garden features.  It is a material that is exciting in that it is unique to the region where it is used and it really gives a sense of the place.

ocotillo cactus in the borrego badlands

by Walks On Rocks

Like many cactus, the plant comes alive, in a sense, when water is available.  While the stems can look dead – even thought they are not, when dormant, it is amazing to me that when they leaf out, the leaves almost look like boxwood.

2338739089_768ee5abfb

Poppies with ocotillo fence in the background by alicia_d_lars

Ocotillo cactus is harvested and used in garden construction. Rancho Lobos is a producer of ocotillo fencing and this is how they describe the product:

These shrubs have been used by rural communities for ages in the construction of fences, ramadas and ceiling decorations. With the distinct feature that, when used for fencing, the ocotillo stems are buried about 4 to 6 inches into the ground, allowing them to root, providing a living fence that can grow up to 20 feet tall. For commercial purposes the stems are cut 2 to 3 feet from the base, choosing diameters between 3/4 to 2 inches, considered to be mature stems. They present little to no spines, except for the top part of the stem, which is trimmed to provide segments as uniform as possible 6 feet tall. Then they are woven together with a thin galvanized wire (cal. 18) to hold them together and allow growth. Making fence sections 5 feet long that can be easily rolled for transportation.

ocotillo corral fence vinewood

by Schooksonruss

This old corral fence was made from Ocotillo Cactus sticks.  The sticks are also called Candlewood, Slimwood, Coachwood and Vine Cactus.

3671463506_847bb6a2de

by fucher is now

In a way, I think it is similar to willow.  I am wondering if there are other locally known plants that can, in this way, be used to create a natural barrier or fence.  Do you know of any?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share this!Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Email this to someone
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Nuts + Bolts, Plants 5 Comments

5 Responses to Living Ocotillo Fences – Fouquieria splendens

  1. Wow!

    That is one fence that would really take off here, if only it would survive!

    The thorns would make it a great option to increase security and the fact that you can just cut and plant makes it incredibly easy to use! Very much like Williow indeed!

    How fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  2. Note, that these cacti only have no spines when they are about 2″ in diameter, until then then they are spined BEASTS. Very intimidating in the winter landscape.

Leave a reply

What’s A Girl Gotta Do to Get a Flocked Tree in New England?

Apparently you must make it yourself. Flocked trees are not popular here, and I simply don’t know why.  I’ve got my 2009 tree, it’s up and decorated, but if you know where I can buy a real tree that is magnificently flocked in a range of colors next year….I would love to know about it….

Kate Moss’s Gorgeous Garden Aisle

Kate Moss’s Gorgeous Garden Aisle

Oh Gasp,  another Brit named Kate has taken my breath away on her wedding day.  Yes, the bride is beautiful but once again (for the second time this year) I am completely in awe of the garden-y bridal aisle.   This time Kate Moss choose white delphinium, scabiosa, daisies and ferns to create a simple but…

Russ Schleipman: Landscape Photography

Last week I posted about the Porter Garden Telescope and mentioned my friend Russ Schleipman.   I want to tell you more about him.  He is a great photographer.  Look at these flowers he photographed for a Vera Wang Ad campaign. A visit to his website is a visual feast.   Some of my favorites are the…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...