Creating a Lilac Hedge (+ a tip for using landscape fabric)
*this post is sponsored by Bernzomatic
A couple of weeks ago, we picked up some lilac bushes at a local nursery with the idea of building a lilac hedge at our Farmhouse. I’ve made some arrangements with lilac blooms and their old-fashioned unpretentious vibe is perfect for our century-old farmhouse. When planted in a row, lilacs can create a great privacy barrier or wind barrier. Today we’re walking you through how we created our lilac hedge along our garden and sharing a tip for using landscape fabric. Let’s get into it…
The west side of our garden is where our “famous” Ellensburg wind comes from. The wind is pretty constant throughout the Spring here, and really much of the rest of the year too. So we decided to add a lilac hedge along the west fence line, which should serve as a nice break once it matures in a few years. It will also add some nice greenery to the garden entrance and, of course, loads of lovely fragrant blooms in the spring. I like lilacs because they’re draught-tolerant, low maintenance, pollinator-friendly, and deer-resistant.
We alternated two verities of lilacs in this hedge: Minuet and James MacFarlane. Here’s a bit about each:
Size: 6-8’ tall x 6-8’ wide
Sun: full sun
Flower color: purple
Size: 6-8’ tall x 6-10’ wide
Sun: full sun
Flower color: pink
We picked these varieties for the size – we wanted them tall enough to block the wind, but not so tall that they’d eclipse the garden. And we also picked them because they were available at the nursery. Sticking with one variety would make for a really pretty hedge too, but mixing the varieties should give us a longer bloom period and add a little more color.
Here’s a video of the planting process including our best tip for working with landscape fabric!
Let’s talk about landscape fabric! We used this thick fabric below our flower garden last year and it held up like a champ. We were able to pull it all up and use it again this year. And the stuff really works when it comes to weeds. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time weeding your beds, highly recommend putting down landscape fabric!
Here are the tools we used for planting our lilac hedge…
We planted the hedge in an existing bed of lavender, so we pieced the new bushes in between them, spacing the lilacs about 5’ apart.
To plant the lilacs (and really anything where we’re using landscape fabric as a weed barrier) we start by removing any existing weeds and then pull up any gravel or bed cover. We then dig a hole for the plant, slightly larger than the plant bucket. We test fit the root ball, making sure there’s room for soil conditioner and compost to fit in the hole too. Then we take the plant back out.
Next we cut a section of landscape fabric to length. And here’s our big tip when dealing with landscape fabric: use a torch to singe the ends to keep them from fraying. You can see in the photo below that landscape fabric tends to unravel at the ends, and singing it keeps that from happening. It also makes getting a hole in the center of the fabric a ton easier than using scissors. We used Bernzomatic’s TS4000T, which is a great all-purpose torch.
Once it was cut to size and seared, we placed the landscape fabric over the hole and secured the edges with rocks or landscape staples. We used the torch again to melt a hole in the fabric over the hole in the ground. Using a torch for this step rather than scissors will make sure you can get the hole exactly where you want it with little effort and also keep the fabric from fraying.
Place the plant in the hole with any soil amendments, then layer the gravel back on top. Water and you’re done!
That’s it! Can’t wait to watch this lilac hedge grow!
Please ignore the grass - this part of the yard is on next year’s to-do list ;)
Thanks to Bernzomatic for sponsoring content creators like us!