Enclosures

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Technical Terms dealing with Medieval period gardens
by Lauren Stier · All Zones · Terminology · 0 Comments · April 21, 2012 · 18,336 views

One of the primary characteristics of the medieval garden was that, large or small, it was always enclosed.

Hill sums up the 'forms of enclosures' which he says the ancients invented:

...First, the skillful and wary Husbandmen in time past, being those of good ability, built them walls about of Free-stone artly laid, and mortered together, and some did with baked bricke like handled. Others of lessor ability, and of meaner sort, formed them inclosures, with stones handsomely laid one on top of the other with morter orclay; and some of them couched the broad salt sontesk, with other bigge and large stones (in like order about)...but very many of the baser and poorer sort, made them fences and wals about, with muddle of the ditch, dung, chaffe, and straws cut short, and wel mixed together. Others there were, which with bigge Canes set upright, by smal poles bound together, so fenced their garden plot, in handsome manner round about. Some also with young Willow trees, set by certaine distances, and the drie black throne (purchased from the wood) being bound in (between the spaces) so framed their inclosure...

He also reports on pole fences, hedges, banks and ditches.

  • Stone
  • Brick
  • Hedges - Hill says "The most comfortable inclosure for every Garden plot, is a quick-set hedge, made with brambles and white thorne..."
  • Hedge and Ditch
  • Rammed Earth
  • Wattle (a sort of basket work of willow withies, ect., woven around stakes in the ground.)
  • Lattice-work or palisades
  • Decorative features. Crescenzi suggests willow and popular trees, densely planted with other plants and vines. "cut out into the shape of towers and crenellations. " (Hobhouse) Markham also suggests such.

Today we have such a wide range of materials to do fencing than what they had available to them back then. I like using wood for it is cheep and you can do aloot with wood more than any other material today. back then wood was a precious commidity for not only was it used for building but for heating, signaling, and cooking. In todays society we do not relay solely upon wood for all our needs and trees are specifically grown just for lumber purposes.

Lauren Stier

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Lauren Stier - I have a medieval garden which has been an ongoing project


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