When you purchase a home in the UK, you don’t usually need to think about erecting a boundary fence. Usually this has been done by previous owners and depending on the style of your house, it is either made of brick or wood. In Bulgaria, you do need to pay attention to erecting a boundary around your Bulgarian property.
Chances are here, that you will have no more than a rusty wire fence, falling down in parts or a dry stone wall, which like the wire fence is long past its sell-by date! The other thing you may neglect to consider is the fact that you will most likely buy a far bigger piece of land than in the UK and the cost of erecting a boundary can be quite expensive. Whatever the case, an attractive boundary wall or fence will increase the value of your home as well as giving you privacy and security. There are many types of boundary fences or walls to choose from and each one offers different benefits, which is why you should consider all options beforehand.
The Bulgarian Way
One of the things the Bulgarians do very well is build excellent boundary walls. Most villas owned or built by Bulgarians will have a fantastic high wall surrounding the property providing total privacy and security allowing you to sunbathe and splash in your pool without being observed. Bulgarian walls are constructed in two ways; either from breezeblocks or from concrete. If the wall is built from concrete, then a series of wooden shutters are used to create the template and concrete is poured into this mold and left to set. Both structures are strengthened with steel rods and rendered in a variety of colours afterwards. They are generally finished off with roofing tiles along the top and the gate is reminiscent of something from a Spanish hacienda.
Creating a high wall around your property is by far the most expensive boundary option whether you use concrete or breezeblocks. If your budget won’t stretch this far then you can opt for a smaller wall interspersed with pillars with the gaps filled in with decorative wrought iron posts. This is still not cheap even by Bulgarian standards, but it will save you money.
There are many eco friendly ways to border your home and many of these are completely new to Bulgarians. Planting conifers or other evergreen trees will provide you with a beautiful, stylish green boundary wall in a few years to come. The conifers should be planted one metre apart making it easy to calculate how many you need to surround your property – confers cost around 11 lv. for a one metre high plant. Success with conifers only comes if you religiously water them every day. This is not so essential when they are well established, but whilst they are young plants or at least for the first year they need liberal amounts of water - you will be surprised how quickly the die off without it.
Privet is available in Bulgarian garden centres now and costs around 2 lv. for a metre high plant – you will need five plants for each metre. Privet is much easier to look after than conifers; it is more of a weed than a shrub and consequently grows profusely, but it needs generous watering for about six months after planting. The downside of privet is that it will need clipping regularly once it has grown into a hedge and it is not evergreen and looks rather bear in winter.
Another natural solution often scorned at in Bulgarian but used regularly in countries like Austria is to create a natural land bank from mounds of earth. Bulgarians will tell you it will collapse and slide into your gardens Austrian would say – not if you cover it with grass and shrubs. Banks are obviously ideal for land, which are on a slope. You need to use the earth to create a gradual incline then use a machine that pats the earth together- this is important to ensure that the soil forms a solid mass. To knit the earth together you need to sew grass to cover the bank. If you don’t do this it will be covered with wild grass and weeds. If you sew yourself then you can add in wild flowers and evergreen shrubs.
Wire fencing has become more stylish over the years. DIY store Praktiker now has a selection of stylish, green plastic-coated wire fences, which are easy to erect. You simply set the fence posts in concrete and clip the fence onto them. Bulgarian builder’s merchants stock the traditional Bulgarian wire fence and concrete posts to go with them. This is by far the cheapest option when creating a boundary to your property, but of course it offers no privacy unless you grow shrubs, vines and trees behind the fence. The good old larch lap fence that is so common in the UK is a rarity out here, yet it does provide security and privacy. Praktiker used to stock it but sold so little that they deleted it from their range. There is no reason why wooden fencing won’t work in Bulgaria as long as the posts are concreted securely into the ground, but it may deter Bulgarian buyers who prefer more solid options. If you need screening in parts of your garden to divide areas or even to cover an existing wrought iron or wire fence to provide a greater degree of privacy then using bamboo, which is available at Mr Bricolage. It provides natural beauty, but will fade in time and will need replacing every couple of years.