A poster of this beautiful NW hedgerow is available from Good Nature Publishing as well as other wonderful and informative nature-based art. The Seattle Times says: "To visually entice gardeners and farmers to consider hedgerows, King Conservation District recently commissioned a poster-sized field guide from local Good Nature Publishing Co. To capture the essence of hedgerows, Montreal artist Suzanne Duranceau shot six rolls of film at Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island and Tolt-McDonald Park near Carnation. Her composite painting is a lovely hybrid of locations featuring more than 25 species of native flora and fauna found in or near Puget Sound hedgerows. With deer and ladybugs, cattails and wild roses, the poster illustrates a hedgerow separating farmland from wetland." The rest of the article has a lot more about creating urban hedgerows, especially in the PNW.
From a very informative article by Macphail Woods Nursery on Prince Edward Island: "Hedgerows, also called windbreaks or shelterbelts, once divided Island farms into a pattern of small fields. They provided shelter for livestock, protected houses and barns from winter winds and helped cool the buildings in the summer. The micro-climate in the fields was improved as the trees provided wind protection for the crops; the soil held heat and moisture and wind erosion was minimal. As farm mechanization increased the number of hedgerows decreased. Larger machines needed larger fields in which to manoeuvre. Soil erosion increased and important wildlife habitat corridors were lost as hedgerows were cut."
We're working with two main directions to the hedgerow plan - growing native plants, to take advantage of their natural hardiness and suitability to our climate; and filling the niches certain natives would normally fill with similar, food-producing varieties. This means where a native plant community would have huckleberries or twinberries in the undergrowth, we're planting blueberries. They have similar growing requirements, but produce much more food than the wild species. The medicinal/culinary herbs we've planted in back are an experiment in replacing the usual perennials and wildflowers with hardy adaptable plants we can make thorough use of. We're also learning ethnobotany (how the local tribes used all these native plants) as we go.
For people with smaller planting areas, this substitution method might be a workable way to add some habitat while increasing human-edible food production, with a minimum of care once the plants are well-established. For advice and ideas on how to plant your own hedgerow, check out the Master Gardener program in your area. Your local native plant society can also be a good resource in figuring out what to plant in your hedgerow.