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  • Writer's pictureAlex Subrizi

Fence me in (part 1)

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

We’ve marked the end of 2021’s high season with a new fence around the inner perimeter of the property which includes the fienile, main house, courtyard, parking and pool areas, and inner olive grove.

Old fence posts from the early 1990s were removed and the fence was rebuilt with two gauges of wire strung across new solid chestnut trunks: the heavier wire gauge is buried in the ground to a depth of 25cm to keep boars from burrowing under; a lighter gauge rises to about 170cm to keep out deer.

We’ve also added two lockable gates to access the outer portions of Poggiosole’s 6 hectare parcel; these should ensure that pets don’t wander out and hikers don’t wander in :) A motorized front gate, made from COR-TEN steel and massaranduba wood, is in the works to secure our driveway by mid-2022*.

Four-legged creatures in our midst include roe deer, foxes, wild boar, hare, and the occasional wolf, as well as hunting dogs. We have no livestock to protect but we do want to keep guests, including small children and pets (we occasionally admit dogs) at a safe distance from wildlife and the deer away from our flowering plants; our roses in particular were nibbled to near nothing both last year and this. Wild boar are more a nuisance than a threat, though they are phenomenally destructive to farmland when rooting about for groundwater and have been known to charge when accompanying their young. At Poggiosole I’ve seen boar as close as 50 meters and have sighted the occasional fox and hare. I’ve not yet seen a wolf (word is their numbers in Europe are rising). Bottom line our upgraded fencing should give all involved greater peace of mind, with apologies to the deer who will have to get their treats elsewhere.

* Postscript, 21 February 2023: as of today, work has still not begun on the installation of the motorized gate at the end of our drive, although the gate itself and its electronics have all been in-hand for over a year. The problem is getting the crews that will regrade the drive and perforate the stone wall to securely mount the gate and its motors and electronics to show up. Masonry and electrical contractors have been in short supply for the past two years, due to extraordinarily high demand linked to government stimulus payments and incentives to homeowners. Smaller jobs like our gate keep getting pushed to the end of the line. With luck, we'll see the job done by the time we re-open, but I'm not holding my breath 😔

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