You literally cannot walk through a cluster of cactuses and not feel the thoroughly unpleasant sensation. Cultivating this specie, for plateau inhabitants, is a way of keeping their houses and farms in check. Therefore, I won’t be mistaken if I unofficially term Plateau State, Nigeria, “The Land Of Cactuses”.
By the way, cactuses 🌵 are succulent (meaning they have thickened and fleshy parts, adapted to store water) species of plants with no leaves but thorny spines. So you get the point now? A total genius must have been at the fore of the idea in creating cactus Fences. If this not be so, then how else did this custom originate?
The cactus fence is productively relevant and barely penetrable. Best of all, no human in his complete sanity will hop this fence. It would be “a mission of shredded return”. Apart from the “guarding” function, it is totally a thing of great benefit to the biosphere, if more living plants are planted and included as parts of the various environmental and physical structures, more so, a fence.
The way barbed wires have their custom nature of putting away invaders without them even coming close, for fear of bodily harm, is the same way these cactuses perform their functions, making them popular in the plateau, for securing people’s farm place from unruly herdsmen, intruders and local animals. A cactus’ core advantage has a major leading to the nature of its deep rootedness and the fact that it has thorns stationed as designs around its flesh. Beautiful, but dangerous and irritating when in contact with the skin.
Its resilience is commendable as it is known to grow on rocks and other hard surfaces all around the plateau. Confirmed also, is the fact that they survive ALL the weather conditions evident in Jos and in other regions where they are found.
Also, it is widely researched that cactuses are a traditional plant in plateau. So it’s safe to say that the cactus is an integral part of the Plateau culture.
Cactuses 🌵 make elegant walls for gardens. I think you should explore its beauty if you are convinced that its biologically artistic nature resonates with your ideal of ambience.
A trip to Jos or more, will get you loving the creativity of this cultural inclusion and having wild thoughts of other creative possibilities that may abound in other cities in Nigeria.
Culled from Desert Sun, however, is this very soothing summary on what “uniqueness” of using Cactuses or others as living fences, is identifiable —
Living fences are an old idea coming around again. Whether they’re for swanky new landscapes or to solve problems in long established ones, the ability to create such a bold element can transform a garden, protect the homestead and provide fresh fruit.
©Nympha Chinenye Nzeribe