A decorative garden fence is more than just a boundary, it can provide protection for your precious plants and ornaments from various invaders. They can also be used to obscure undesirable features such as utility meters, HVAC equipment, or provide necessary privacy. Their use is not limited to aesthetics, as garden fences can be utilized to support legumes or other vine growing cultivars and even training topiaries. The myriad of designs offered compliment a wide range of applications and can range widely in price based on both materials and design. In choosing any decorative garden fence one must consider the location, as well as the surrounding elements to ensure it fits seamlessly into the landscape. The subsequent points will provide some general information about various decorative garden fencing options, their applications, and some helpful tips to get you started.
The oldest, and in many cases aesthetically pleasing material for a decorative garden fence is wood. Used for millennia, this readily available material can provide a simple elegant look for a more traditional home. Conversely there are also many designs that complement more modern architectural styles. From the traditional dog-ear to a more contemporary shadow box style, installation is relatively simple, materials readily available, and can be finished with either a nice stain or a fresh coat of paint. Maintenance is minimal, and quality materials will last for a long time to come.
Although generally less ornate than a fence made from wood, vinyl does provide many design options, reduced maintenance, and ease of assembly. In addition to lower maintenance requirements, vinyl fences are often more durable than other materials, and may be used in animal husbandry applications. Slightly more expensive than some of the other materials, vinyl quickly recoups the cost of initial investment over time.
Stacked Stone Walls
Stacked stone provides a quintessential country feel, and can be used as a dry stack (without mortar) or can be anchored with mortar and structural support to provide an effective barrier for the elements. Stacked stone makes an excellent decorative garden fence with many applications. Whether used as a single element to hold back a bank or hide an unsightly feature like a utility meter, a decorative stone fence is an asset to any outside decor. Due to the expense of both materials and labor, this can be a more expensive option. When you consider that both the Great Wall of China and Hadrian’s Wall across Britain are two prominent man made creations of the ancient world that still stand today, the durability of this method is clearly apparent.
One of the newer materials to be used for fencing in this country is Bamboo. This plant (technically a tall Asian grass) is a renewable resource which makes it an economical and ecologically friendly alternative to some of the previously mentioned materials. The uses of bamboo vary widely. It is commonly used in screens that can be erected quickly and easily to provide privacy or shade, but is strong enough for many more demanding applications. It is the primary building material throughout Asia, where it is used in everything from houses to boats to livestock cages.
- Locate boundary pins (contact county officials if necessary)
- Always check with your homeowners association and deed restrictions
- Contact your neighbors and make them aware of your plans (they may have helpful info)
- Get multiple bids/estimates from known reputable contractors (at least 3)
- Check to be sure that all necessary permits are on site, and get a copy of the contractors insurance just in case (liability and workmans comp if possible)