And beautiful fences make a beautiful garden. While fences serve many uses that range from keeping the toddlers and Spot near home where they can be safely watched, do not under estimate what they can bring to your yard aesthetically. There are so many different types of fencing available that matching and look and style with a specific purpose (even if look and style is that purpose) can always be done with a little planning and shopping.
The actual reasons for a fence range from legal requirements in the case of swimming pools in most areas, to purely decorative as is the case in simple rail fencing used at the back property line as a way of giving a visual reason not to trim the brush from the woods behind the property you do not own. The key to selecting the best fencing option is in determining what is needed to do the job and how that can be adapted to blend and complement your property rather than be an obtrusive eyesore.
One common use for fencing is to contain pets and children. The convenience of a fenced yard so the children can play or you can let the dog out on a cold or rainy morning without following it around for 30 minutes is hard to underestimate. For this use, it should be noted real security and perceived security are different things. A cedar split rail fence is beautiful in a country setting but it will not keep children or Rover home if they decide they want to explore further. You are depending on it being a visual reminder of where they should not go – it does nothing to prevent them from going. In the case of pets one of the best and most economical fencing options available is the invisible fencing that relies on a radio collar to make it clear to Fido where the boundary is (and despite the occasional passing thought it cannot be used for children).
Chain link security fencing makes a good backyard enclosure for children and toddlers. It is considerably cheaper than wooden panel alternatives but does present some aesthetic challenges. It is available in any height one would wish for though if it is more than a moderate 42 inches high it takes on the appearance of a prison yard rather than happy place to play. That said, 6 feet or higher is preferable if the intent is to keep people out as well as keep toddlers in and provide actual security. High quality galvanized fencing is not as prone to rust and vinyl coated allows for more aesthetic appeal as it can blend more cleanly into the yard. Planting of flower beds and shrubs to break the outline will also help to improve appearance.
Wooden panel fences constructed of pressure treated wood or constructed of rot resistant wood such as cedar can be as plain or ornate as one chooses. The use of pine and softwood is common as it is cheap and painting and staining will help preserve it but it will not stand up to the test of time and is usually best avoided. Even in decorative use such as the traditional white picket fence, within 5 years you will be wanting to tear down the fence instead of repair and paint it again.
Panel fences make for beautiful privacy fencing around pools, providing both safety and privacy to lounge in the sun in your swimwear. Adding a trellis at the top of the fence and either vines or hooks for hanging plants turns it into lovely walls that can be decorated to add visual appeal if the neighboring properties are not something you want to look at when entertaining.
If you are not able to find fencing that appeals to you in your local home and garden store you still have options. Instead of settling for something you do not like and having to look at it every day for many years, it is possible to buy fencing direct from online sources and many carpenters will build fence panels to your exact specifications.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 14 August, 2013