Friday, October 14, 2016

Please fence me in

Having been on a couple of garden tours in recent years, I was struck by how well a privacy fence can visually enclose space and provide a neutral background to whatever is planted in front of it. My yard is large and flat and exposed. The idea of wrapping a privacy fence around it really appealed to me.

Also, my solitary nature causes me to favor privacy as a general policy. While my neighbors are imperfectly nice people, I would prefer to hang out in my backyard without necessarily interacting with them or their children or their dogs. The installation of an above ground pool on one side and the new neighbor's yappy rat terriers on the other only added to my resolve.

North side of garage (hosta bed)

Of course, when I approached the neighbors about installing a fence, I used the factors in paragraph one above, then added how *they* would benefit from the fence ("more privacy for your pool guests" for the neighbors to the north and "make your house more sellable" for the previous neighbors to the south). I also spoke with the neighbor behind me, in case they were interested in removing the privet hedge between our lots (he is but his wife is not). At any rate, no one objected. Not that that would have stopped me.

South side of house (prairie sampler)

I thought about putting all the vertical boards facing out, but changed my mind when I learned the rat terriers are cat-hating canines. I'm not sure if Finn can get over the fence but if outside the yard, he may need to insert a clawhold into the horizontal runners to get back in. And since it is *my* fence, I chose to look at the aesthetically more pleasing side. (The only exceptions are the gates facing the street.) Another good decision was to move the gates from the back of the house to the front; to the south, the fence may help dampen the rattle of that neighbor's heat pump. I also like how it opens up the accesses to the backyard.

No more pool!

The fence was finished by noon today and I am *loving* it. It *does* visually enclose the backyard and it *does* block the view into my neighbors' yards. My yard feels more cozy, too.

No more yappy dogs!

I elected to use pressure treated pine since cedar would have doubled the price. Right now the boards have a greenish tint to them, which will fade to a rosy tan, then in several years the fence will turn weathered gray. I thought about having it stained, but from eyeballing others' fences, the stain obviously needs to be renewed periodically. With all my shrubs and perennials, current and future, that would be a problem.

There are a few candidates waiting on the deck for fall planting. But first, since I told the installers to make the fence even at the top, there is much unevenness at the bottom to contend with. The gaps are large enough that I want to wrap the bottom of the fence in an "L" of hardware cloth, then pile on wood chips.

I cant' believe how excited I am about this new improvement!

1 comment:

ErinFromIowa said...

This is fantastic. You are going to have so much fun with your secret garden!