Do Fence Me In: Your Guide to Fences, Screens and Gates

Screening a garden design is like framing a picture: it can contribute to or detract from the aesthetic. Frame your garden well with a living screen, wooden fence or one of many other beautiful options.

Excerpted from Garden Design
Shiplap Screen Popular Ready-Made Fencing Option DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Shiplap Fencing

Shiplap is one of the least expensive and most popular ready-made fencing options, though not the most durable. Even though the panels are pre-treated, it is best to re-treat them every few years. The larch strips often warp, leaving small gaps. Shiplap is available in standard fence panel sizes.

Ready-Made Featheredge Screening DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Featheredge Fencing

Ready-made, affordable featheredge wood panels come in various sizes, but the design (vertical softwood timbers nailed on to horizontal rails at the top and bottom) makes it easy to construct. If fixed to strong post supports, the sturdy panels are good for boundaries. Featheredge needs to be re-treated every few years, even if you buy it pre-treated.

Hit and Miss Fencing DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hit and Miss Fence

While offering privacy, the alternating panels of hit and miss fencing are wind permeable, making it ideal for exposed sites. Attached to sturdy posts, the fence is unlikely to blow down, and the wood strips (fixed vertically or horizontally) are easy to replace. Buy this very affordable fencing ready-made or construct panels yourself.

Decorative Chevron Paneling DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Chevron Panel Fencing

Decorative panels are not usually strong enough for use as a boundary fence, but this chevron design, a variation on the sturdy and less expensive hit and miss, will hold up. It is also ideal for dividing up a garden into rooms, or screening an ugly view, for example where your garbage cans are stored.

Garden Fence with Trellis Inserts DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Trellis Panel

Integrating trellis panel into your fence, such as the hit and miss variant shown here, allows for a good windbreak. To bring privacy back to this customization, train a climber through the trellis, to create a colorful display of flowers.

Contemporary Slatted Wood Fence DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Slatted Wood

Slatted wood creates a contemporary, inexpensive, moderately durable screen that allows both light and wind to pass through. Use it to divide up the garden or to mask garbage cans or a shed; it also doubles as a plant support for climbers. Paint or stain will help protect the wood, and introduce color into your design.

Rustic Picket Fence Provides Simple Charm DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Picket Fence

The simple picket wood fence has rustic charm, yet it also works well with a modern property. Leave it natural, or paint it to match your house or planting design. Its open structure and low profile makes it more of a visual boundary than a barrier to keep out unwanted visitors. Picket fence is available ready-made.

Oak Fencing DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Oak Fencing

Oak fencing is perfect for a country-style front yard, as in this made-to-order beauty. The hardwood has a beautiful appearance and is best left unpainted, but a clear oil will preserve its color; over time, if left untreated, oak develops lovely silver hues. Oak is durable and affordable for the most basic look, although more complex designs can also get pricey.

Chestnut Paling Fence DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Chestnut Paling

Often seen on farms, chestnut paling is naturally rot-resistant and perfect for a subtle, rustic barrier between a country garden and the natural landscape beyond. The wood pieces come on a roll and are linked, at the top and bottom, by a double row of twisted wires. Unrolled pieces are fixed to wood rails for extra strength.

Willow Hurdles are Natural Windbreaks DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Willow Hurdle

Surprisingly robust, willow hurdles make effective windbreaks. They can be woven to order, or are available in standard panel sizes, both of moderate expense. Willow makes a beautiful backdrop for naturalistic or cottage-style plantings; it can also extend privacy when fixed to the top of a wall. Protect willow hurdle with linseed oil.

Willow Privacy Screen DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Willow Screen

If you love the look of willow, want a more contemporary look and don't need a very durable screen, choose a framed willow screen—it provides a neat yet natural backdrop for planting at a low-cost. Good for privacy around the patio, the screen is clamped into a wood frame to improve its strength. Treat your willow screen with linseed oil.

Bamboo or Reed Is Ideal for Instant Patio Screen DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Bamboo or Reed Screen

Bamboo or reed screen is ideal for creating instant screen to block out an ugly view or covering your pergola to keep out the intense summer sun. For extra strength, attach it to an existing fence—it works especially well on chain-link. These somewhat flimsy screens are not suitable for exposed sites, where they will be at risk of blowing away. Though very inexpensive, their cost is in replacement - they will start to deteriorate after a few seasons.

Establish Formal Hedge with Evergreen Conifers DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Formal Hedge

Formal hedges allow you to plant even more durable beauties. While slow growers, such as yew and beech, may take a few years to thicken up, quick-fix conifers require endless cutting. It’s tempting to buy established plants for instant results; but young plants are less expensive and quickly catch up. Plant thorny barberry, firethorn and rugosa rose to keep out intruders.

Climbers Cover Chain Link Fence for Privacy Fence DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Living Fence

The backbone of a lovely living fence is a chain-link fence with climbing plants grown through it. Results are not instant, but the low price makes this a good choice for a long boundary in an informal or wildlife garden. Plant a mixture of prickly plants for security, and flowering climbers for color.

Woven Willow Yard Screen DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Living Willow

If you need your screen to be more suggestion than security, consider the artful living willow. Plant young \"whips\" in winter or early spring in a sunny spot then, come summer, weave them. To stop your screen from maturing into a forest, prune back to the framework in late winter.

Gated Fence DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fence Gate

A gate that closely matches the fence panels gives a visually unbroken line for a crisp, clean design. If you can, position the gate in a gap between two whole fence panels— having to custom-reduce some panels, such as featheredge, involves complicated carpentry.

Custom Spiral Gate Draws the Eye DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Custom Gate

This spiral metal gate was made to order, but there are plenty of lovely designs available ready-made. Set between two sturdy steel posts, it makes a beautiful focal point in a country-style hedge. Regularly trim the foliage away from the hinges and the catch.

Arched Wooden Door in Brick Wall DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Wooden Door

An arched wooden door set in a stone or brick wall is a design classic. Peeling paint and rusting fittings will only add to its charm. This door was custom-made to fit the space, but, if you are building a wall from scratch, it is worth checking out the sizes of standard doors before you start.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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