Depending on budget and taste, there are a range of different options available for front and back garden fences – from the simple and practical to the more ornate and eye-catching. Let’s take a look at some of the popular choices you might want to consider.
Wooden fencing in the back garden never goes out of fashion and is one of the commonest and most affordable kinds. The standard look is vertical timbers with cross supports, although if you’re feeling a little fancier, you can add some latticework to the top. The closed slats on vertical wooden fencing ensure your privacy, while the open latticework at the top allows for a little extra sunlight to filter through into your garden.
The extra handy thing about such fencing is that you can buy pre-made panels and attach them to timber posts, saving time and energy.
If you want to add a little extra style and character to your fencing, try staining or painting the wood. You could also attach wire or mesh for climbing plants to grow on.
A more rustic option is willow screens and fencing. These are made from willow canes woven together and held in place by wire. It’s an option that is charming and distinctive, but also resilient in adverse weather conditions. Plus, the gaps between the willows will result in a dappled light effect in your garden. You can get a similar mix of sustainability and style from a woven bamboo fence instead.
If you have a larger space to fence off, then you might want to consider a post and rail fence. It doesn’t offer the same amount of privacy as vertical timbers, but on the plus side it affords unobstructed views of the landscape beyond your property – ideal if you live in a quiet and picturesque rural area.
Fence screens can provide extra privacy for your back garden, without the need for unsightly and imposing walls or barriers. There are a lot of options available on the market, including…
Steel gabion walls filled with organic materials such as stones or wood. The modernist, industrial look won’t suit every garden or taste, but they can make for a stylish, distinctive and inexpensive privacy-enhancing garden feature.
A more traditional option is the arbour and trellis screen. However, it can take a while for your creeping plants to grow over the feature and provide the privacy you’re after, so it’s not for those looking for a quick fix solution.
If you’re after something more elaborate, then you should check out the metallic lattice garden screens that are available. They come in a range of appropriate floral and bucolic patterns and are ideal for those who want to cultivate a little whimsical energy in their garden spaces. Or for something more natural, a lattice screen decorated with attractive creeping plants.
Why not try painting a mural on the inside of your fencing to make a statement and add a further point of interest to your garden landscape? You might want to choose bold colours like oranges, greens, pinks and blues that will complement and enhance your garden’s plants and flowers. If you don’t want a mural, then just consider painting your fence in vibrant colours. You could try a two-tone design with the brighter colour at the top to make any hanging baskets stand out more.
Strings of LED lights festooned on fencing can bring a welcome new festive dimension to your garden in the evenings, especially during the gloomy winters. LED bulbs are highly energy-efficient, so they have the added bonus of being environmentally friendly.
Alternatively, if you’re after something more practical but still decorative, attach some shelving to the fencing to create extra storage space for garden implements or potted plants. If entertaining is your thing, why not use the fencing as a background for a seating area? In this scenario, the fencing serves a double purpose, providing shade in the heat or shelter in windy weather, plus a degree of privacy from the eyes of neighbours.
Most of the time, if you’re building a new front garden fence or altering an existing one, local planning regulations won’t affect it. However, if any of the following are relevant, then planning regulations might apply:
The white picket fence made from painted wood is a perennial favourite. Why is it so popular? It’s unobtrusive, marking out the boundaries of your property without affecting the view of passers-by or your neighbours. Plus, it’s relatively easy to maintain, especially now that modern vinyl designs are available.
A more high-end option is metal fencing, which comes in all manner of varieties, including everything from simple flat bars to decorative railings. It’s one of the most robust fencing options, making it a sensible investment.
If you’re a nature lover, then hedgerows might be the best option for you. They’re green, attractive and can play host to local wildlife. A word of warning though: if you want to stay on good terms with your neighbours, you’ll need to trim and sculpt them to stop their growth from getting out of hand.
If you’re still undecided or would just like some more pointers, it’s worth getting in touch with an experienced Guild of Master Craftsmen accredited landscaper or gardener to discuss what’s available and get their advice. Go to www.findacraftsman.com to find one local to you.
You can find some more garden fencing ideas here: