Around this time of year, as well as planning which seedlings to get going or tidying up borders ready for Spring flowers to go in, you may also want to think about something that often gets neglected but is quite important to help keep your garden and grounds protected…yes, we’re talking fences!
- Hardwood is the ideal choice of timber - remember to check how it has been treated.
- Softwood is more affordable and can be just as effective as Hardwood if well cared for.
- Dip-treated (where the wood is immersed in preservative) - Dip-treated fences need periodic re-treating so it might be worth investing in a paint sprayer for regular reapplications of a fence stain.
- Pressure-treated - where it is also treated with preservative but dried first. This is longer lasting but comes with a higher price tag.
Erecting fencing is within the grasp of competent DIYers, but if doingit yourself, it’s best to ask for help from at least one other person.
Fences, walls and gates do not require building regulations approval, but it is important that they are structurally sound. New fencing will notusually require planning permission either; however, if you live in a listed property, or in the curtilage of one, then you will need to seek listedbuilding consent.
Top fencing tips:
1. MAKE YOUR FENCING A FEATURE
Treat your fence as you would a feature wall in the home to add interest to a vertical space. This could mean painting a section of it in a bold colour or using a patterned panel to create a focal point.
2. PICK A PRETTY PICKET
Picket-style fencing provides a barrier without cutting off your plot from the outside world – the low height invites interaction, while the gaps between pales give a glimpse of the garden beyond. This type of fencing is great for sectioning off a vegetable patch for protection from pets and children.
3. CONSIDER A WOVEN FENCE DESIGN
If you are looking for a full-height fence, woven panels can provide strength and will protect plants from harsh winds, while letting sunlight through. Note that they are very appealing to climbing plants that may use the weave to anchor their tendrils. This can create a lovely living wall but will damage the panels over time.
4. CONSIDER METAL PANELS
The industrial look works really well for period properties. Add an edge to a garden of pretty meadow flowers with a hardwearing metal fence.
5. BUILD A LIVING RETAINING WALL
While not strictly speaking a fence, you can create a beautiful natural boundary with a retaining wall made from vertical oak sleepers. This will form a raised bed of sorts that could be planted with tall grasses for height.
6. CREATE A DRAMATIC BACKDROP FOR PLANTING
Looking for a way to really show off your planting? One way is to paint or spray your garden fence a dark colour, such as deep blue or black. Then position light-leafed plants in front of it for a dramatic contrast.
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