Some type of enclosure such as a fence, trellis or hedge is essential if you want to turn your garden into an intimate space or create a garden room. It can be pricey though, especially if you want something that isn't pre-constructed. I remember the pain of spending more on the fence than the plants the first year my husband and I constructed our garden.
What can you do if you want to install fencing or trellises and just can't fit it into your budget? Don't let a little thing like money stop you. Take a look at some projects that might inspire you - all built from cast-off items. All that's required is a willingness to think outside the box.
Privacy doesn't have to be pricey
Our friend Dave is one of those guys - and he's inventive. Years ago, my husband and I picked up several heavy old doors in an abandoned barn thinking we would do something wonderful with them. We never did come up with a use for them, so we finally passed them on to Dave. He took them home and built this awesome fence. Why didn't I think of that? Now I wish I had them back.
He confessed that he only had a vague idea of what he was going to do with the doors after he hauled them away in his car, but his next door neighbors dogs gave him an idea. His small backyard was partially enclosed by a stockade fence, but it didn't block the dogs' view - they barked incessantly every time they saw him and his wife in the backyard. More stockade fence seemed too boring, so he used the doors to bridge the gap.
He didn't have enough doors to fill in the other side by his deck, but he found these shutters on the side of the road and screwed them into a couple of 4x4 posts. The chairs were another roadside find he painted to match the shutters.
He left a space about three feet wide between the fence and property line to cover the view of the storage area so you can't see it from the deck. Seriously, I think he's the male Martha.
Partial privacy - look through to the other side
Maybe you don't need a solid fence that hides everything. Here's an inspiring piece of work I saw on a garden tour last summer. The owner is an artist who recycles glass into garden art. I'm not sure where she found these windows but they sure do a great job of providing a little enclosure. It frames some of the best views of her neighbors flowers and makes her garden seem larger.
This gardener collects doors and windows. Looking through to the other side gives this bed a little more depth, and it's such an interesting backdrop!
I was green with envy when I saw this in a friend's garden. Another treasure scrounged from the side of the road. I would have never thought of using this old iron railing as a trellis. So elegant!
This gardener has a thing for blue and utilizes everything she has. The trellis is just a stapled-together affair that came with a vine she bought. I would have probably tossed something like this, but she painted it to match the container and added a few branches to the mix. It does a good job of screening that corner.
A plain old fence?
This fence isn't recycled, but I had to include it because it's a real departure from the ordinary. I wish I knew the back story - did the owner just get tired of looking at a boring old stockade fence? Possibly in the teaching or art profession? What an imagination, not to mention dedication to detail. I almost wrecked the car when I saw it!
Needless to say, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for roadside finds. Like they say, one man's trash is another's treasure. And from now on, I'm rethinking what I get rid of.
Sign up for my newsletter