Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Fence Conundrum -- What to do?
HELP! My yard needs more privacy. We need fencing...but what exactly do I want? What would be the best choice? I am wrestling with what to do. (pictured here, "corn stalk" fence in garden district of New Orleans, courtesy justanuptowngirl, flickr. I'd love this!!)
Our property is in the town center, set back from the Main Street, just behind a small lovely town park.
My side yard garden (seen here) is separated from the park by a small access road. It is south facing and is highly visible to foot and car traffic. This is where the sunny stream bed and garden are located. This area needs a small fence to give a sense of separateness from the public spaces around us but which does not block the view of this more public aspect of my garden.
On the other hand, the back yard feels like a more private shade garden with a row of huge old pine trees along the back property line and a big maple tree in the center of the area. I have shade gardens here and have planted a dozen or so rhodys and hydrangeas. In this area we have a picnic area, a terraced patio area and a small back deck. It is peaceful, shady and feels secluded...except for one big thing..... just beyond the 100' tall pine trees is a 4 story brick elderly housing complex. Our yard is separated from that building by a 4' chain link fence, owned by the complex. On their side there is a walkway and a small green space. In addition, beyond the trees on the far side, there is a small parking lot. So, although this area feels serene the reality is that dozens of apartments look out and down onto our yard (tho through the pine branches). Additionally, the pine trees do not have branches on the bottom 10-15 feet, so the yard is actually totally exposed to the chain link fence, complex walkway and the first floor apartments. This area needs a fence that provides more substantial privacy. But I don't want it to stand out or make a huge statement of its own.
As you can see........I need help!!
Here are the things I am factoring in:
The side yard needs to be open and airy feeling while the back yard needs to create privacy and block some sound. The "style" of town center is moderately historic New England. Emily Dickinson's house (museum) practically abuts our property. On the other hand, our house was built in the 1950's and is a one story, mid century house that was "colonialized." We are downplaying the colonial aspects.... ie we removed the eagle above the front door, will soon paint it "November Sky" a slightly funky blue-grey instead of white. Oh, and every other house around us is 1800's Victorian.
The fences need to be fairly durable as there is a lot of pedestrian traffic near the side garden, potential people horsing around and crashing into it as there are many college students around us. The few neighborhood school kids' bus stop is on our corner. Out back, kids sometimes play ball and other games on the walkway so it may get some "abuse" from that.
It needs to be reasonably priced. We are doing many renovations to this house and have other things we want to spend money on. The fence is not the highest priority for expenditures. We have some skill and availability to build and / or install it ourselves so it seems wood is likely to be the material of choice.
Ok..that being said, what ideas, suggestions, pictures do any of you have to throw into the consideration pile?
My blog ears and eyes are all yours!!
Leave your comments/suggestion. Send your garden blog friends over to add theirs!
Remember, my garden is on the annual Tour in June. Yikes!!