Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Fence, New Border

No one really knows how old the fence was. One neighbor speculated that it might predate the previous owner, who bought the house in 1987. Whatever its history, the fence's best days were long behind it. For nearly two years I watched one section carefully, awaiting the day that it would crash down on my hydrangea, a day that came this past April. At that point we knew that something must be done. I inspected the rest of the fence, about 300 linear feet, and determined that about half of it was likely to fall down in the next big wind, while the other half was probably good for another several years.

I'm tight with a dollar (I steal dead leaves, for crying out loud) so the thought of replacing 150 feet of fence that was not in danger of imminent collapse seemed wasteful. On the other hand, how much longer would it be before the rest of it needed replacing? Plus, our old fence had only one gate, which was conveniently placed as far as possible from the crawl space/toolshed, which meant that if I wanted to work in the front yard, I had to either drag my implements all the way around, or toss them over the fence and hope no one was standing on the other side. (The neighbors have small children and I have a pitchfork, so there was the potential for an awkward situation...)

Aesthetics and convenience won out over money, and now we have a brand new fence that cost slightly less than an organ transplant, but does look fine.

For the last month or so, I've been expanding my border along the fence line. Just for fun, I dug out my photos from July 2005, before I planted anything, to compare with how it looks today. Check it out below.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your fence is marvelous and your wider beds are great. I can't wait to see everything next spring and summer. It will fill in and look gorgeous. It is good that the neighbors will be safe with you mucking around the garden.

Christine said...

I like the new, wavy edged beds. I also can't wait to see how it looks next year.

Gina said...

hey david! that fence is awesome! and i love love love the new wider beds! your yard looks HUGE.

Carolyn gail said...

Congratulations on your new fence. I had to do the same thing last year.

Love the curvaceous new beds. Hope you're planning a lot of background shrubs and vines to soften the fence?

Are those evergreens Alberta Spruce ?

I'm envious of your large yard but I know it's going to take a lot of sweat and greenbbacks to fill up.

Some inexpensive deciduous shrubs to consider if you have sun : Wiegela, Forsythia, Dwarf Korean lilac, Knockout roses, and dwarf magnolia.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Thanks Lisa! I can't wait either!

Thanks Christine. I spent many hours moving the hose around working on the configuration.

Thank you, Gina. Yeah, it's pretty big--I used to think too big when it was all grass.

Thanks CG. Oh yes, I'm planning to have a mixed border all along the fence--you see the evergreens already (Arborvitae. I'm working on a "native plant/bird friendly" border and have some arrowwood viburnums and American cranberry (v. tribolum). And in the "Great Minds Think Alike" category, I have some forsythia and weigela that I rooted earlier this year--spring, then summer flowers!

I'm not familiar with Dwarf Korean Lilacs, but I looked them up on your suggestion and I think I may have to find one. The blooms are beautiful, and according to my sources, very fragrant!

Thanks for the suggestions!

Anonymous said...

I just finished building 50' of fence from junk I found at the curb. And I'm competing with you for stealing those dead leaves. I steal grass cuttings as well.
-Billy The Blogging Poet

Mary said...

What a huge difference the new fence makes. And I give you credit for your designing skills on the garden. I'll eager to see what springtime brings to you!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The new fence looks great! What a difference it makes. The new beds look great too.

Catherine said...

Your new fence looks wonderful, and I'm know your extended border will too! ~Look forward to seeing it next year!! :)

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Hey Billy! Just don't be stealing 'em from my neighborhood. I've got dibs!

Mary, Robin, and Catherine--Thanks. I'm counting the days till spring myself!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I have to replace my fence next spring (actually, I should have replaced it last spring). My fence looks like your old fence, plain stockade. I'm inspired by your new scalloped fencing. I'm just not sure how it would look because my ground slopes. BTW - you should link this post with Gardening Gone Wild's Garden Blogger's Design Workshop for December.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Hi Mr. M's Daughter, Our yard has a bit of a slope. We wanted the scallops because the backyard is so rectilinear that it looks like a football field. I thought the scallops would echo the curves in the beds and soften it up. Plus, it dips down to 5 1/2 feet in height, so you don't feel so walled in. Thanks for the tip about Gardening Gone Wild. I added a link there.

Nan Ondra said...

A beautiful new fence, David, and worth every cent. What a terrific backdrop for those big borders! Thanks for sharing your photos, and for participating in the Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop.

jim said...

Stealing leaves? You are cheap. They fall off trees at no cost, you know.

Fence looks great. I'm in a tight urban setting and I'm envious of your "back forty."

Fence looks great. Any plans for adding color to it with stain?

Less is More said...

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