Fences, Gates and Walkways

One of the reasons I didn’t post much on here over the summer was that I was just too darn busy doing things with garden work to be able to write much. One of the big projects we took on starting in March was putting up a fence on the north side of the property where we only had a chicken wire enclosure that kept the dogs in and out but gave us no privacy. So we changed that.

We found some great 4′ tall 1″ thick 8′ long lengths of Bamboo fencing at a hardware store near us and got a bunch of packs of them. We also got a lot of wire, some 2″ x 8″ x 8′ treated planks and some re-bar and off we went. We started by placing the planks along the ground and fastened them to the fence with the galvanized wire. It’s strong and will hold the bamboo against the posts and keep it steady and provide a footing for the fencing. We held the planks in place with the re-bar as well, pounding it into the ground a couple feet to secure them from moving.

Next we started to unroll the fencing and place it along the existing fence. We did 8 feet at a time and fastened the bamboo on the chicken wire with the galvanized wire and set it on the planks. After we’d done that we ran a long cable in and out of the bamboo to provide a final layer of protection from the winds and elements.

In the first picture here you can see the whole of the fence as it snakes along the property line. The chicken wire fence is anything but straight but we think the curve of the bamboo just makes it more attractive so we don’t worry about it. We put the “clean” side towards the neighbors side so they like it and we could work the wire fasteners from our side of the fence. It worked well.

There are several pictures of the fence along the north side next. I tried to capture as many different positions on it as I could but it’s hard to see it all at once. As you can see from how clean the fence is in the early picture the whole fence has started to degrade already in that the bamboo is starting to age, which is a big surprise for us. We thought it’d be OK with clean white bamboo for years but already it’s turning brown with mold and age. Weird, but still attractive. We’ll learn to live with it.

We finally finished up the fence on the north side and set about doing the chores we still had to do. We lifted and rebuilt the back deck and the front porch and painted them and then painted the entire outside of the house by hand. It took a couple of months and was it  ever hard work! But it looks so good now it was worth it as we won’t have to do it again for years, we hope.

After we did all that we decided to go back and finish up the fencing. We had a gate at the bottom of the garden you can see next which we added the bamboo to and painted it brown to match the house trim. We also put in a new gate on the north side of the house and painted it to match as well as you can see. We gained a new small planting bed there too which has some nice plants in it. Yay for more room I didn’t think we had!

Next we decided to put in a whole fence between our garage and the house. So that’s the next few shots of it. It’s a little off the same angle as the walkway but that’s OK because we put a line of red brick in between the  walkways and that provides a transition zone that makes it work well for us. You can see shots of the fence from both sides of it in the next pictures.

Finally we put in a couple of walkways. First we did the one inside the fence and took the old walkway out, which was a ton of work, and reused the stones after we pressure washed them. We bought new stones to match and made a new walk from the house to the garage and made the whole inner space into a bit of a small patio. It provided us with another new planting area in with the Fagus and now we have even more plants. Yay again!

The last few shots are of the walkway in and out side the fence. We also ran a new underground drain line from the roof drain pipe to run under the lawn and into the area between the garage and the neighbors place. We wanted to drain the water as far away from the house as well as we could and this does it without an ugly gutter on the lawn like we’ve had for years. It’s all finished off by now as you can see even tho the lawn has to grow back in the spring.

Putting in these gates, fences and walkways was a lot of work. It was also very rewarding to do. They provide an added structural element to the whole garden and give a wonderful backdrop to the plants along the fence and from farther out too. It is easy to see over still so we can stay good friends with our neighbors.

We don’t expect total privacy, just some of it, and we got what we expected so we’re happy. In time the plants will fill in more and provide us with more privacy, but the fences give us it instantly and continue the whole garden in a way that encompasses it in a holistic pattern now that was lacking before.

We’re looking forward to next summer when we have cookouts and can show off the new work. We got to do a bit of that before the fall came and made it to cold to eat outdoors anymore but we’ll still show it off to visitors and we enjoy walking on the walks and seeing the gates and fences.

We like to admire our work after we’ve done it and spend time just looking at things. Do you do that after a job? Just admire your handiwork? It’s a good thing to do. Makes it feel real and like you’ve done something cool. That’s how we feel about this work.

It’s great to live in a neighborhood like Greenwood where people still are friendly and interact when they see you over the fence. They say good fences make good neighbors, but it’s nice to have short ones too that just give the illusion of privacy but still retain easy relations. It’s nice to see over it and say Hi…

Happy Fall to you all!

Steve

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Dan Riegler http://apothecarysgarden.com/?wref=bif
    2013-11-24 00:27:12

    Wow!! What gorgeous gardens Steve!!! Beautiful happy specimens all around!!
    Fantastic collection, and the new fence works perfectly with the beds and walkways. Nice job!!
    Loved your gallery of ferns and evergreens.
    Great work, you have been busy.
    What a lovely environment to live in.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Dan

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    Reply

    • Dan,

      Than you so much for sharing your thoughts. I hope you don’t mind that I copied your comment from one of the pictures where no one could see it to this spot in the main blog. I really appreciate your visiting my blog and leaving such kind words. I enjoy and learn from your blog, Apothecarys Garden, as well.
      All the best to you,
      Steve

      Like

      Reply

  2. There is something so satisfying about building a good fence. I reclaimed a friend’s garden a few years ago. The hard manual work is the sweetest feeling to savour afterwards, in the evening out there.

    Like

    Reply

    • You’re so right. I love to sit back and admire my work after a hard day of physical labor and creating a beautiful project. It’s so gratifying to feel it in your muscles and to see it manifest in reality. Thank you for your words, and for following my blog.
      peace,
      Steve

      Like

      Reply

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