DIY Tip

Fabulous Fence Finds

I’m a fence stalker. Especially when I was looking to have a fence built on my own garden. Fencing is a necessary evil for urban gardeners. Our lots are so close to each other, and for anyone that uses their back yards, privacy is essential.

But standard 6-foot picket fences are ubiquitous and boring. I love seeing how some people make a creative opportunity out of standard, and custom, fences.

Here are some of my favorites I’ve collected over the years.

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Black? Maybe no in my garden but this made a good backdrop for the green, especially with the vertical slats for climbing vines at regular intervals. Though this fence is in Austin, TX and I can’t not think about how hot it must get with the black soaking up the sun all day.
Photographer: Jim Charlier
A Buffalo garden – just hanging things on a fence is a good idea, but I’ve not included too many of those in this collection, but this one was treated as more of a complete “work of art” with color, details and plants.
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One of my favorites, I’ve posted it before. This Buffalo garden is popular on Garden Walk Buffalo. The painting was commissioned by the gardener.
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Fitting style and color for Sedona, AZ.
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Little bit of a cheat – this is a donor wall at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ.
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Shown in the lead image, this clever fence at the Coastal Main Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Maine probably keeps the mice out.
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Disney’s Castaway Cay in the Bahamas has a castaway theme whereby much of the infrastructure is made from found and recycled items – like this shipping palette fence.
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Not very practical, but this fence featuring plastic paper takes on the feeling of rough tree bark – in blinding white. This was a temporary garden display at the Chelsea Flower Garden Show in 2011. Cool bench and table though.
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My new favorite, and inspiration when I feel rich and ambitious for my own front yard garden. This Mackenzie-Childs inspired fence is in East Aurora, just outside Buffalo.
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Again, not something I would do, but isn’t it fun? Found in the test gardens at the Natural Gardener garden center in Austin, TX.
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Downtown Portland, Oregon has a terrific park that takes up a full square block. As great as the landscaping is, this fence was my greatest take-away.
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Another Chelsea Flower Show temporary garden – this with a “law” theme.
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Rich Groblewsli’s Asian-inspired garden in Lancaster, NY has his collection of Asian objects in gloss black lit boxes along his fence. Looks great at night.
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A Toronto area garden. The horizontal slats and dark stain makes it feel very “urban” in this garden with a modern flare.
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Another Toronto fence in the same neighborhood as the previous photo. I LOVE this because there is a sheet of metal behind the slats giving a sparkle and glow to the fence that moves as you walk by.
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Another shipping pallet fence in a Buffalo garden. Economical and easy!
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Just a unique pattern can make for a handsome fence. This was in Toronto in the Cabbage Town neighborhood.
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Carol and Tom’s Buffalo garden – I’ve been saying fro years I want to steal this simple idea. This could be the summer!
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A typical picket fence dressed up with a dark stain, columns, arbor and family photos outdoors!
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Also from the Natural Gardener garden store in Austin. Corrugated sheet metal and stained slats, simple and beautiful.
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Another one of my favorites. The garden of artist Sally Treanor in Buffalo. Her husband made the fence.
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The Toronto Islands, in an Asian-inspired garden. The fence disappears and the wall becomes a focal point.
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A fence that fits in – at the Chelsea Flower Garden Show in London.
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Two fences between homes in Buffalo’s Cottage District. If plants won’t grow there, paint ’em up!
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Okay, it’s not technically a fence, but I loved the simple addition. of the circles on this gate.
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This Buffalo garden has a standard picket fence, but the vertical bands across the tops give it a more tailored, bespoke look. Cheap and easy.
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Another Chelsea Flower Show fence – this one made from the reused planks from gymnasium floors.
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Truly the American white picket fence, with copper caps in Mary’s Garden, a popular stop on Garden Walk Buffalo.
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More of a wall than a fence, it has the appearance of a fence, behind the lattice panels are large mirrors, adding sparkle during the day and reflections at night.
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A custom fence and entrance gate found in the Hamburg, NY area.
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Fence of doors. (Photo by Remy Rotella Orlowski)

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

2 comments on “Fabulous Fence Finds

  1. Nice, Jim! You’ve seen some great fences in your travels. I share your admiration of the two from The Natural Gardener in Austin–a very creative place. Love the two mural-painted ones from Buffalo.

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    • I’m always on the hunt for unique fences, and the Natural Gardener had great ones. For my own fence, I went a bit more sedate, but NOT typical pickets!

      Like

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