Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Working both as a contractor and a master gardener brings all sorts of fun crossover projects. Most of the gardens that I work on are in backyards, but once in awhile the location of the house within the property dictates that the bulk of the garden has to be in the front yard. While you might not expect it, front yard garden plantings often benefit from the privacy, support, and protection of fencing, and the type of plants involved makes a difference in the kind of fence that works best in a front garden.
Not all front gardens need a fence--some look better without one, and others might look more natural with just a hedge or a row of other plants. I’ve also seen beautiful gardens with a brick or stone wall, rather than a fence, around the front yard or garden area. But there are also times when a fence is both useful and improves the way the yard looks. We’ll talk about why you might choose to put a fence around your garden and what type of fence to look for.
Why Use Fencing for the Front Garden
Putting a fence around the front garden is more or less a subjective call, though in my mind you really can’t go wrong if you choose a fence that complements your home. If you’re looking for any of the benefits below, you might want to seriously consider adding a fence.
Qualities to Look for in Front Garden Fencing
Plentiful access to sunlight is the most important quality of a garden fence, especially if the garden involves growing fruits and vegetables. It’s critical for sun-loving vegetables to get as much sun as possible in the early stages of life (when the sun is lower on the horizon) and throughout the growing year.
The second quality I look for in a fence is low maintenance and durability. If I’ve put in a full garden that goes right up to the fence, I don’t want to be ripping posts out of the ground every few years, or pressure washing and sealing every other year. With dense plantings, this always involves a certain amount of extra hassle, either for contractors/gardeners like me or for the homeowner. Because of this, it’s wise to find a fence for the front garden that will last and look beautiful even when left on its own.
Types of Fencing for the Garden
There are plenty of styles of fencing for a vegetable or flower garden. All of the following materials have their strengths and weaknesses, which are different from one context to the next.
While fencing materials are purely a matter of personal taste, I usually prefer the aesthetic benefits of classic, black steel fencing. Practically speaking, when a property requires as much light as possible and my clients aren’t drawn to the fully-cloistered sense that wooden security fences bring, then I aim for a steel rail and picket fence, as they are beautiful and low maintenance. Fortress Building Products produces some of the best, because they’ve captured a combination of toughness and beauty by using an advanced combination of protective coatings, including an e-coat derived from the auto industry (it’s what car manufacturers use to keep auto underbodies from rusting out). I highly recommend looking into Fortress to see what they have to offer.