Post category: Fences


A fence is usually made of timber and is more temporary than a wall. Fences have the same functions of boundary, division and ornament as walls.



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There are many ways of using timber in fences – woven panels, post-and-rail, picket fence, sawn ‘slabs’; each one has its merits. Sometimes, timber poles in palisades, or ‘log rolls’ are used as a retaining wall; but these do not last well in a wet climate!

The quality of wooden fences largely depends on the durability of the timber; oak and larch are among the best. The thickness of the parts and the method of application of preservative will have a big influence too. Softwood should be pressure-treated for long life.




Fences used for division within the garden usually take the form of screens, for example, rustic fence with climbers. Screens are less enclosing than solid fences. Trellis fences are a form of screen made of narrow laths nailed in regular pattern – diamond, square or rectangular.

Trellis is very ornamental in itself, and even more so with climbers. Apart from supporting climbers, the strong patterns of trellis can be used to break up featureless areas of wall.

Good quality metal fences, especially wrought-iron, can be very attractive, and are more likely to be successful when associated with stone or concrete. The colour they are painted has a big influence – white, black and very dark green are best.




An artificial shelter fence can be invaluable in an exposed garden to give plants a chance to get started. There are various brands of plastic mesh shelter material available. These materials are nailed to wooden posts and rails.

A wooden shelter fence, consisting of five centimetre wide laths with a similar gap between the laths, can provide good shelter, and can also be used as a boundary. A shelter fence provides good shelter for five times its height, and some shelter effect for ten times the height.