Building a fence?
things are very important in the garden. They are privacy
and shelter. The latter is often a problem in gardens
which are exposed to cold prevailing winds. Both these
points are important not only for the gardener himself,
but also for the plants in his garden. Young growth
can be severely damaged by cold winds and frequent buffeting
will cause a great deal of root disturbance. Although
privacy and shelter can be provided by trees and shrubs,
fences also have an important part to play.
choice of fencing must never be undertaken lightly,
for serious consideration must be given to its appearance
and construction. Strength is very important, especially
in exposed, windy localities. A fence is only as strong
as its supports, and particular care must be taken to
see that these are not only substantial but inserted
securely. Most fences are supplied with strong posts,
usually 4-6in (10-15cm) square, depending on the type
of fence that has to be supported. Sometimes concrete
posts are supplied; these are extremely strong, although
a little more cumbersome to install. It is very important
to see that concrete posts are inserted deeply and firmly.
Strength of timber also depends on the prevention of
rot, and unless cedar wood is used (except for posts),
all timber should be treated with a suitable preservative.
Soaking with sodium fluoride and copper sulfate can be used, although it should be allowed
to soak into the timber for several weeks before plants
are trained against it. Unless this is done, there is
the danger of stem and leaf scorch and its use is not
generally recommended where plants are to be grown against
or near a fence. A safer treatment consists of the use
of copper naphthenate preservatives such as the green,
horticultural grades of Cuprinol or Solignum.
most popular types are purchased as units or panels.
Usually they are from 5-6ft (1.5-1.8m) in length with
heights varying from about 3-6ft ( 90cm-1.8m). A solid
or close boarded fence is, as its name implies, a design
which consists of upright or horizontal strips of wood,
some 6in (15cm) wide and 1in (2-2.5cm) thick. The strips
are nailed to two or more supporting rails at the rear
of the panel. These provide complete privacy and wind
protection, but are rather uninteresting in appearance.
board fencing provides a little more interest in its
appearance as it consists of wedge-shaped strips of
wood, 1 in ( 2cm) in thickness at one edge, tapering
to 0.5 in (1cm) at the other. Each strip overlaps the
next by about 1 in(2cm). The advantage of this design
is that it is virtually peep proof.
fencing is very attractive but inclined to open up a
little, especially in the cheaper units. Thin strips
of wood, approximately 4in (10cm) wide and 0.5 in (1cm)
thick, are interwoven one with another. It is a strong
fence if it is supported well. Trellis fencing is very
cheap and more suited as a support for climbing and
trailing plants. It is not a strong design but can be
used to good effect for covering unsightly walls or
as an additional part of a fence design. Sections 18-24in
(45-60cm) deep look most attractive if attached to the
top of, say, a close-boarded fence. Used in this manner
it helps to lighten an otherwise heavy, solid design.
fencing usually consists of laths of wood 1 by 3/4in
( 2.5 by 1.5cm) thick, fastened across each other vertically
and horizontally to form 6-8in (15-20cm) squares. The
laths are attached to a more substantial framing of
1 or 1in (2.5 or 3cm) square timber.
other cheap types of fencing are wattle and cleft chestnut.
The former is useful where a rural or rustic effect
is desired. The woven, basket-like construction produces
a very sturdy fencing panel. The panels are usually
attached to lengths of oak stakes driven securely into
the ground. The latter fence can be purchased with the
individual pieces of cleft chestnut spaced out at different
intervals. It is possible to purchase rolls of this
fencing with the paling nearly touching. The rolls are
usually attached to strong oak posts by galvanized wire.
In their construction, individual cleft chestnut palings
are wired top and bottom to strong horizontal wires.
of the latest advances in fence production is the sale
of kits which are so accurately machined and complete
that even an unskilled person can erect panels without
any trouble. With these kits have come new ideas in
design, and many can be made up into contemporary designs.
This is especially useful where bold effects are required
in the construction of patios. Many ultra-modern properties
are being built and this advance in fence appearance
will be welcomed by their owners.
can also be provided in the form of chain link or mesh
netting. The best quality is heavily galvanized to withstand
the rigors of the weather. A small fence should consider wire mesh as a popular option.
recent innovation is the plastic coating of chain link
over the galvanized wire. Standard colors of dark green,
black, white, yellow and light green can be obtained.
netting is another cheaper and useful fencing material.
Wire netting is easy and quick to erect as it requires
only moderately substantial supporting posts of timber
or angle iron spaced approximately every 6-8ft (1.8-2.4m)
apart according to the height and length of the fence
type of fencing is known as rustic. This is constructed
from larch or pine wood of circular section. The main
uprights are usually quite substantial and are cut from
3-4in (7-10cm) diameter timber while the design work
between them is of thinner section, usually about 11-2in
(3-5cm) diameter. The most popular design consists of
a diamond pattern approximately 18in (45cm ) in area.
It is sold by the square foot either with the bark on
or removed, stained and varnished. The result is a most
natural fence or screen which blends in very well with