What’s that old saying in the Robert Frost poem? “Good Fences make good neighbors”. Well, I don’t believe it. Quite often, putting up an instant barrier with a structural fence sends a different message to your neighbors or passers by. “Going Green” for privacy is the alternative to soften the message.
Fence “structures” do have their place. You know – picket, lattice, board, stacked, post & rail, stockade and (God forbid) chain link. Having installed many of these for my clients, I’m not saying they aren’t useful. They certainly do the job to contain running kids, keep the dog in the yard and unwanted critters out, add a safety barrier around a pool, and (best of all) create an instant screen to block a bad view. In other words, often necessary in the neighborhood landscape.
But, before the first post hole goes in the ground, consider this… a Living Fence. If you want to create an pleasurable outdoor living space, a garden room for tranquility or a transition space that you’ll enjoy passing through each day, the Living Fence should be your choice over a structural fence. An impressive article by Cynthia Kling, “LIVING FENCES – Pushing the boundaries of the hedge and its role in the modern-day garden” (Garden Design, March 2013), really got me excited about the many alternatives and reminded me of the many I’ve introduced into my client’s landscapes.
These property line screens are used, instead of fences, to create “Green Walls” between neighboring yards in residential neighborhoods.
Below – An effective privacy planting used to screen the required pool fencing in a residential neighborhood.
This weekend, my friend and I visited the Lincoln, Franconia, Sugar Hill areas of New Hampshire and were lucky enough to stumble upon the Annual Lupine Festival. What a treat to catch the last 2 days of this 20 year event. Knowing we were welcome to wander and explore the many fields of wild Lupines along the roadways and farmlands (private property, I’m sure) brought me full circle in thinking about fences. DON’T FENCE ME IN is my new mantra. Take a look…
Getting back to Robert Frost. On the back roads of Sugar Hill, NH, we also visited The Frost Place, one of Frost’s homes. For a short period of time, he lived with his family and wrote here. The house was nestled in a serene setting of trees overlooking the White Mountains.
Seeing the view and wandering the paths through fields behind the house (without a fence in sight), it’s hard to believe he said such a thing, “Good fences make good neighbor’s”. I think not!
Explore the possibilities-