Decorative Fence Ideas

Add privacy and structure to your garden with one of our stylish and practical fence ideas.

By Denny Schrock


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Picket fence with arbor
1/18
Welcome Guests

    A classic white picket fence makes a charming addition to any garden, especially when paired with a matching arbor and gate. A low fence such as this gives definition to the space, but still allows unobstructed views. A pathway and arbor beckon further exploration.

2/18
Make It Easy

    Low-maintenance vinyl provides an updated look to the classic white picket fence. It keeps its pristine look -- and you never need to paint it because you buy in the color you want -- white in this case.

    Here's a hint: If a white fence feels stark in your yard, soften it by weaving rambling roses, clematis, or other plants through the pickets.

3/18
Be Sure It's Sturdy

    Securely hold wood fence rails in place with a brick pillar. Match the brick to others used in your patio or on your house to tie various landscape elements together. Cap the brick column with a flat piece of slate to shed water.

4/18
Add Privacy

    Tightly packed stakes create privacy and interest. Here, bamboo is packed into a frame of sturdy, upright timbers. Create a fun textural contrast by using feathery plantings in beds lining the panels.

5/18
Embellish with Decorations

    Dress up a plain picket fence with garden art. Here, framed metal stars have been painted to match the color scheme of the fence. Leave them in place year-round or change them to fit the season or holiday.

6/18
Go Geometric

    Create a contemporary feel with interesting rails. In keeping with the long, straight lines and tightly clipped formality of the rest of the landscape, this fence uses horizontal wood rails strengthened by diagonal boards in a triangular pattern.

    Test Garden Tip: Attach wire mesh to the inside of your fence to keep out unwelcome critters

7/18
Add a Focal Point

    Paint your picket fence a bright hue for a playful touch in the garden. It's the perfect complement to whimsical garden art, such as this monkey dangling from a tree, and bright-color container plantings. Plus, it gives you a splash of color during the winter.

8/18
Create Old-World Charm

    Alternate mortared stone columns with wrought-iron panels topped with finials for an elegant and stately fence combination. Top the stone pillars with clay pots filled with begonias or other colorful blooms for visual appeal.

9/18
Take out the Paint

    Can't decide what color to paint your fence? Use them all! Add a wrap of black trim, and you'll have a stately row of giant crayons -- a perfect touch of whimsy to define the space for a children's garden.

10/18
Top It Off

    Give extra interest to a traditional privacy fence by topping it with a contrasting panel. Standard lattice panels can do the job, or make your own unique design by using perforated aluminum panels framed in matching cedar.

11/18
Reinvent a Window Box

    Lend color, texture, and interest to a wood privacy fence by creating a niche for a window box planter. This cedar planter complements the wood fence and provides seasonal color in this corner of the yard.

12/18
Get a Room with a View

    Break up a boring privacy fence by adding an ornate iron window grate. The grate allows you to see through the garden to the other side and keeps the fence from looking like a stockade.

    Test Garden Tip:If the view outside your fence isn't so pretty, hang a mirror on your fence. It'll give the appearance of a window and you'll see the reflection of your attractive yard.

13/18
Perk It up with Pots

    Attach plant hanger hooks to a wood fence and insert pots planted with tough annuals, such as 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia, 'Marguerite' sweet potato vine, and pink 'Supertunia Vista Fuchsia' petunia, to create a wall of living color. Coordinate the plantings by repeating colors in the painted pots and by using a limited palette of plants.

14/18
Embrace Heavy Metal

    Give your garden a modern feel with a wall of inexpensive galvanized corrugated metal. Wood patio furniture and colorful geraniums soften the space. Horizontal stripes on a cushion mimic the texture of the metal sheeting.

15/18
Add Light with Lattice

    These lattice panels create privacy in the garden while serving as a sturdy trellis for climbing roses. Simply tie the roses to the panels with twist ties. Arched panel tops and finials on support posts provide attractive finishing touches.

16/18
Create the Country Look

    Infuse rustic charm into a formal knot garden by outlining sections of the planting beds with a wattle fence. Supple branches, such as those of willow, work best for weaving through the upright branch posts.

17/18
Make It Simple with Style

    Lash bamboo poles together for a simple but effective fence with Asian style. Place the upright sections of bamboo on alternate sides of horizontal shoots to create fence sections. Secure the panels to larger bamboo posts for stability.

18/18
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