On the Garden Fence…

I’ve mentioned that with my newly redesigned garden layout that I would like to put a fence around it. Partly to keep the rabbits and groundhogs out but also to add an air of formality around the garden. I have two ideas in mind that I’d like to gather some opinions about. In the drawing below I have a standard picket fence on the left side and a capped picket fence on the right.  The pickets on the right would be framed in by the rail cap and wood on the bottom. 

The posts on the corners will hold hanging baskets or some other fun item like hummingbird feeders and will be capped with a solar light post cap. These little gadgets are pretty neat. They fit on to a standard post and absorb energy through the day and release it at night as light.  I just thought it would be cool to see the outline of the garden in the darkness. Alternately I could hang solar lanterns from the hangers on the posts.  The front and the back of the garden would be the same.  The sides would not have the arbor but would have tall posts in the middle that would carry the same theme around the garden.

The rabbits might still be able to squeeze through the fence openings (at least the bunnies might) so I’ll retain the wire mesh fencing I have around the garden right now to use on the inside of the new fence.

The fence will most likely be the big summer project as long as financing is available! Otherwise it may have to wait.  Either way it’s good to have a plan ready to go. What do you think? Side A with the traditional picket fence or side B with the capped fence rail. (You can click on the picture to open it up in a larger window.)

16 thoughts on “On the Garden Fence…”

  1. The right side has a more formal look, the left side a more cottage look. I personally prefer a more cottage style garden than formal. They both look great, the idea of the solar lights is an A+ too! I would guess it’s really going to depend on where your home is located in reference to this fence and the style of you home. If I remember correctly your home could pull off either look.

  2. B Side looks like, if it were wide enough, you might be able to rest a tool (or a drink) on the rail, whereas you might not on the exposed picket side.

    The capped side might also allow you to put up some hanging baskets either on, or hanging on, the rail.

    It might also look good if you ran some rope lights underneath either the top or bottom rail, hidden, so that it glows at night, for evening strolls around the garden. As long as you don't see the actual bulbs of the rope lights themselves, they provide a subtle but pretty glow to the area. Assuming, of course, you have electricity available.

    It might a good place for decorative items to sit – I've got a collection of antique glass telephone pole insulators in blues & greens that would look smashing on there!

  3. Hi Dave (my Dave is chattering his little gnome teeth out there with the “benchwarmers” right now)
    I have to admit Jim has some great points to supplement your “B” plan .. in any case .. it looks great to me : )

  4. “B” would definitely get my vote, though I’m sure either one would be charming. I just like the look of the capped rail better, I think. 🙂

  5. Dave,

    I’m too practical. The rail caps will warp. Really, they will. I’d go with pickets.

    If a picket breaks, just replace the picket. If a picket w/cap on top breaks, you’ve got to remove the cap and hope it doesn’t break — or break other attached pickets.


  6. I like A. It gives the illusion of being airy, more relaxed. It does have the cottage look but I’m thinking old homestead, country. Although B could be safer. Points on pickets could be dangerous to some degree.

  7. I liked both design ideas,good useful thoughts for side B from Jim
    practically speaking..Cameron is right..replacing and warping definite problem

    ahh the perennial form v function battle

    One more question…do you have deer? Because the ones around here would be inside having a feast in a split second.

    Good luck..and thanks everyone..got me dreaming about solar lights and glowing gardens.


  8. I like the standard picket, it has more of the country look that I like, but the closed top looks very nice too. I like the solar post tops, they add just the right ammount of light. -Lee

  9. Thanks to everyone for commenting! I’ve been leaning to side B due to many of the reasons Jim mentioned but the warping is a concern. The warping might not be too bad if I use 2×4 rather than 1×4 for the rail cap.

    As for deer we’ve got em! One idea I had was to string fishing line between the posts. Deer don’t like the invisible lines in their way. Last year they never bothered the vegetable garden. It will be some time before we can get everything together for the fence so we have some time to decide.

  10. Hi Dave,

    I like the capped fence best. It doesn’t restrict your look to country which may be the case with the pickets..but B allows you to embrace lots of design looks plus the points Jim has made. On the other hand, friends of ours have successfully used the fencing from a big box store and are very happy with the looks. I might add that they have a big dog who chases away the rabbits. gail

  11. All depends if you want a County look A or a Formal look B….

    I think B would be easier to take care of. We get mildew or mold on stuff here and if you paint, the pickets are a pain in the rear end. I like Jim’s suggestions and Cameron has a thought with warping… Nothing is ever easy is it? 🙂 pull out a coin and give it a toss in the air…

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