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Wood fence design tips

By: Garden Gate staff
Fences work hard, keeping pets and kids in the yard or out of the street and letting visitors know where to go and not to go.

good fences make good gardens

Fences work hard, keeping pets and kids in the yard or out of the street and letting visitors know where to go and not to go. But even though fences are a useful part of the landscape, you want them to look good. If your fence complements the look of the garden, your whole yard will be a traffic stopper.

For casual gardens, a wooden picket fence is perfect. Wood has an inviting, friendly look to it that, with proper care, ages gracefully. You can get ready-made panels from your local home improvement center in a variety of styles. Or for a truly original fence, make your own pickets.

KEEP IT LOOKING GOOD —?You’ll need to apply a coat of paint or water sealant every few years. To keep rust stains from marring the appearance and joints from weakening, spend the extra money on specially treated wood screws for outdoor use.

SAME LOOK, DIFFERENT STUFF — Composite wood is made from a blend of recycled plastic and sawdust. It’s more expensive but usually needs less maintenance. You’ll still need to use pressure-treated wood for posts and crosspieces. And buy composite deck screws. Regular screws scar the composite’s surface.

Published: Nov. 17, 2009
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