How to Design a Garden

Garden Fences

©2007 Jupiter Images Corporation The white picket fence is beautiful, but may not always be the most practical.

Fences can be made of wood or lookalike plastic timber. Different sizes and patterns affect the style and function. No fence lasts forever, but better woods like cedar and redwood have longer lives.


A stockade fence is practical for total privacy, for it makes a solid wall. It is often used near a busy street and to keep pets and children inside the yard. Usually made of unpainted cedar, this fence requires little maintenance.

Picket fences are more for design than practicality. Traditional in New England and other places, picket fences, short or tall, have a friendly feeling but still mark property lines and boundaries. They are usually painted white and utilize boards that are pointed at the top.

The rustic cedar split-rail fence is often used on farms and properties with lots of acreage. Simple and inexpensive, it marks the property line and, at the right height, can be used to outline pastures for cattle and horses. Individual rails can be replaced if necessary, without redoing the entire fence.

While many board fences have a front side and a back side, one particular type of board fence alternates the fronts and the backs, so it looks the same from both sides. That is why it is referred to as a "good neighbor" fence. It is not uncommon for neighbors to decide to install this type of fence on their mutual property line and share the cost.

You have a very large palette of design elements to choose from when planning out your garden. With the help of these tips, you should be able to create a garden that reflects your personal tastes while making your home look beautiful.

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