Garden Fencing on the Cheap

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Residential garden fencing doesn’t have to be expensive. In many cases, pricey fence panels can give your garden an overly formal and unwelcoming look. There are definitely a few garden fence ideas that can turn a small budget into a creative challenge to showcase your resourcefulness and creativity.

Bamboo fencing. In a world where hardwood and softwood lumber is becoming more scare and expensive, bamboo is cheap and plentiful, since it’s essentially a fast-growing grass. One of the more unique characteristics of bamboo is its “Wabi-Sabi” aesthetic, which refers to the austere beauty it acquires with age, in contrast to regular lumber that simply looks like it needs to be replaced.

Stone fence designs. Unlike brick and concrete, properly stacked stone fencing requires no additional reinforcement from mortar or rebar. As a found material, the price of stone is unbeatable. More importantly, stone fencing is extremely durable and, like bamboo, only looks better with age; and if replacements are necessary, they can be done one stone at a time, unless wood or metal, which needs to have whole panels replaced.

Recycled brick fence designs. Recycled bricks aren’t just for driveways and tile. Unlike stone, you’ll actually need mortar for brick fencing, and you’ll have to make sure that the weathered look is what you want — there’s a fine line between something that looks antique and something that simply looks second rate. If you’re less concerned with privacy, you can minimize the amount of mortar needed by staggering the bricks for a gapped pattern.

Rusty iron. Rusty iron fence panels procured from the local salvage yard can be covered with vine and climbing plants. This is essentially the Western version of the Wabi-Sabi concept: age adds character. Compared to the huge expense of some decorative garden fencing like wrought iron, which is sometimes patinized for an artificially aged look, rusted iron fences are extremely cost effective.

Bottle fence designs. Fences made from recycled wine bottles are popular in rural areas. These can range from very simple arrangements: a series of upturned bottles with their necks planted into the ground, a series of upright bottles sandwiched between wooden cross-members, or another upturned set mounted on poles between rails.

Picket fences. They might not be original, but good old-fashioned white picket fences are pretty economical in the scheme of things. If you’re willing to spend a little more on the front end, think about installing a vinyl picket fence to virtually eliminate your long term maintenance costs, since vinyl doesn’t rot or fade over time. Always remember that most of your wooden garden fencing costs will go to replacement and maintenance, unless you take preventative measures.

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