blue fence

Double-sided, dog-eared redwood fence, you win. Smug, aren’t you? You know I can’t afford to replace you.
Over the years I’ve stained you blue (twice), stenciled you in scrolls, but to no avail.
There you stand, a blue, stenciled, dog-eared redwood reminder of the stark boundaries of my garden.

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Granted, you make a dramatic backdrop for chartreuse, a theme I work pretty hard.

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And sturdy support for Potted’s City Planter too.

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In some light you’re almost black.

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I’m not sure I’d want to replace your insistent vertical lines with horizontal lines though.
Last year I was certain that the answer was to affix smooth Hardiebacker cement board to you and paint that an exciting color.
I’m sure I had that plan in fall, which is when the energy for projects usually arrives — in a narrow sliver of a window before the holidays devour all that excess energy.
But the weight of the cement board might cause sag, which would only be exchanging one irritation for another.

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This eastern boundary is all hardscape until we get to the row of lemon cypresses.
Which is why I’m always on the lookout for some huge Euphorbia ammak or fence post cactus to grow in large pots along your exposed fenceline.

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Ghostly remnants of the stenciling project. I didn’t exactly stencil your whole length but kinda ran out of steam after 5 feet or so.
I’ll blame that on the holidays too.
(Pots hold two newish members of my ever-expanding cussonia collection.)

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I will say that your homespun rusticity doesn’t mind sharing space with a little industrial chic.
A sleek new fence might strenuously object.

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Blue fence, you win fair and square. (Until I nail some Hardiebacker board on your ass, that is.)

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10 Responses to blue fence

  1. David Feix says:

    In some of my design clients’gardens that had tired looming old fences with no budget for replacing them, we chose and inexpensive, easily applied, light weight solution. That relatively cheap, reed-stem rolls sold at places like Home Depot or OSH, simply stapled to the existing fence, and trimmed out with redwood 1×2’s at the top and bottom. It provides a nice neutral backdrop that generally lasts 5~8 years before the weather gets to it. Easy to do, cheap and easily available, and a nice looking contemporary backdrop to plantings.

  2. Denise says:

    Great idea, David, and without the weight of the Hardieback board.

  3. David Feix says:

    Plus, it can “clean-up” that dog-eared look of the old wood fence when you trim it out with the 1×2’s. Love the photos of all those dangling, spilling succulents, rhipsalis, etc.

  4. Kris P says:

    Do you think of the fence as a feature or a backdrop? As a backdrop I’d say the blue color and simple lines do a great job of showing off your plants.

  5. ks says:

    Why can’t we have attractive brick or stone walls ? Though I guess redwood slats, painted or not,are better than chain link. I’ve always liked your blue fence .

  6. Alison says:

    Well, you may be fed up with your old fence, but it does look nice as a backdrop in these photos. You chose a great color.

  7. Pam/Digging says:

    In the pictures you’ve chosen, that blue fence looks damn good, Denise. I like that moody blue backdrop to your plants.

  8. Lisa says:

    It´s silly. I’m used to brick and stone walls. I like them. But there are not very many wood walls in Spain so I really like them too.

  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your fence looks great in your photos! Perfect color to set off your gorgeous plant collection. The busyness of the holidays sure does take away from our garden time doesn’t it?

  10. Denise says:

    @Kris, the fence is a necessity, pure and simple. What’s been interesting is my neighbor has been planting cactus and citrus along his side, that now are several feet higher than the fence — I like it!
    @Alison, I’ve got so many things to fix inside the house that I’ve got no business spending time on this fence!
    @Pam, I was surprised to find how many colors fence stain comes in!
    @Lisa, brick I’ve got a lot of — stone, not so much. Both last forever but the termites are always after our wood.
    @Peter, just a fall syndrome I get into — what to do about that fence? And then, whoosh, it’s time to figure out table place settings.

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