I have to say I'm grateful to Gardening Gone Wild for continuing to supply interesting topics which give me a reason to post. Otherwise I think I might hibernate like my garden. Southern CT has been cold and snowy in an unrelenting way, and now I'm in Florida with VPH and we both have colds. So in order to write about walls and fences I had to look back at my archives for inspiration.
The wrong side of our neighbor's gray fence runs the entire length of our garden and provides a nice background for whatever we want to plant -- here it's our vegetable garden (beans climb quite happily up netting hung over the fence):
Our neighbor used to cut back the ivy on his side of the fence, but we asked him to let it grow because we like how it covers the fence. The ivy has really filled in quite a bit since his photo was taken in 2008 and hides the weird transition from one type of fencing to another:
In fact, here's a photo from August 2009 that better shows the ivy on the fence (that lounger is getting a nicer base this summer):
The other focal wall in our garden is the south facing one of our house. We put in a concrete patio here and purposely left a bed between the patio and the house. It started out as a wildflower garden, but in the fall of 2008 we planted the "patio garden" with pass along irises and day-lilies as well as a row of inexpensive grasses along the foundation. The trellises were a suggestion from a reader to help balance the odd single window:
The bare-root clematis planted at the base of the trellis will hopefully survive the winter and grow more this summer, but we're very happy with the rest of the garden:
Now if budget weren't a factor and we owned this home instead of renting...well let me show you a few photos from the 2009 Guilford Secret Garden tour that could provide inspiration. How about some modern sculpture in your garden with a nice tall fence behind it and a split-rail fence between your garden and your neighbor's:
Wouldn't you love this view out your back window? Let me emphasis that these are the gardens of 2 private homes:
This isn't a wall or fence or really a garden shot, but I used to work high school/college summers as an au pair/sous chef/weekend maid for the owners of the spectacular home on the right of this photo. You can't see here that it's on a peninsula and their private beach is to the right out of frame, but you can see their private dock dead ahead (though both the sailboat and motorboat seem to be missing). From the water you can see that the house is perched on a huge rock and if you were closer here you'd see that the foundation of the house is half stone and mortar and half bedrock. The laundry room was to the left of the covered entrance and had been blasted out of the bedrock (I spent a lot of time there ironing t-shirts...I know I didn't get it either):
I had quite a few firsts there -- cutting fresh basil from a garden; tasting fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil; and washing $1,000 bedspreads -- I bet you can guess which of those 3 things I haven't done since! But that really was the beginning of my understanding that fresh foods straight from the garden were the best tasting.
And there you have my 2 cents on walls and fences.