A wrought iron fence frames an unobstructed, attractive view. When your view changes or you plan to use the part of the yard with the wrought iron fence for another purpose, some privacy may be in order. Blocking the fence with plants takes time as the plants have to grow up and bush out. Create a privacy barrier for your wrought iron fence with shade fabric. It won't take more than a weekend.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Shade cloth, taped, with grommets
- Plastic zip lock fasteners, 6 inches long
Measure how tall the fence is and how long it is. Obtain enough shade cloth to hide the fence. For example, if the fence is 6 feet tall and 20 feet long you'll need to purchase 20 feet of shade cloth 6 feet wide, or 10 feet of shade cloth that's 12 feet wide. Shade cloth comes in several different colors including black, dark green white and beige. Obtain cloth that matches the color of your fencing. Shade cloth also comes with the bottom and top taped for extra strength and with grommets for easier attachment.
Start at one end of the fence. Attach the shade cloth on the outside or inside of the fencing. Hold the shade cloth against the top of the fence. The grommet should be at the juncture of the top bar of the fence and the upright rod. Slide a plastic zip tie fastener into the grommet and around the top bar and upright rod. Tighten the fastener by pulling on the pointed end until it locks into place. The instructions on the package of fasteners show you exactly how to lock the fastener.
Pull the shade cloth down the fence until you reach the bottom. It should be taut. The bottom grommet is at the juncture of the bottom bar of the fence of the same upright rod where you fastened it at the top.
Go on to the next grommet and fasten it against the fence. Grommets are usually 24 inches apart. Pull the shade cloth taut lengthwise as you go. If the grommets are spaced too far apart to keep the shade cloth taut, use extra fasteners by poking them through the shade cloth.
Clip off the extra plastic of the fasteners with scissors or a utility knife.
Tips & Warnings
- Shade cloth with taped edges and grommets can be found at greenhouse suppliers. It is available by special order in many different sizes with the grommets spaced to your specifications.
- If you can't find shade cloth that has grommets, attach them yourself or just slip the plastic fastener through the shade cloth by making a small slit with the point of a knife. Shade cloth is made to resist tearing and unraveling.
- The higher the density of the shade cloth the more privacy. Shade cloth goes from 30-percent to 90-percent shade. It's available in plastic, cloth, and metal.
- Plant bushes on both sides of the fence if you don't like the look of the cloth. Annual such as cosmos and larkspur grow quickly to 5 feet. They'll fill in the first few years until bushes or perennials are tall enough.
- Check with your city to see if you need a permit to change the fencing. Home owner associations may be a factor in what you can change as well.
- Wear safety goggles, especially when trimming the hard plastic ends from the zip ties.
- Great Ideas for Your Garden; Jane Courtier, et al.
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