Chain-link fences are a utility fence material designed for durability and security. The heavy wire fencing, though sturdy, is plain and offers minimal landscaping appeal in your yard --- and quite honestly, can be downright ugly. Use this sturdy fencing as an asset, but work the fence into your landscape design. Use vertical gardening or vertical plants with the fence as a backdrop. Turn your fence into a flower wall, fruit haven or creative canvas.
Use vertical gardening to make your fence a living screen or green wall. Grow plants upward instead of horizontally across the ground. Entwining plants take advantage of the fence for trellis support and visually blend with the fence. Plant vines or twining plants along chain-link fences. Encourage the young vines upward by twining branches through the fence or anchoring branches with plant ties. Use rambling roses, honeysuckle and other flowering perennials as privacy walls. Over a few years these plants weave through and cover the fence.
Choose vegetables or flowering annuals for fast coverage and seasonal color. Plant pole beans, sugar peas, zucchini or other vine veggies. Tie them along the fence and enjoy a harvest within easy reach. Plant sweet peas, scarlet runner beans or other fragrant annuals. These blossoming plants draw pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your flowering fence.
Plant tall ornamental grasses, column-shape trees or narrow shrubs in front of the fence. These perennials act as windbreaks. Many plants such as giant gladiolas and lilies require staking. Though they are not woven through the fence support, plant them near the fence and stake them to the wire as needed with garden ribbon. The fence becomes a garden backdrop with low flowers to the front, medium and tall to the back.
Espalier fruits such as kiwis, grapes or apples at the fence. The fruit benefits from the fence strength and the air circulation. The fruit plants are easy to maintain and fruit is in reach for easy harvest by older or mobility-limited gardeners.
Make the fence a canvas. Cover it with burlap or other durable outdoor cloth. Anchor the fabric with cable ties or twine to the fence. Punch holes through the fabric and wire small birdhouses, metal sculpture or decorative clay tiles. The fence becomes an outdoor art wall.
Graffiti your fence canvas. Use a narrow brush and write garden mottos, draw flowers or sketch drawings on your canvas. Use permanent markers to draw on leather scraps or canvas pieces, then attach these as fence accents. Give children or grandchildren a corner to write their names and draw dragonflies or garden plants. Plan a master mural and paint the mural on your fence wall. Sketch it with charcoal before applying paint.
- Photo Credit Leaf in Fence image by Towards Ithaca from Fotolia.com pea image by cherry from Fotolia.com garden birdhouse image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com
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