Google+ House Revivals: Don't Fence Me In!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Don't Fence Me In!

Fences are some of my favorite things.  They can be beautiful, they can be functional, and they can "set the stage" for what's inside.  They can reinforce a community aesthetic.  They are often used to keep chickens, children, pets, and strangers in or out.  They protect gardens and provide privacy.  

Most fences are pretty ordinary, ranging
from chain link to cedar pickets to concrete block, but every now and then you come come across a really fabulous example of someone's desire  
not to be fenced in!  

Sometimes the "unconventional" fence is actually an old-fashioned hand-crafted fence, such as this wattle fence found in a Mother Earth News article.

 Wattle fences are traditionally woven from fresh willow or hazel branches, but other fresh branches can also work.  This article discusses how to recycle green waste into beautiful, functional fencing.

Another handcrafted fence we don't see a lot of anymore is stacked stone.
Typically, in areas where these fences were once common, stones were "harvested" from farmers' fields each spring, as freeze/ thaw cycles brought new stones to the surface.  The stones were taken to the outside edges of the field and used to build mortarless stone walls.  Held together by gravity, a dry-stacked wall can last for centuries with proper maintenance.

Occasionally, you see a fence that just makes you smile... this fence made from old skis in a Colorado mountain town.

You have to admire the resourcefulness of the person who used old bed frames to build this fence.

And this fence made from re-purposed pressed and corrugated tin is a work of art!

This privacy fence was created using driftwood.

You don't necessarily have to use re-purposed material to create a fence that won't fence you in!  An article in This Old House explains how to restore salvaged wrought iron fencing to create, well, fencing!

There are lots of ways to build a good fence.  Maybe you will feel inspired by these ideas to think "outside the fence" when you are ready to plan your own project.  You might think about incorporating unexpected, salvaged, or re-purposed materials to create a truly one-of-a-kind work of art!

This post is being linked to Alphabe-Thursday, over at Jenny Matlock's blog.

*photo of wrought iron fencing: Erik Johnson; first wattle fence photo: Lynn Karlin; Bed frame fence: Erik Rasmussen; driftwood fence: Nikolas Koenig


  1. Uber cool F post, i just love the fencing you showed, especially that tin fence ... totally fab!

  2. I would love to have one of those woven willow fences.

  3. I like all of these, except the skis; it's whimsical, but not exciting to me. I love the naturalness of the others, and how some evoke "old times".

  4. Oh what lovely fences. My favorite is the stone one!

    This is a F antastic and F abulous F post!


  5. Thanks for stopping by my First Alphabethursday with Jenny. I love all the fence pictures you found! The tin one is kinda cool...but my fav is the rock one too.

    Stop by again (O:


  6. Wow I love all the examples you used! I really like the one that used the scrap tin inset in it. I did not know Mother Earth New was still in circulation. I use to get it in the late 70's early 80's, too funny. Thanks for stopping by my site!

  7. I just love stone fences! They're so...whimsical. They have character!

  8. How awesome are those fences! I like them all, but the natural wood has gotten to be my favorite! So charming to say the least!

  9. Nice post!! I've never focused of Fence. I am noticed variety of fences.Amagingly!
    I'll take a look fences around me

    Have a nice weekend !

  10. it is great how something functional can be so pretty too....My favorite is the corrugated tin is like a quilt!

  11. Good Morning Amanda!

    I love fences--white picket ones, most especially. I was thrilled when I fought out that our farmhouse originally had one surrounding the yard. It was one of the first things that entered into my mind when I saw this homestead for the first time and envisioned the potential of what it "could be". It's strange how that happens sometimes. A house just speaks to you and says...hey--This is the way I should be!!

    Thanks for the fence pics. I admire the inspiration behind them all! Thanks for sharing your "F" word with us and thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company.

  12. I really love this post! The pictures are a lot of fun. I've never seen a wattle fence like that before and now I think I need a garden with one surrounding it *L*

  13. oooh, I like the one with the skis, very creative

    thanks for your visit to my alphabe-thursday

  14. This year The Great Dane built the fence-to-end-all-fencing around 1.5 acres here. We have a real deer problem on the island and if we want to grow as much as a pea we have to fence. I loved the images of fences you found, especially the driftwood.

  15. Are the skis from Nederland? I know I've seen them. I love the rocks the best, they look totally Swedish and remind me of that great Robert Frost poem, Mending Wall. "There is something in nature that doesn't love a fence." That's the only line I remember, but it's a narrative about two old men who have been neighbors forever and walk their shared fence putting the rocks back, talking about life. It's lovely. As is your post. Such varied and wonderful examples!

  16. Tina, the ski fence pictured is from Villa Grove, Colorado. If you click on the link, you will be taken to the original source. Ski fences seem to be pretty popular in ski towns-- speaking of which, how's your ski weekend going? How lucky your are to have a great excuse not to ski, but rather hang out and enjoy some solitude in such a lovely place!

  17. I love fences too, especially when they block a crazy neighbor's yard. I wish I had a fence! HAHAHA

  18. Amanda - I absolutely love all the fences you showed. Gave me an idea. I don't think that we are allowed to have a fence in our front yard, but I am thinking (thanks to you) about antiquing a fence for a dedicated garden area in the back yard. Thanks so much for the post, you have inspired me!!


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