Friday, April 1, 2011

On The Fence (and considering options)

It isn't even warm yet (37 degrees F as I type), nor have the mountains of snow we got this winter entirely melted, but I'm already thinking about outdoors, our yard, and solutions. 
 To give you the full mental picture, because I find it quite funny, I am snacking on cheesy rice cakes in my jammies and typing this as the full kitchen garbage waits to go out, O's breakfast dishes wait to be cleared (by him, not me, but I still do the reminding,) and all of our vitamins sit on the counter waiting to be sorted and either tossed or put back in the cupboard (since I pulled them out in irritation this morning.)  The nursery still has remnants of the arts and crafts room waiting to be moved downstairs so we can start preparing a place for our little boy who's going to be born in 2 months.  The nursery has holes in the wall that need patching and there's painting to do.  But somehow I've become consumed in the past 24 hours with finding a solution to the privacy issue, or lack thereof, our chain link fence offers.  So, here I sit...silly as it seems in light of everything else I could/should be doing...writing a blog entry about fencing since I'm in a quandry and need to process some options.  Sometimes you just have to say, what the heck!?  Here I go - - -

I like our chain link fence; it's black not galvanized and I think it looks nice, it keeps O and the doggies in and other people/animals out, and it lets us still have fun with our next door neighbors.  The problem has become the home behind us.  It sits at a higher elevation than ours so privacy is lessened anyway, and the elderly owner now has younger family members staying there.  They are not people that I want watching my every move, which it seems they do lately, nor are they respectful when it comes to controlling the young boy who is often there or the giant, barking dog who is often there.  I was unable to enjoy our back yard at the end of last summer/fall due to the dog's constant barking and the boy's constant yelling over our fence, hanging on our fence, and/or throwing things over (or through) our fence.  None of this was problematic when we chose to have chain link installed 5 years ago, but times change and I'm looking for a privacy solution.

I only want privacy at the portion of fence along the back of our property which separates us from the house/yard behind. Our neighbors on one side have a wooden privacy fence painted barn red, then our chain link extends across the back of our property, down a slope which is the wooded half lot next to the home we are trying to gain privacy from, and along the other side where our friends/neighbors live.  We have landscaped up the hill to the fence, but it's not dense enough, nor tall enough since their house is elevated behind ours.  Our city code allows for 6 ft high fencing, but it would look strange to have a few panels of privacy fence and then the rest chain length.  So...

Here are a few options I've found aside from planting vines which don't provide privacy during MN winters.

Willow -

I particularly like the green, eco-friendly aspect of the willow fencing and that it can be attached to our existing chain link.  It looks more natural or rustic in appearance than standard privacy fencing; I'm envisioning it as a backdrop of sorts to our landscape efforts described in an entry last August.  My concern is that this option may be too opaque and not provide enough privacy (as seen in the 3rd photo.)  What do you think?  BTW - Bamboo would be a cool option too, but it looks too asian for our yard and home. also offers the willow twig option which offers more privacy.  My concern is that it wouldn't look nice enough - it may be a little too rustic?


Additionally, there is reed fencing as seen at

Or Fern Fence:

Again, I'm not sure how these would look. ??  What do you think?

A final option with a different twist is to do a canvas backdrop attached to our existing chain link.  One idea I found at Making it Lovely is to use the IKEA Dyning sun-/windsheild.  It's inexpensive and ready to go.  I'd use the plain white panels, but Making it Lovely used the black/white stripe as pictured below.

On the Fence   So what do you think, dear readers?  What will be the solution that allows us to enjoy our backyard again without a huge time or money investment?  I welcome your thoughts!  Now, I'm off to the real world to tackle a few things before it's time to make lunch.  TGIF!!


Summer said...

Joy-uh, neighbors! Hmmm, I personally like the ikea fabric idea. But I wouldn't go white unless it's treated for mildew or you'll end up with spots!

My parents have this crazy fast growing vine that climbs up anything, but as you mentioned that doesn't help I'm the winters.

There's nothing more irritating than not being able to enjoy your own yard! I hope you find a conclusion!

Trace said...

Hi Joy!
I like your ideas above, bit I'll throw another one out there since you're brainstorming! I'm sure this would take more work and possibly more moolah than you're interested in spending on this project, but another idea might be to haul in some dirt back there to butt up against the fence and you can create a neat garden with decorative rocks/small shrubs/flowers/moss and such? Maybe I'm not explaining well...Paula did this with her yard last summer - I should have her email you some pictures or we can swing by her place one day!

Danielle said...

I personaly like the look of the willow. It has a finished yet Natural feel and just as you said it will become a back drop to your landscaping.
Also,you could look at doing strategically placed panels along the fence to give a more uniform feel.
I can't wait to see what you choose!