How to Hide a Fence When Landscaping

Written by julie christensen
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How to Hide a Fence When Landscaping
Split rail fences tend to naturally fade into the background. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Fences may make good neighbours, but they also create an eyesore if they are not carefully planned and placed. Choose natural fencing products to soften the visual effect of a fence. Split rail fences, for example, fade over time to a soft grey that blurs into the background, while white picket fences give a crisp, defined look. Many times, you can hide fences with plants. The plants may not entirely cover the fence, depending on the variety, but they draw the eye away from it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paint
  • Paint sprayer
  • Plants

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  1. 1

    Paint the fence a neutral colour, such as muted grey, green or brown. Use an outside paint appropriate for the material you are painting. Use a paint sprayer to simplify the project.

  2. 2

    Plant fast-growing annual vines to temporarily hide the fence. Morning glory, black-eyed Susans, and nasturtiums produce colourful blooms and quickly scramble over fences. These plants are annuals and die back with the first frost, but they provide coverage until more permanent plantings grow.

  3. 3

    Plant perennial vines for more permanent coverage. Consider how fast the vine grows, how much coverage it will provide, and what it will look like in the winter. Try clematis, Virginia creeper, trumpet vine or honeysuckle. Evergreen euonymus or ivy provide year-round coverage.

  4. 4

    Layer shrubs for more substantial coverage. Plant a few evergreen shrubs, such as arbor vitae, junipers, boxwood, or privet, next to the fence. Interplant these shrubs with smaller deciduous shrubs, such as dogwood, spiraea, mock orange or hydrangea. Plant a grouping of large deciduous shrubs if you prefer. Viburnums or lilacs produce thick foliage during the summer, although they are bare during the winter.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose fencing materials based on use and your climate. Wood fences require regular maintenance and may rot in humid climates.
  • Consult your homeowners' association before you install a fence. Most associations have specific bylaws on fencing materials.

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