Fences give you privacy, a feeling of security and an attractive way to mark the boundaries of your property. Buying fences and having them professionally installed can be an extremely expensive proposition, however. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of fences that are simple enough for a DIY enthusiast to put up, saving a lot of money.
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Split Rail Fence
For a sturdy fence with an open, rustic charm, build a split rail fence. Split rail fences are made of unfinished, rough hewn wooden crossbeams inserted into holes in vertical posts set about 30 inches into the ground for stability. A split rail fence may have two to four levels of crossbeams and can be made out of a variety of thicknesses and types of wood such as chestnut or cedar, depending on your tastes. Leave your fence untreated and it will get a rustic, weather-beaten look. Alternatively, varnish it to increase its durability and preserve its warm colour.
Living Bamboo Fence
Fences made from harvested bamboo are attractive and common. But you can stick out from the crowd with a living bamboo fence. Plant running bamboo every few feet in a large trough planter. Alternatively, surround a rectangle of ground with buried edging and plant the bamboo in the ground. The running bamboo will spread to fill out the available space and, within a season or two, there will be a wall-shaped bamboo barrier.
If you have a basement filled with used bottles, put them to good use as an unusual garden fence. Remove the labels and wash the bottles inside and out. Dig a shallow trench and tamp down the ground. Lay the first layer of bottles in it, cementing each bottle to the adjacent bottles in a line. Lay on and cement a second and third layer until you have a garden fence of the desired height.
For a low barrier that will stand the test of time, a stone fence is ideal. For a simple garden fence, place a row of boulders 1 to 2 feet wide in the ground as a barrier. For a higher barrier, build a dry stone wall. Lay stones in an interlocking pattern to make a wall that is at least half as wide as it is tall. A well-made dry stone wall can last centuries without the need for mortar or maintenance.
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