Fences have been used throughout history to define the border of a particular piece of land. Going back at least as far as the bronze age. They probably developed to defend against invasion and then further,to define ownership and agriculture and to contain animals.
They can be basic and functional as well as incredibly innovative and beautiful. They will invariably provide the backdrop to planting.There are hundreds of styles, materials and combinations to choose from that will suit whatever project you have in mind.
Basic Fence Construction
Post holes are dug into the ground and the posts are set into them. Then the holes are filled with concrete. Gravel boards are not always used but when they are, they are fixed at the bottom between two posts to stop earth and or gravel from drifting away. They also protect the fence boards from deteriorating by raising them up off the ground away from moisture. Gravel boards can be made of wood or concrete but wooden boards will not last as long.
Post & Panel
This type of fence construction is made up of either concrete or wooden posts and pre made panels. In the case of concrete fence posts being used the posts are made with grooves on two sides, into which the panels can be easily slid into place. Where wooden post are used, the panels are nailed or screwed to the posts.
It is probably the least expensive and quickest to erect form of fencing due to the fact that the panels are pre made and construction time is reduced. However the panels can vary in quality and may not stand up to as much wear and tear as Post & Rail construction.
Post & Rail
Considered to be more sturdy than panel fencing the posts, again, can be concrete or wood. But it differs, in that there are horizontal rails bolted to the uprights so that individual featherboards can be nailed to them.
These are types of fence that obscure the view, rather than completely conceal it. Sometimes called "hit and miss" the boards are mounted with gaps in between. The width of the boards and size of the gaps can be varied to produce many different patterns and light effects.
A typical example would be horizontally fixed boards with gaps creating a venetian blind effect.
Privacy fencing, also called solid fencing is usually made up of boards that are fitted closely together with no gaps and will completely obscure the view giving total privacy. This can be achieved using closely fitted or overlapping featherboards. Tongue and groove is also often used in this type of fencing as the fence boards are jointed together.
The sorts of fencing that are described as decorative are more normally more fancy than functional but can be both. The most common fencing recognised as decorative would probably be dwarf picket fencing. Any fence that has an element that could be considered fancy or elaborate would most likely be categorised as decorative.
The decorative element of fencing can come in many forms. From a simple piece of trellis work to elaborate carpentry. The traditional iconic white picket fencing can have the tops of the pickets, cut into innumerable shapes which each different manufacturer, supplier or landscaper will give their own name. But there are a few basic shapes which are more accepted as standard.
On top of the variety of shapes that the pickets are cut into, the length can be varied to form crescent, concave and convex curves. Alternating different shapes further personalises each design. Below are some examples.
The oldest known brick and stone walls date back as far as 4,000 years bc. Bricks have come a long way from the simple mud blocks used back then. Modern bricks come in rainbow of colours, textures, and sizes. In this section we highlight just a few of the possible variations that can be achieved. From the most basic, to the truly elaborate.
Bricks come in a whole pallet of colours. There are several factors that determine the colour of a brick. Firstly, the material used to form the brick. The clay or concrete mix will alter the colour dramatically. The temperature and the length of time the brick is fired for also play a part.
Using natural stone to build walls, and especially dry stone walls, is an age old tradition. The skills, as well as the stone are expensive but what can be created is nothing short of stunning.
Wall Styles & Combinations
Combining an element of fencing or railings with walls of stone or brick adds a pleasing dimension. The contrast of wood or metal and natural materials can be eye catching. For more information on bonding styles please follow the link below where you will find a comprehensive explanation . Here are just a few examples from the very basic to the very exotic.
Screens are a great way to hide any unsightly things in the garden that you can't move. And they are the perfect way to separate an area that you might want to develop into a feature with its own personality such as a herb garden, shrine or sensory garden.
The possibilities are endless. Screens can be made of traditional woven willow, wooden slats or something more contemporary such as steel that can have very elaborate patterns cut into it as the examples below show.