Using a variety of fencing styles.....

by MITSYB
(HOWELL, MI)

Can different styles of fencing be used throughout a yard's landscaping?

I currently have a short picket fence surrounding a cottage garden in front of our house and a 'homemade' split rail fence using cinder blocks and 2x4s to 'fence in' the back yard. (1 acre lot).
I would like to use a section of fence to hide the utilities at the FRONT CORNER of our lot. (Yes, I called Miss Dig).
Can I use ANOTHER style, or will my husband be right and the yard will look 'tacky'?
:)

ANSWER

I tend to agree with your husband about using different types of fencing. When you start adding all different types of materials, a landscape design can start to look choppy. However, I understand where you are coming from, since picket fencing will not screen utilities. It is too short, typically.

Also, you don't need another white element standing out on your property. You want everything to flow nicely and blend, except for focal points.

If I can make a suggestion, it would be to use evergreen shrubs to hide them instead of fencing. This is how I design this type of issue for almost all of my clients.

Even if you did use fencing, I would recommend planting in front of it to soften it. So why not just skip the fencing altogether?

Select some evergreen shrubs that grow at least as tall as the utilities. Blue Holly would be one that you could use. I believe you are in plant zone 5B so Blue Princess or Blue Maid would work. They get rather tall and wide.

Blue Maid Holly
Height 8' to 12'
Spread 6' to 8'

Blue Princess Holly
Height 8' to 10'
Spread 4' to 8'

Since these plants get wide, you would not need that many of them. Stagger them to make a natural looking bed. You can even add some perennials in front if you like.

You could also use shrubs that are shorter...say around 4 to 5 feet tall.

For some other ideas you might want to take a look at the book Designing With Evergreen Shrubs. There is a lot of plant specific information along with plant photos to show you what they look like.

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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