Planting at Three Board Wood Fence

by B

Wood Fencing and Plantings

(see reply below)

I have a brick home on 5 acres with a black 3 board style pasture fence that goes along the front about 80' from the house. We have a nice flat front yard with Bradford Pears along the side borders of the yard. I want to dress up the 3 board fence a little.

The driveway is on the right side of the fence. I've recently planted a bunch of fruit trees on the backside of the property and thought about lining the fence with raspberry and blackberry bushes.... 3 blackberry, space, 4 raspberry, space, 3 blackberry.

The only thing is, in the winter it would look like trashy briars. Any other suggestions for lining the fence? I thought about African iris's, but that may be a little overkill. I want to dress it up, not smother it. Thanks for your help.

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Hi B,

You've described things pretty well, but I have some questions before I can give you my ideas.

1. Are you thinking about putting the plantings on the inside of the fence closer to your house, or on the outside closer to the road?
2. Do you need any privacy or would you rather keep things lower so that your house can be seen from the road?
3. Where do you live? This will help determine what will grow in your area.
4. Do you have a deer problem? No sense in adding plants that the deer love.

Let me know so that I can let you know my thoughts. Thanks for contacting me.


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planting by a fence on the road side
by: Anonymous

I have hosta's currently planted there, but think I may pull them and not have plantings on the road side. My feeling is that it it somewhat busy looking. Thought??

Fence Plants
by: Susan

Hi B,
I like the berry bushes if you want to go for a natural look. You could add in a few evergreen trees, mixed in. Perhaps one about a quarter of the way after the fence begins, and then two more further down near each other. That would look natural. It would also work well because it is the way plants would grow naturally at fencing near a field. Looking like briars is part of the look. You can alternate the varieties as you mentioned, except I would change around the numbers....3, 5, 3, 7, etc.

If you want to go for a more manicured look, you can add groups of evergreen shrubs, mixed in with flowering shrubs here and there. Consider an ornamental tree to add some height interest.

If you have further questions or comments, let me know.


Wooden Fence Plant Ideas
by: B

Thanks for the reply.
We do have deer. I want to keep the fence open....still looking like a pasture fence but dressed up a little so we can still see the house. I live about 30 miles north of gulf shores Alabama (zone 9). I plan on planting beneath the lower board, just on the inside, or just on the outside. Any of the 3 will do.

We have crate myrtles, Bradford Pears, and nice landscaping with some tropical evergreens. Most are on the sides and back of the house. There are some plants up against the house, but nothing out by the fence. The front of the house is basically a big open yard with a pasture fence 100' away from the house.

The subdivision I'm in is basically 5 acre plots cut out of a semi-wooded yet open and flat pasture, so it's back in the country. The fruit trees are on the backside of the property by the pond and pool.

Thanks again,

p.s. I'm leaning towards putting an African Iris between the fence posts in each section right beneath the bottom board, but still may do the berry bushes.

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Landscaping Along A Fence

by Brad Joiner
(Mobile, AL )

Backyard Facing Northwest

Backyard Facing Northwest

I was wondering if you could make some suggestions on how to spruce up my backyard with some landscaping beds that include low maintenance shrubs and perennials. I'm looking to plant these along the sides and back of my fence to act as a screen to hide it.

The backyard is about 95ft wide and 80ft deep. About 15ft from the back of the fence the yard starts to slop off. It about a 3ft drop-off. Since the picture was taken I've added (2) Tulip Poplar's and (1) Summer Red Maple. They are only about 5ft tall right now so provide no significant shade but I want to plant items that will perform while in shade as these will grow to be large shade trees. The (2) Tulip Poplar's have been planted in each of the back corners of the yard about 20ft from the back corners of the fence. The (1) summer red maple is planted directly between the (2) tulips about 17ft from the back of the fence.

I'm able to get great prices from a local distributor on the following items shrubs and would possibly like to include a few of them in my design as a screen along the fence with the perennials in front of them.

Cleyara Bigfoot 15 gal
Ligustrum Bush and Tree Formed 15 gal
Magnolia Little Gem 15 gal
Nellie R Stevens Holly 15 gal
Mary Nell Holly 15 gal
Sweet Olive 15 gal
Sago Palm
Loropetalum Pizazz and Ruby 3 gal.

I would definitely like to include the loropetalum and some Pink Muhly Grass.


Brad Joiner
Mobile, AL
Zone 8

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Fence Landscaping
by: Susan

Hi Brad,
Because of the time involved in providing a landscape design, I can't really provide you with information as to how to plant along the fence using specific plants.

However, I'll try to give you some pointers and some suggestions conceptually.

Try to plant in masses. You have such a large area to cover, that I would not be afraid to use a lot of one variety least seven to nine.

Repeat these plants a few times. It will make the area look cohesive. Select one of your favorites and one that will do well in your sunny condition. Then add masses of some others. Once the trees get large, you may have to change things around somewhat. You have a sunny condition now and later it will be shady.

Add in some groups of ornamental trees between the groups of shrubs. This will break up the horizontal line of the fence and the shrubs. Plant perennials in front of the shrubs. Once again, plant in groups for maximum feature impact. For example, you might consider using a group of five, then a different groups of seven and then another groups of five. You might also consider repeating a few of these in other areas.

Try to shape the bed into large sweeping curves. This will soften the linear look of the fence. Due to the distance that the trees are from the fence, I would not include them in the fence planting bed. I don't think you were considering this, but if you were, it would then become a huge planting area!

You can also include some evergreen trees if you would like screening in any areas. I see there is a house towards the fence corner. This would be a good place. Three to five Nellie Stevens Holly would work in this area since they get somewhat tall but not wide. They also take some shade...for future consideration of the trees you planted.

Think about adding some decorative trellises also to break up the fencing. Here, you would only have to plant some flowering vines. There are some that are striking, like climbing roses, and others that are fun, like Morning Glory (annual). You can also add a mass of Forsythia in one or two fence areas, which will go a long way.

I hope this has been helpful. Send some pictures to show progress!


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corner picket fence

I just put a corner picket fence on each side of the driveway entrance. Looking for suggestions on what to plant in front of the fence, I was thinking roses.

I need some more info!
1. Is the area sunny?
2. How long is each area?
3. Do you have a deer problem?


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Fence Plantings

by Mel
(Tulsa, OK)

We are about to move into a new home that has a garage on the right side that is connected, but just out about 18 ft farther than the left side of the house.

The house to our left, which is on the set back side of our home, has a fence that goes all the way up to the top corner of their home. Thus, their fence is about 15 feet higher up in our yard than the front of our home.

They have a wood fence and it is about 8 feet from the side of our home. Is there any suggestion you have about whether we should landscape to cover the fence. We are planning on landscaping the front of our home near the two windows and on each side of the walkway, but I wasn't sure about the fence area.

Thank you for any suggestions you might have.

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Fencing and Landscape Design
by: Susan

Hi Mel,
It's a little difficult to understand the exact layout of your home and your neighbor's house. It would be better if you sent a picture.

The way I understand your description is that the house next door is set back 15' further than your home, and it is 8' away.

A landscape design will always look prettier and softer with plantings in front of a fence. Add some masses of shrubs and perennials. In addition, an ornamental tree will enhance the look further.

You can even add a trellis with some climbing plants in one area. This will add some additional interest.


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