Friday, August 16, 2013

Alternatives To The Wood Tongueandgroove Privacy Fencing

Grow a hedgerow for a natural privacy fence.

Robert Frost first wrote it in 1914, but the adage "Good fences make good neighbors" has never been more true than today. Try relaxing with a cool drink and a good book in your unfenced backyard and you'll be planning a privacy fence before you reach the book's second chapter. Tongue-and-groove wood fencing may reign king in most suburbs, but it's not your only option. Does this Spark an idea?


Once reserved for palatial estates, brick privacy walls make most homes feel grand. Cap them with concrete finials or decorative iron and install an ornamental iron gate. Unless you paint it, brick needs little maintenance. In addition to privacy, brick fencing increases security and reduces outside noise pollution.

Dry Stone

With a history dating back to the Neolithic period, dry stone refers to the process of interlocking flat or shaped rocks without mortar to create stone walls and other structures. Dry stone walls--occasionally called rock fences--require no regular maintenance and are nearly indestructible. Gate them with iron or wood. The oldest type of constructed privacy fence, a dry stone wall muffles sound and provides excellent security.


Plant a hedgerow for a natural wood fence alternative. Use manicured evergreens for a formal hedge, or allow hedges to grow naturally to enclose a cottage garden. Use stately cast-iron gates with formal hedgerows and simple wood or wrought iron for natural hedges. Common hedgerow plants include holly, juniper, hawthorn, boxwood and hemlock. Formal hedgerows require regular pruning and shaping. Used in Europe since Roman times, hedgerows buffer sound and wind, provide privacy and offer refuge to birds.

Plantings are often exempt from zoning regulations and homeowners association rules, so hedgerows may not be subject to the same height and front yard restrictions as constructed fences.


Bamboo offers several privacy fence options. Constructed options include picture frame and rolled fences. Picture frame fences have multiple plank-framed sections filled with vertical clumps of bamboo cane. For rolled bamboo fences, attach bamboo panels--made of cane rows tied together with reeds or wire--to fence posts set into the ground along the fence line.

For a living bamboo fence, plant running or clumping bamboo along your fence line. Running bamboo grows faster, but it's invasive. To keep the bamboo from spreading throughout your yard, dig a trench and add a root barrier of plastic, metal or concrete. Like hedgerows, living bamboo fences may be exempt from height and other zoning restrictions.


Plexiglas privacy fencing complements contemporary and mid-century modern homes. Framed in wood or metal--and sometimes curved for dramatic effect--translucent Plexiglas panels provide privacy without blocking light.

Tags: privacy fence, bamboo fences, exempt from, fence line, hedgerow natural, living bamboo