Sorry for the quiet around these parts…it’s been rough lately. Emotions have been running high about this project, but we are trying to regroup and rethink about what we can do to bring down the budget so that we can move towards construction. We’re thinking about wants versus needs, and this will probably be the focus of many posts for awhile.
One of those things is our fence. Yes, a fence is absolutely necessary because we have dogs, but the interesting thing about our lot is that it’s already got a fence…an old chain-length (hurricane) fence. It’s ugly, but we’ve had the same type of fence at the old house all these years without any issues, so this is a function over fashion item. To save money now, we are thinking that we might only put up a nice wooden fence the front sides of our property, because two sides are definitely cheaper than four (see below). This means we need to get creative about the other two sides in the cheapest way possible.
We are considering planting Oleander along the back of our lot, because it creates a thick screen and provides pretty flowers from spring to late fall down here. Oleander is readily available and fairly fast-growing, and I really like the white and red varieties. It is toxic to humans and dogs, but our dogs don’t chew on plants, and it seems that you have to ingest quite a bit to be affected. If Oleander doesn’t pan out, there’s always bamboo or some other fast-growing screen plant. The deal with the back of our lot is that we can see the neighbor’s sheds and junk piles, but not their yard or home, so a bit of camouflaging would go a long way to beautify this area.
The other side of our lot is a different story. The home next door is built close to the property line, and their kids play in the narrow yard, so we need a bit more privacy. The good thing is that the studio container will run along the fence line, so that already gives a lot of privacy to the inner yard, but there’s still the 9’ exposed strip along the back of the studio. Last night while watering our traveling tomato vines, my husband had the brilliant idea of building a trellis using boards and cement blocks along the chain-length fence. We know we’ll have a vegetable garden, so why not build it in that little swath along the fence line, using one or two rows of cement blocks for the raised planters, and affixing the boards (2x4s or even reclaimed pallet planks) horizontally to form the trellis? The boards could be attached to the fence by drilling holes on the ends and using S-hooks, wire, or even well-hidden zip ties. Once the plants begin crawling up the hurricane fence, we won’t see the neighbors at all. Here’s my goofy rendering of the idea:
I like the fact that the wooden horizontal line of the trellis would mimic our (hopefully) horizontal fence along the other two sides of the yard, and I love that we’re using something that already exists in a unique way. I also wanted to try out the concrete block planters below and here, so it would blend in really nicely.
image from Digging (and this wall is insanely amazing…I don’t think I’d be able to go this far!)
Before committing to this idea, we need to make sure the vegetable garden area would get enough sun, and not be too shaded by the studio container. I have a feeling that the container will shade the area for part, but not all, of the day, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in our summers. If the strip of land does end up being too shady, we could plant a fast-growing, shade-loving vine for a less functional, but still privatizing, alternative.