The old saying goes, "Good fences make good neighbors." I wish. I love fences but not everyone does. I really and truly can't understand why. I know Skeeter would love a fence between her neighbors with the unsightly view and her, mothers of small children probably love fences to keep their children safe, and pet people probably like fences to keep their beloved pets safe from wandering off or from other wandering animals. Anonymous would like a fence, but her husband says no. What is it about a fence that some people don't like?
Perhaps people who are from the country and who are not used to fences are turned off by other people who like fences to identify their boundaries. Fences are without question, boundaries. One should not cross a fence unless there is a welcoming gate somewhere along that fence. The fence is there for more than beauty or safety or to contain something, fences are there as a boundary. A fence says, "This is my piece of dirt and I want to ensure I have control over all of my dirt."
Perhaps people used to a lot of land don't understand there are boundaries to even their big piece of land. I don't know and maybe people who are from the country do indeed like fences, everyone is different.
No one else but Mr. Fix-it and I pay the mortgage, therefore, no one else should have use of my land without my permission, for anything whatsoever. Fences around a property usually contain a house. The people who live in that house want to feel safe. A fence provides an extra measure of safety by being just one more obstacle unwanted guests must overcome in order to reach our inner sanctuary, the house.
Now that we understand why fences are important by establishing a boundary and creating an obstacle to unwanted guests, fences CAN at times seem unneighborly. I am sure no one intends to seem unneighborly toward others, and a fence should not be construed as being unneighborly. Quite the opposite. It means the person who has the fence cares about both his or her neighbors and about his or her home. Fences are investments that are not to be taken lightly. Planning a fence involves many considerations.
Ensure you know where the property lines are located, inform your neighbors of your intentions prior to installing the fence, ask for their input, be considerate. When all is said and done and a new fence is installed, your neighbors still might not be happy. Maybe your budget only allows a chain link fence and your neighbor considers these 'hurricane' fences the ugliest things on earth. Sometimes chainlink fences are the best option due to costs. Other fences are usually QUITE a bit more expensive.
What can the neighbor do about a fence he or she doesn't like? Simple, either install his or her own fence in front of the fence, or plant trees and hedges and flowers! I have seen a place in town near Lafayette Road where two adjacent property owners have privacy fences. It almost looks as though one tried to outdo the other as one is taller. I found the idea amusing. I vote for planting in front of other fences. Planting is so much cheaper, easier and friendlier, but fences in front of fences can work too in the right situation, it just really depends on the people.
I have installed a chain link fence around my entire backyard, with the exception of the back border line, due to the adjacent farmer already having a fence for his cows. That saved a lot of money and I was ever so happy. I immediately set about planting trees, shrubs, vines and flowers of all kinds in order to beautify my fence line, provide privacy, and to establish the framework for my little piece of dirt, according to MY vision. Not some vision a neighbor has in mind. You almost can't see six hundred feet of chain link fence from my side of the fence. I am amazed at how quickly you can camouflage fences and very happy with both my fences, and the plantings I have placed around them.
I may have gone a little overboard with fences inside of my boundary fence. You see, with having three dogs which really love to eat trees and shrubs, I felt I had to provide boundaries for them as well. The second picture shows the most common type of fencing to keep the dogs and gardens separate in my garden. It is hard to see, but it is a two foot metal fence on standard fence poles. I have tried to create creative fences which are utilitarian but beautiful. It is a neverending battle and while I do not like flower beds fenced off from me, I feel it is for the good of my family. Fences around the gardens help me to keep my sanity when dealing with some rambunctious dogs who would need constant watching without the fences. What a relief fences provide me.
Out here in Woodlawn, there are varying opinions on fences. I, without a doubt like fences. Some of my neighbors do, and some don't. I find the ones who are from out of state or who are used to living in cities, seem to like fences so much more than locals. My newest neighbor moved in and without a doubt said he did not want a fence. He has one acre and couldn't see the point of fencing it off. I think he likes to 'borrow' the adjoining property's views and it makes him feel like he has more space. Borrowing a neighbor's view is certainly acceptable, borrowing the use of his or her land is not.
Well, now that he has four dogs, guess what? He sure would like a fence. Not just any fence, a privacy fence. Fences do make good neighbors and he is happy I have a fence. It is a win-win situation for us both. Should he get a privacy fence, I would be ecstatic. I will be 100% supportive. Instead of a privacy fence he has opted for an underground electric fence which will keep his four dogs controlled and confined, while not blocking the view of the neighboring properties, including mine. An underground electric fence is a great fence-as it is a fence without being a fence! It is not seen by people, but the dogs can still be seen, though controlled.
Mr. Fix-it and I have decided to install a privacy fence along the border with these neighbors. I sure do appreciate my new neighbors consideration for both their dogs and the adjacent neighbors by not allowing their dogs to run free, but it is time for a big fence and after touring other garden bloggers gardens, I am very happy with the look and can't wait to have mine installed. We may even put a privacy fence all around the garden with the exception of in back where we have such a nice view of my neighbor's pond. I mean afterall, "Good fences do make good neighbors (and great private gardens with a nice backdrop!)."
in the garden....grateful for fences and boundaries and for considerate neighbors.