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    Landscaping Along Fencing for Beauty and Privacy

    Fences, by nature, are often quite boring and bare. But you can change that. The addition of plants along your fence adds beauty, provides additional privacy and gives you more room to grow the plants you enjoy.

    Choose Plants Based on the Type of Fencing

    • White fences highlight colorful plants, such as flowering shrubs and perennials.
    • Chain-link fences aren't attractive, but flowering vines can transform your fence by covering it with appealing foliage and blooms.
    • Horse fencing, whether made of vinyl or metal, doesn't provide much privacy. By adding smaller trees and shrubs (horse safe, of course!) along the fence, you can create areas of privacy.

    If you have a lawn, install a border to separate the lawn from the landscaped area and to prevent grass from growing into it. The border should be at least 12 ft. away from the fence to allow space for plants to grow. There are different types of landscape borders available, including flexible plastic, metal and brick. The height of the plants you select depends on your fence. If your fence is decorative, choose lower-growing shrubs and perennials that won't cover the decorative details of your fence. However, if your fence is plain-Jane boring, then select plants that will grow tall and cover it.

    Ideas to Get Started

    • For a tall, plain fence, create a layered landscape with tall shrubs planted in back, shorter perennials in front and groundcovers along the border. This will add depth and beauty to your landscape.
    • Create a colorful seasonal display with annual flowers in front of a white fence. Plant cosmos, daisies, marigolds and nasturtiums. Another great option is to plant a row of brightly colored sunflowers.
    • Instead of a straight border, create a curved border, which will soften straight lines and angles. Use a garden hose to outline the area to help you create the curved shape you want.
    • For beautiful color contrast, use plants that have leaves and flowers that are a different color from your fence.
    • Grow vegetables! Plant tomatoes, cucumbers or beans along your fence. Provide tomato cages to support tomatoes and trellises for cucumbers and beans.
    • Attract butterflies or hummingbirds to your garden by creating a habitat just for them along your fence. Add agastache, bee balm, penstemon, red salvia and trumpet creeper to attract hummingbirds. Butterflies will enjoy the colorful flowers of cosmos, dogwood, lantana, milkweed and purple coneflower.

    When selecting plants, keep your property line in mind. Keep unwanted trees and plants from extending into your neighbor's property. Avoid adding invasive plants along your fence, since they can be difficult to keep under control.

    So start looking at the area along your fence as a great opportunity to add beauty to your garden!