If you had told me last March when I wrote on this blog about my rather grand plan for a new vegetable garden that I would still be updating you on it nine months later, well, I probably wouldn’t have done it.
Suffice to say, I had no idea what a big project I was dreaming up. But progress on the vegetable garden continues.
A few weeks ago we had a fence installed. Its main purpose is to protect those precious vegetables and fruit from the marauding gang of deer in the neighborhood, but it turns out it has other benefits too.
I just didn’t recognize it until I walked inside my newly fenced garden.
Enclosing a space is always a funny thing. You assume it’s going to make a space feel smaller, but it almost always has the opposite effect. I noticed this same phenomenon when we were renovating the house and the drywall went up.
It’s a good lesson: boundaries that define spaces can help make those spaces feel larger rather than smaller.
When I walked around in the fenced-in garden I was delighted at how the space felt bigger, but also somehow more private, which is a little silly because especially now, with nothing growing, it’s just as open as it was.
Lest anyone thing this very long project is really finished, allow me to just briefly share what else is planned.
First of all, I’ll be staining the supports—posts and top and bottom panel supports—as soon as possible. I’m leaning toward black, but I could be persuaded to do gray if collectively we think there’s too much black happening. Weigh in in the comments, please!
I am also considering cladding the posts so you can’t see the metal panels stapled on the outside and to make it look a little more finished. Speaking of the metal panels, it’s not really panels. I think it was just welded wire on a big roll. I specified 4-inch square holes in the welded wire and was surprised to find 2-inch by 4-inch holes instead. For a moment I thought about asking them to change it (and brought it up seeking comment on Instagram) but dropped it because it has the added benefit of keeping more smaller critters out and, well, it was finished. It just didn’t seem like a battle worth fighting.
A decorative gate is planned for the main entrance, and we’ll be building (very soon, I hope) a simple arbor for over that gate and I’ll be planting climbing roses there.
And then there is in-ground fruit growing area. Espalier apples and pears are planned, but I also would like small raspberry bushes, espalier currants (more on this later), strawberries and more in those skinny beds on the sides. And along the back (the north end), I would like to plant an espalier Belgian fence, although I don’t know if that will happen this year.
And of course there is the center focal point to be determined. In terms of daydreaming, this project just keeps delivering. Stay tuned!
More on the vegetable garden:
I like the idea of grey for the posts. And as far as cladding the posts, I probably wouldn’t bother. By the time you have vines, bushes and trees growing you won’t be able to tell. It’s beautiful. Can’t wait to see the front gate.
That’s a great point! Thanks for weighing in.
We had to put a fence around our garden b/c the rabbits were eating so much. It has been a wonderful decision. Your fencing looks fabulous and you will never regret these smaller openings. Can’t wait to see the next steps in this.
It looks great! I think I’d go with gray for the posts. Black would probably fade into gray anyway. Let the planning begin. It’s going to be fun to watch the evolution of your new garden.
You make a good point about the fading. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I would lean toward a light grey semi-transparent stain. It would allow your eye to pass through the fence rather than focus on it. It would also compliment the color of your raised beds. With all the things you still plan on adding to your garden your fence will be mostly camouflaged anyway. I think the fencing you have is perfect. You’ll be glad you have smaller openings. They also looks more decorative than square holes. Great Job!
I agree with the gray thinkers for all they said. I think this fence looks fantastic. It will also block the traffic that passes by. There are just so many pluses about it. It will be fun to watch your garden grow.
But can I contain my enthusiasm until it’s actually time to grow something? That’s the REAL question! Thanks for weighing in, Lisa.
That’s a beautiful fence!
I have fence envy
Thanks for weighing in, Laura.
Definitely gray so it won’t be a focal point. What a fun place.
Thanks for your thoughts, Barbara!
The posts will fade out to a silvery grey in a couple of years anyway, so don’t waste your time…especially if you’re going to espalier and/or grow climbing crops on the fence. You’ll be glad for the 2” x 4” openings…hopefully the bunnies can’t get through to birth their babies under lettuce and broccoli leaves inside the raised beds. I’m adding triangular raised beds in the corners this spring and along the short ends skinny beds for peas, cucumbers and other climbing viney plants to increase yield. We have five 4’ x 8’ raised beds…last summer we added a 4’ x 4’ connector like the crossbar of an H to the right and left end beds for more growing space that’s still easily moved around in. I also hope to add espalier fruit trees this year…my asparagus bed runs the length of the back 40’ side.
That’s a lot of asparagus! Your garden sounds amazing! Thanks for weighing on in the big color debate!
I am leaning toward simply sealing the wood as-is and letting the it weather over time. The patina will be a pretty grey, and sealing it will protect it. I can understand wanting to paint it because it will still be mostly visible until your plantings mature. If you just have to paint it, do a grey/brown that blends into the landscape; not black, but not full grey either. Also, keep in mind that once you paint it, you will have to repaint it. I am not sure about you, but I can think of about a 100 other things I would rather do in the yard and garden than paint anything!
Great point, Lori!
What will you seal the wood with? I am right behind you gals in my garden fence building. Thanks for being inspirations!
I love this, it just keeps getting better! Looking forward to seeing the next steps! Great job! GREY..
Same as the raised beds, which are stained black, yes? Don’t listen to those gray people! Black is more striking. But I suppose we should ask what the decorative gate will be like…
Thanks, Jennifer! The gate is going to be totally dreamy, at least to me, and yet one more thing to obsess about what color I should make it. Thanks for weighing in!
Oh gosh, I love black in the garden, though a charcoal gray is also lovely. We’ve painted everything ‘French Beret’ by Benjamin Moore (exterior stain) and the green of anything against it makes for the most wonderful contrast- they make each other look better! I can’t wait to see your decorative gate and arbor!
Black! With the garden full of plants, green will be the dominant color. And black will make an elegant contrast.
I just love it so far. There’s a point in every big project when I think “what have I gotten myself into!” but I’m usually happy at the end.
Just reading my new garden book, “At West Dean,” and they emphasize having a “house” color to unify everything in the garden. But they also paint plant supports and metal fences matte black. Though they will be partly covered with foliage, I would think about what will extend the life of the wood rather than maintenance per se. Also, do you want this to stand out like the beautiful creation it is or fade away? I’d look in books and Pinterest etc for answers.
Love your garden. I put my raised beds in last year and yield was awesome and maintenance much less. Plus it’s beautiful to look at. I like the soft grey as well. Can’t wait to see more!
Thanks Val! I am a true believer in raised beds!
How large was the fenced in area? I am wanting to do this but can’t figure how large the garden encasement is fir fencing. $$
I love your new vegetable garden! I’m thinking of building a fence for a small fruit orchard at our new house.
We love this fence and would love if you could share any details/specs on the lumber used, how it was built, etc. We are trying to elegantly suggest some boundaries to our tiny flock of rescued bantam hens and 2 turkeys (who really prefer to go where they please), and we think this a perfect design! Any info you could provide would be so appreciated!
Getting ready to redesign our fence to ensure we keep out squirrels, bunnies and our two cute dogs. Living in the city squirrels are the biggest issues and they constantly tear up the garden, especially in the Fall when hiding their nuts. We are looking at possibly adding an electric fence near the upper section so we don’t have to completely enclose the garden. I know in the blog and video you mention using cattle panels but I am assuming you don’t have squirrel issues since those openings are pretty large. I’ve used chicken wire but its hard to incorporate that on a larger fence scale. Wish those came in larger sizes. Any thing you would change in your fence now that you’ve had it a few years?
I’m looking to hire a company to install a fence like yours. Can you share?