fencing for the perfect family environment

Best Landscaping Around Your Privacy Fence

In order to maintain its beauty and functionality, your privacy fence must be periodically maintained and refinished. Depending on the type of protective coating on your privacy fence, the wood may need to be waterproofed annually or restained every three to seven years. Maintaining the fence goes much more quickly provided that you have adequate access to your fence on all sides and at all locations. When choosing a landscaping feature for the area near your privacy fence, accessibility is key. Whatever plants or shrubs you choose must be kept easily contained in order to avoid encroaching upon the fence itself. 

Plant Small, Slow-Growing Shrubs

Small, slow-growing shrubs like the English boxwood are easy to keep away from the fence because they require minimal, infrequent trimming in order to retain their shape. When planting the boxwoods near the fence, give yourself at least enough leg room that you can walk between the fence and the shrubs and not touch the fence. When trimming the shrubs, let them grow out on the side farthest from the fence, but prune the plants to maintain a constant distance between the back of the shrubs and the fence itself. 

Install Narrow Trees

Narrow trees that grow up rather than out are easy to keep away from the fence and make attractive landscaping features in the vicinity around the fence. Examples of narrow trees include:

  • Italian Cypress. With a height of 40 feet tall but a maximum diameter of only about 6 feet, the Italian Cypress should be planted approximately 4 feet from the fence to ensure adequate space between the tree and the pickets. 
  • Columnar Apples. This fascinating branchless apple tree reaches heights of about 8 feet but grows to a maximum diameter of about 2 feet, and produces apples along its trunk.

Avoid Vines

Vines are a bad idea to grow along privacy fences for a variety of reasons. Vines can easily cover an entire fence in as little as a few seasons. In addition to the fact that your privacy fence needs space for proper maintenance, vines also trap moisture beneath their leaves and tendrils. Any vine growing over your wooden privacy fence will cause the wood to quickly rot, leading to increased rates of deterioration and maintenance. 

Grow Annuals

Annuals tend to be easier to keep contained than perennials, because they die at the end of the season before they can grow out of control. For a flowering plant that won't overtake your privacy fence, consider the usual annuals: petunias, impatiens and marigolds.

Following these tips, you should be able to landscape easily around your fence without doing damage or making your fence maintenance unnecessarily difficult. For answers to more questions about caring for your fence, talk with a company like York Fence.