Blank fence into a backdrop for your blooms!
Mandy Isaacson, from Illinois, moved into a new home and has a completely blank white fence. Fellow Flea Market Gardeners jumped in to offer suggestions here and show some of their solutions to the ‘blank fence problem.’
Mandy lives in Zone 5, loves gardening and asked for “rusty” ideas for containers and accents along her bare fenceline. She says “I love vintage and rust and would like to see what accents other gardeners put along their fences.” Here is Mandy’s blank white fence, all the advice and ideas, and bonus: How to create a Lasagna Garden.
Earlene Millier gets us started with her solution, “ It’s a great blank canvas. I would get some trees and flowering vines going right away. Right now the whole space is the same height. trees will give some visual height and bring shade and movement into the yard. What about a small gazebo or an arbor or both? The yard needs some structures.”
Debbie Bruening says, “That’s a great blank canvas. I planted a Concord grapevine against my fence. For perennials I have Iris for spring, Daylilies and Phlox for summer. I always plant the pink “Supertunia” and it does so well, lasting until frost here in North Carolina. My potting shed is in the corner.”
Marla Damman says “Start with some small flowering tree and some pretty perennials like cannas, cone flowers, lambs ear and whatever you enjoy looking at most. Bring in a birdbath. Old containers can be arranged and rearranged easily, even empty terra cotta pots look nice. Things YOU like–blue bottles, bowling balls, animal statuary, those are a few of the things I like.
Just start slowly around the edges. This will give you time to learn the sun and shade patterns. Don’t worry about having lots of color all the time, that is very hard to plan–it takes a lifetime and gardens with lots of green texture are best. Don’t be afraid to dig up plants and move them, I move mine around like furniture! You will enjoy looking at it every day while you drink your coffee.”
How to create a Lasagna Garden
Kathy Plettenberg explains…. “If what Mandy wants is an abundance of flowers, she needs to learn lasagna gardening. Stake out your area, use a shovel to cut a ‘v’ along the edge down into the soil deep enough to get past the roots of the grass. Mind you, no need to remove any sod, except in this little v groove that marks out the edge of the garden.
Edge the garden with some kind of edging. Then, gather bunches of corrugated cardboard. Lay the cardboard out on the garden, tucking edges down into the groove, and wetting it all down well. There should be no gaps through which you can see grass. Now, at least five to ten layers of old newspaper, also wetted well.
Now you ready for the soil step. You’ll have on hand garden soil, enough sacks to basically cover the whole garden if you were to lay them out, shoulder to shoulder, like so many carpet samples. And that’s what you do, lay them all out.
Each of those sacks, once fluffed, is a pretty good depth for flower gardening. Use a box knife, cut a big x, corner to corner, and dump out the soil right in its place. After all that lovely soil is opened, you’ll be hot and sweaty, and you’ll hate me a little, but start putting flowers in, and watch it all take off!
I have done this with over 500 square feet of garden, and over five years, have an embarrassment of riches in my garden. I even covered two foot tall championship dandelions. The cardboard basically smothers everything underneath. The first year you’ll only have the 4-5 inches of your purchased soil, but in subsequent years, you’ll get deeper, richer soil. The rich lasagna soil will attract lots of worms, butterflies, and birds.
One last thing: try to buy flowers from a local grower with a great reputation. My best-surviving plants came from a local grower, familiar with my zone.
Kathy Plettenberg “It’s Golden Creeping Jenny, above. I started with a single six pack of the stuff…six tiny little starts, and look at it now!”
Marsha Yeager has a great point, “So many times folks make their beds a few feet out from the fence and then just go parallel with the fence. Your bed line is so much more interesting and with a larger bed, you get to add more plants and accessories.”
In my own experience, I started with a four foot deep flower border and each year, I moved the rock border further and further out! More room to plant as the plants grew tall. In the beginning, you can fill in the space with mulch.” ~~Sue Langley
Cindy Lefever says, “!’d add a little bench in there to relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Lisa Evans: Looks like vinyl fencing, most likely you don’t want nail or screw holes in it, but perhaps make a flower bed strip along the fence and “plant” old garden implements along the fence amid greenery and flowers. Upended rakes, spades and other tool and old farm store signs would be amazing! Good luck!
Elaine Zent says, “ I think the standing hydrangea here helps fill in the corner where I don’t have height. It is very vigorous and easy to trim up…beautiful white flowers that are interesting even when the bloom is gone! Like someone else said, it is a blank canvas, start slowly, making sure you can keep it up. I had a bunch of finicky flowers and finally just went with plants that were native to my state. Easy!”
Lori English Everyone’s ideas and photos are great. My only advice is to not make your beds too small. Whether straight or curved or in sections if they are too small they just look wrong and they will need to be redone in no time because your plants will outgrow the allotted space.
Annette Olson Oh my, I love a blank canvas! I started with a whole acre rectangle just last year. And you’ve got that fence as a place to hang up artwork, rustic collection items so that’s a good start.
Think about what your interests are and then use the posts here to incorporate those interests into actual ideas. I see so many wonderful ideas on this Facebook page and you can pick the ones that fit your style. Then you’ll see that wonderful inspiration and it’ll set you off in all different directions.