I’m a real proponent for structures and ornamental features in the landscape if done in good taste.  These elements can give structure to the outside, help to designate space, and even guide the visitor.  And let’s not forget their sometimes artistic contribution.  There are countless examples of hand-crafted works in the landscape.

Above is a traditional square-picket fence.  Whereas some fences are one sided, this fence is equally finished and beautiful on both sides.  Here it is used along the sidewalk in front of a residence.  The fence was not needed to keep people out, animals in, or give privacy.  Perhaps it was added as an architectural feature to extend the home’s design out into the property – or to define the front yard in a subtle way.  Combined with a gate or arbor it can convey a feeling of passage from one space to another.  A decorative fence gives year-round interest while offering a backdrop to seasonal gardens like this spring bulb display.

Today fences are made from newer materials other than wood and metal.  Plastics have entered the industry as I guess they have every other industry.  Perfection Fence is one of the manufacturers that does some amazing things with vinyl.  I have to say, though, if it’s being seen close up there is no hiding the fact that it’s vinyl.  For some (like me) this can be a turn off.  But from a distance it’s awesome – and very, very practical.

To take synthetics to another level, Walpole Woodworkers in MA has teamed up with AZEK.  This is a company that manufactures building and architectural features from PVC.  This partnering has enabled Walpole Woodworkers to produce fence and garden structures from AZEK materials.  Walpole’s special line of AZEK made products is called “Freeport“.   It’s beautiful, practical, and very hard to distinguish if it’s real wood or not…even close up!

So when contemplating design ideas for your yard, consider the addition of structural features to add new dimension and interest.

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