I was fortunate to spend my most formative years in the country. During elementary and high school years as well as college breaks I enjoyed our 30 acres of land as well as the adjoining farmland. Crops filled some fields, but there were still plenty of open woods with trails to ride horses and dirt bikes or just hike with friends and family. Also, our neighbors farms weren’t completely fenced so we respectfully shared each other’s open terrain.
Growing Up Country – Don’t Fence Me In
The land was beautiful and it was possible to see for miles across the rolling hills. Favorite activities included catching tadpoles, riding on the hay wagon, building forts in the woods, and exploring caves. Even walking through the fields of wildflowers that bloomed so prolifically was special and memorable. Then, I grew up and everything changed…
A New Life In Suburbia With Privacy Fences Everywhere
Today, my world is different. Our house is in a suburban neighborhood with homes occupying mostly one-half up to one-acre lots.
Before moving into our current house, the previous owner installed a 6-foot wood fence along the property line with two neighboring houses. This provided more privacy and it connected to a third neighbor’s fence that was already in place. This left only one side of our property unfenced. Lucky for us this view was of the heavily wooded back lot of our neighbor.
When You Don’t Want A Fence But You Need A Fence
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’re aware that I love gardening. This is where it gets a bit tricky. I enjoy having an unfenced yard. However, the extensive garden beds and the developing woodland garden are suffering because of the deer. We’ve even had Mama deer bring their babies into our yard and leave them all day long while they foraged elsewhere. As much as I love watching Mama and her fawns, I could tell it was going to be frustrating as well as expensive to develop the backyard as garden space. I’ve seen what a few deer can do to a bed of Hostas and it’s not pretty!
For a closer look at several of our garden plants click here
A Fence With A View
It’s clear that we need a fence to keep the deer out of the garden. However, we want an open style fence that will maintain the view of the trees as much as possible for our backyard and for our neighbor’s as well. The fence is close to our property line, however, it also happens to be very close to the neighbors screened porch and patio. After some serious fence research regarding style, structure, durability, visibility, etc., we decided to build an open style fence with a frame around large see through wire panels. These black wire panels are effective at keeping the deer out yet as invisible as possible to us.
At 5 feet, the fence design is tall enough to discourage deer from jumping it, yet the open structure allows us to maintain the view. We hoped that both property owners could enjoy the back yard and not feel like we were living in a box. This was very important!
Finding A Fence That Doesn’t Feel Like A Fence
Our goal was to build a fence that would keep the deer out but not create a fenced-in feeling for those living and playing near it. We settled on two different fence designs. The first was a 4 foot tall picket fence that is visible from the front of the house. Then, we built the 75 foot deer fence along the property line on the right side of the back yard. We positioned this section of fence along the consistent path that the deer follow.
Crew Builds Open View Fence
I did quite a bit of research on the materials and costs to install fencing. After requesting quotes from two companies in our area, I made a selection, and the contractor got started right away.
Work began on the driveway side and progressed quickly even though they were dealing with Georgia clay! It pays to have the right tools for the job. The crew dug the holes, added gravel to level the posts, then poured the concrete.
Here’s a link to a great article from Bob Vila about The Do’s And Don’ts Of Setting Fence Posts
Picket Fence Faces The Street
The fence went together smoothly. The crew built a custom 5-foot wood gate to provide access to the back yard for semi-heavy equipment in case there was ever a need. It’s probably not a good idea to have to take the fence down to get into the yard!
Save The View – Divert The Deer
Picket Fence And Deer Fence Meet
The posts and top and bottom rails of the 75-foot deer fence went up quickly. The crew installed the wire fencing rolls next. The small rectangular shaped wire will stop the deer from entering the yard. However, if they do run into it, it’s unlikely to hurt them as there is some flexibility in the wire.
Here is the finished see through deer fence at the corner of the house where it connects with the picket fence. The picket style gives us a consistent look across the front of our property. The wide framed open style fence provides a safe barrier to keep the deer out while maintaining the view. Best of all the two styles are compatible and blend well together.
Our Woodland Garden Survives
The end to this story is that our woodland garden is thriving, the Hostas have recuperated, and we will continue to add new plants without fear of them disappearing.
Thanks for visiting. I look forward to your comments or questions.
Tyler Johnson says
I’m glad that you mentioned that five feet would be the golden spot for the height of a deer fence. If they couldn’t jump over that height, then that sounds like a good way to still be able to see over it. If the deer problem in my yard gets worse, I’ll have to consider getting a deer fence like that installed.
Hi Tyler, thanks for your comment. We chose to build a 5 foot fence because our research indicated it would discourage deer from getting into our yard. However, we are aware that deer are quite capable of jumping 5 feet if they can’t find food elsewhere. Since installing our fence we have not had any deer in our yard. So, for us the 5 foot fence seems to be effective yet does not block our view or look overly intrusive in our yard. Thanks again for stopping by the blog.