The sun is shining but it’s not yet time to put away the winter coats. However, if you don’t have a fence or are thinking about replacing one, read on.

Fences are everywhere but most of them are ugly, boring, or pedestrian.  It doesn’t have to be that way. A little imagination and artistry go a long way to creating something special.

Fence post unpainted

Fence posts painted

For instance, I have a stockade fence that came with the house over thirty-five years ago. It has held up fairly well and serves as an innocuous background for that section of my garden. The fence is very long so when I changed the trim color of my house and garage from brown to aqua, I painted every other fence post the same color and topped the posts with copper caps.

Long fence with lattice panels

Long fences can be boring but creative design can mitigate their length. Try interspersing sections of lattice panels with standard fencing and then topping the boards with horizontal sections of lattice that are a narrower replica of the panels.

Horizontal front fence

Most fences are designed on the vertical but designing them on the horizontal creates a different perception, one of artistry rather than mere functionality. Most fences serve as dividers between properties or to keep children and pets from escaping but they can also be used as walls to provide privacy. When space is limited in the back yard, this privacy can be established in the front yard in the form of a courtyard seen only by the residents and invited guests.

Using uncommon materials also changes the nature of a fence. It becomes a piece of art, not just a screen.

Recycled wood and metal fence

Recycling is one of today’s watchwords. What better way to use old corrugated metal and wood than to create a unique fence?

Fence painted as garden

If you or a friend are very artistic, you could make a fence into a painting that is seen only by the homeowner. The side that faces the street could remain totally bland so as not to offend anyone.

Rusty red painted fence

Fortunately, the architectural police will not come after you if your fence is other than white, gray, or black. Why not liven up a fence with a color that suits your personality? A pair of Buffalo gardeners have a “fireworks” garden in their backyard. The sparks are yellow, orange, red, and chartreuse flowers and foliage with a fence and gate that are painted rusty red on the inside but white facing the street and the neighbor.

Fence painted blue on the inside

Same fence is gray on the outside with addition of blue framed window

Using the same idea of one color for the owners and another for the passersby, a New Jersey garden fence is painted royal blue on the inside and gray on the outside. A small window in the fence, through which one can view a sculpture, is also trimmed in royal blue.

I’ve barely touched on the plethora of fence ideas that could transform ordinary fences into amazing ones. I hope that you’ll invent several more.