My recent post about the attractive fence my next-door neighbors installed included a gratuitous but ardent dig at chainlink, the type of fence they didn’t choose, thankfully.
That reminded of the home I bought in 1985 that DID sport a chainlink around the front yard. I remember shortly after moving in a friend visited and told me sternly to “Cover up that fence with something, like a vine!”
Of course that’s what I did, using the vine that was already there, creeping innocently along the ground just inside the fence – the increasingly hated English ivy – and it did the job.
As you can see, it sure did cover the ugly fencing, and the arbor I had installed over the entrance, too. I’m told that some call this hedge and fence combo a “fedge.”
I came to call it a huge maintenance headache because of course it aggressively marched onto the sidewalk and across my flower borders, where no plants could possibly compete with it.
So I finally had the now-hated “fedge” removed, a process that yielded scary, ugly views of the monstrous vine…
and replaced it all with an attractive wooden fence. What a relief!!
(That reminds me of the one time my garden was visited by the Washington Post’s then-garden writer Adrian Higgins, for his feature story about GardenRant. His only comment on my garden, front or back, was to say he liked the fence! In the garden’s defense, it WAS February, but still….
You might have noticed the metal awning over the porch was long gone, and the old siding replaced, too.
The whole transition took just 25 years or so.
For students of architecture, the house was built in 1925 from a Sears Roebuck kit. It’s the “Conway” model.
I had a chain link fence with ivy too. I eventually removed all the ivy. In the process of getting a new fence I found out the fence was my neighbor’s! Why he didn’t let me know that while I was hacking away at the damn ivy! Go figure. Love my privacy fence now.
Same problem at my place, but with trailing euonymous. Waiting to win the lottery to replace it with something attractive. In the meantime, I try to shear off the flowers every year, but know I’m missing lots of them.
Ivy.. It grows up trees.. hell, if you stand around more than a few minutes, it will grow up to your knees.. the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps. the third year it LEAPS! Yikes. I’ve planted it for years.. Now, at almost 75, I am pulling it up whenever I get the chance.
I planted trumpet vine to grow on my chain link fence. BIG MISTAKE. It spread underground into my vegetable beds. Eventually, I replaced the chain link with a wood privacy fence, and cut down and sprayed the trumpet vine, but it still pops up here and there.
LOVE the MD house (updated version)!
LOVE the English ivy fedge!
I came to appreciate the decades-old chain link fence around our back garden because it does effectively screen us, it vanishes behind greenery, and it has made a great trellis for some cherished vines like clematis armandii and Confederate jasmine. They are both excellent, evergreen (in my climate, zone 7) substitutes for ivy, with the bonus of lovely, fragrant flowers. I am also nurturing a white Lady Banks rose along one visible stretch. We still have lots more ivy than I would like, but it’s mostly within acceptable bounds.
I used black chain fence in front of my gardens close to our brick home. It was a last resort against deer which have overtaken our neighborhood. I basically had no choice at this point. I got a special variance do it. You can now see my gardens through it and it is close enough to the exterior to prevent deer from jumping into it. We aren’t allowed to use opaque tall fences in our front yards. The fence does tend to disappear with the landscape showing through.
One day I may have an ivy fedge…but I shall use an ultra slow miniature Ivy such as Spetchley or Anita…they grow about 3 inches a year if you are lucky