Finding Function in the Natural – “Rustic Fences”
Forget white picket or metal. Some of the best fences are neither metal or made with planks. They can be tree limbs, logs; natural materials are kept in their unaltered form rather than a barrier between nature and humans.
While more sustainable or perhaps needing less renovation over time, natural rustic fences can also offer the same amount of protection and privacy that more traditional fences. Plus, they also offer a natural aesthetic that you can’t buy from just any hardware store.
Defining the Rustic Fence
Technically, any wooden fence could fall into the “rustic” category. However, the ones I want to focus on today consist of unprocessed vegetation including logs, branches, and stems.
The term “Rustic” in this sense is defined in such a way that despite being a functional barrier, it can still blend into the landscape and be part of the foliage and greenery rather than being a stark contrast to it.
When it comes to fencing going rustic means you can have a unique type of construction to separate you from the status quo. It’s a combination of sustainable design and also designing something unique and unlike what others are doing.
In case you’re needing inspiration, take a look at a few examples below:
Benefits of Having a Rustic Fence
A rustic fence offers some distinct benefits that your average metal or wooden plank fence probably won’t. The reason for this is the fact that you’re taking wood in it’s natural, unprocessed form and simply repurposing it for use on your property.
You’re not tampering with the natural shape or composition of the wood with chemicals or tools. This gives you some distinct advantages you wouldn’t find with store-bought fencing materials.
Saves the Environment
Rustic fences that haven’t been tampered are considered recycled materials. Naturally, that means you’re contributing to a sustainable gardening model, where you rely on the use of organic materials that can be reused instead of those that need to be disposed of or pollute the environment.
I’m a strong advocate for sustainability and if you are too, a rustic fence might be the best thing you do to encourage a garden with an eco-conscious edge.
Provides a Resting Ground for Wildlife
Birds love to perch on tree branches. That should come as no surprise. With that said, if you want more close-ups with hard-to-spot bird species, a rustic fence will serve as a natural draw.
Birds will perch on a rustic fence because it resembles the natural tree habitats they build their nests in. Transforming your garden into a quasi-wildlife sanctuary is possible with modest touches that ensure your garden appears untouched. Rustic fences are one feature that can accomplish this.
Adds Unique Visual Appeal
Originality will always be a winning feature in landscape design. A rustic fence will stand out and look like no other in a neighborhood full of metal or wood-treated fences The intricate designs of branches, the rich assortment of textures and the varying range of colors can’t be found in stores – but could be found in your garden if you take this approach.
Who Should Build Your Rustic Fence
When it comes to installing a rustic fence in your garden, there are two main avenues to take.
If you’re handy and have the tools, you can take the DIY approach and build a rustic fence on your own.
If you’re not comfortable handling this project or don’t have the skills or time, then the next step is to hire a landscape architect who can help you execute them.
DIY Rustic Fence Construction
If you choose the DIY route, you need to prepare very well in advance. First and foremost, honestly assess your skill level before proceeding with a rustic fence project. It can be a bit more challenging than it looks.
You also need to know ahead of time what type of tree (ie. oak, cedar) and what part of the tree (ie. log, branches) you’re going to use. Also, make sure to consider additional materials to hold the tree materials in place, along with the tools you’ll need for the project.
Working With a Landscape Architect
If you deem yourself not to be the expert, a tools person or a handyman or woman, then you should consider hiring a landscape architect or a craftsperson with some experience in this area. They will do all the heavy lifting in completing the project.
This includes all the steps mentioned in the DIY section, along with additional considerations related to the ecology and landscaping features of your house as well as the logistics to ensure the fence can last for years to come. A landscape architect will make recommendations that will help you make the most of your backyard and avoid costly mistakes.
Nature’s Gift for Your Backyard
Sadly it is the trademark of an affluent culture to waste or use materials that will inevitably become waste. Just look at our obsession with plastic, metals and synthetics.
This is unfortunate because nature provides an abundance of resources and materials that we can use to beautify our homes many of which are right under our noses.
The dense, lush trees that grow around you can provide you with the raw materials needed to build fences that not only offer protection and privacy but also, naturally blend into the landscape.
Are you considering getting a rustic fence for your backyard? Get in touch with me to help you get started.