“It is unchristian to hedge from the sight of others the beauties of nature which it has been our good fortune to create or secure.”
Frank J Scott The Art of Beautifying Suburban Home Grounds (1870).
I spent the weekend in Mount Eden in Auckland where walking the streets offers a study in hostile fencing. There is a bigger story in fencing, now that I am getting my eye in for it but I couldn’t help but notice how little it takes to turn a large wooden affair into something more pleasing than a utility, gang house-styled barricade. It seems quite remarkable that people who own a million dollar house see nothing wrong with a basic tanalised board construction of zero aesthetic merit. If you feel the need to erect a solid barrier between your home and the riff raff who pass by on the footpath, a little thought can make a big difference.
Incorporating the vertical supports as part of the fence breaks up the expanse of wall into separate panels. Topping the verticals with a simple finial – or abacus to go to classic terms – adds little to the expense but a lot to the design. A horizontal baseboard is both practical and adds a little finishing detail. Narrow palings generally look classier than wide ones. An unobtrusive colour in charcoal or dark grey tones mutes the impact further. It is attention that detail that counts.
First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.