Picket fences are not just for quaint little cottages in Devon, Cornwall and the east coast past Norwich. They can be installed in any front or rear garden and immediately bring a new line of attention to your property.
They’re particularly useful if you need to ensure that small children and pets can’t get out of your garden and onto the busy roads, which might prove dangerous for vehicle drivers as well.
What is picket fencing?
When you think about picket fencing, what usually springs to mind is the standard 3 foot white painted slats spaced evenly apart and running along the edge of your gardens. There are, however, many different styles and sizes of picket fencing available so you can choose whatever matches both your own style and that of your particular garden.
The height of picket fencing can vary. While most people choose the 3 foot option, many others opt for a full 4 foot option where the law allows it without planning permission. The 4 foot high variety keeps smaller children behind the fence for a couple of extra years before they find a way to climb over it. It also keeps smaller dogs from wondering if they dare to try and jump over such a height.
The tops of your picket fence will probably be finished with a rounded shape. This is the most popular because it isn’t boring – like a flat shape would appear – and it isn’t as dangerous as the spiked top finish that some people adore.
The distance between slats on your picket fence can vary depending upon your needs. If you live in an area where small animals, possibly rodents, will try and enter your garden, then you would probably choose to leave a very small space between the slats, though you still won’t keep mice out. Most people end up choosing to place the slats exactly a slat’s width apart, which means that you end up with a great consistent look to your garden picket fencing. You will face a problem if you place the slats next to each other without a space in between. When it rains as it inevitably will, the panels will take in water and expand. As there is nowhere for the panels to go, they will bow out of shape after a number of soakings.
Keep burglars at bay
You won’t keep burglars from your garden if you install three foot high fencing, but you will deter the would-be-thief who just happens to walk past your garden and sees an opportunity to enter your property without permission. Just having the fence on show forms a barrier. Most people can’t just step over a three foot fence and while only a small jump is required, this exposes a potential thief to the view of your neighbours who can call the police to help you.
There is no doubt that the installation of a painted or stained picket fence can enhance your garden. It gives the feel of a real British garden and adds a level of security to your home.
Jen Byiers writes for Gardens Galore Edinburgh, experts in landscape gardening.
Image: Dan Mushrush/Flickr