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Published: Thursday, 6/30/2005

Fencing The Natural Way

Are you on the fence about fencing? Take a cue from nature and consider using natural elements to fence your yard. After all, you ve worked hard to make your landscape beautiful. Why would you want to frame it with a cold, industrial-looking fence?

Fencing with natural elements like bamboo, brushwood, reed or willow is quite popular -- and with good reason -- all of the materials are very easy to work with.

Bamboo is especially practical and attractive. The strong yet lightweight material weathers beautifully and will last many years in the garden. The hard outer shell of bamboo repels water and deters rot. In Asia, bamboo has been used for decades to build all sorts of things, like furniture, boats and even houses, so you know it will stand up well as fencing.

Reed, a close cousin of bamboo, also weathers well. Like bamboo, it is very durable. Many gardeners use reed to create not only fences, but visual barriers. Put it up around an unsightly air conditioning unit, or use it as a privacy screen.

Willow also works well when you want to hide an element in your garden. It creates a beautiful natural screen, and flowers look gorgeous when planted against a willow backdrop. The English have used willow in their gardens for years. They know that while willow is very elegant, it s also extremely tough.

Another great material is brushwood. It s amazingly versatile. Of course, it can be used as fencing, but it s also good to use for shade as a patio covering or even to place over the roof of a garden shed to give the shed a new look.

Gardeners love the outdoors, and it seems logical that they would turn to nature when it comes to fencing. This year, add flair to your yard with a natural garden fence. You ll be thrilled with the results.

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