Sunday, 2 March 2008

Fences up, fences down

The back fence is mostly up, which is a good thing!

The old fence is down, which is not so good …

That’s my new border I’m itching to plant! I’ve been thinking to get out there and dig over in March – well, folks, March is here!

It’s been so temperate lately that I’ve actually accomplished much in the garden that I didn’t expect to be doing in February.

Mid month, I did a lot of weeding of the left and right borders, and the ugly front bit, and even in the lawn (the dreaded comfrey again, which I will discuss in the rotovation chapter). Plus I removed a lot of leaves. Removal of leaves is not just aesthetically pleasing, but is necessary because (1) snails love to hide under a nice carpet of leaves (although thankfully it’s a bit early for them) and (2) you can actually see the weeds you need to weed. Not to mention, when everything is clear, you can see the new growth of the beloved plants in the border, which is most exciting!

A word on fencing. When we moved in, the left fence was nearly down, a ramshackle affair with your common lap panels and wood fence posts, all leaning precariously into the garden (if they weren’t already completely down). This is something I certainly never knew about (or much thought about, until necessary), but I would recommend cement fence posts, and gravel boards. The cement fence posts make the job of changing old, worn-out panels much, much easier as you can slide the old ones out, and the new ones in. The gravel board, well, there are two kinds; cement, and wood. What they do is slide in before you put the fence panels in, and protect the bottom of the panel from rot so they will last longer. On the right side, when we moved in, a right panel was down as well – but it was in good condition, as it had been sitting on a cement gravel board (even better) and it slotted easily back into place. Since we replaced the left fence, there has been no problem with the right as the wind comes from a westerly direction and when the left fence was down, the right was exposed to the harsh winter wind. We opted for wooden gravel boards on the left fence replacement, but they are still going to prolong the life of the panels themselves.

Replacing the left fence was the one big job we had to do before we could think of digging over the soil. We ordered the necessary from our local DIY store, and finally (after several failed delivery attempts, but they managed to deliver in the end) we had our panels, cement fence posts, and gravel boards, plus several bags of cement and ballast to hold the posts in.

We are in such luck. The man upstairs, happens to be a builder by trade. So, cement mixing is a doddle to him. Now, I wasn’t here when the fence was finally put up, in mid-April. I was visiting my parents and getting a blow by blow update by text from my husband. I would have put my all into it had I been around, but imagine my joy when coming off a transatlantic flight, I come home to a beautiful left fence!

This is what was required for the job:
5 fence panels
4 concrete posts
5 pack gravel boards
10 bags of ballast
5 bags of cement

There was one concrete post in place, strangely enough, so they just worked around that. As you see, ballast is 2-1 to cement. With a garden hose and a flat board, you can mix enough cement on it to do the job of filling the holes with cement, in order to hold up the posts. This was day one, and letting everything dry. The next day, I believe, was a matter of slotting in the panels and way hey! Fence! Time to dig ...


  1. I found you through blotanical and you are doing a good job on your blog. You tell those guys Job Well Done on the fence. It is a very nice privacy fence. Good luck on your upcoming planting.

  2. Thanks Mike! Really like your blog too - paradise indeed. And the guys really appreciated your comments!