To the fence

One of the first things that Ryan and I did in the garden (whilst waiting for the patio to be laid) was paint the (existing) fence. We have a lot of fences in the garden; the back garden has fences along two sides, and both of the front gardens have picket fences. Having experienced the horror of painting fences before (it took around 2 years to finish painting the fence in the last house, with brushes), we bought a paint sprayer and Ryan did most of the hard work of painting the front fences in forest green.

It looks lovely. However, Ryan’s car got caught in the overspray and polishing the rest of the green droplets off his white paintwork is still on his to do list. Even with the sprayer, it took days. The picket fence needed brushes, and I helped with that. It took days, as well. It also took a lot of paint, which isn’t cheap.

Front garden fences

We’ve never tackled the back fence, which has matured to quite a nice silvery colour, or the picket fence in the Sunset strip garden. A year later, the green paintwork is already showing signs of wear.

Distressed paint effect on the picket fence

When we moved in, our next door neighbours had a similar fence, painted black. I didn’t like it, and the paint work was in need of touching up. But before they got around to that, several of the panels blew down in high winds for the second time since they moved into the house 8 years ago – they’re angled to catch the prevailing wind. They’ve replaced it with shorter panels with a larger area of trellis at the top, and solid concrete fence posts.

In an ideal world, every garden would be bounded by a hedge. They’re more wildlife friendly and more eco-friendly, and they can even contain edible plants. But they require even more maintenance than a fence (usually with a noisy electric hedge trimmer), and they take up a lot of space. And, in our garden, unless they were particularly bushy at the base they would just let in the bunnies. Replacing the fences with hedges is, for us, not an option.

Image courtesy of Colourfence

Faced with the prospect of endlessly painting the fence, as though it were the Forth Bridge, Ryan and I were intrigued to learn that there is another option. Colourfence comes in a range of colours, but requires almost no maintenance.

Made from Zincalume high tensile steel, Colourfence is lightweight and yet very strong, withstanding winds up to 130 mph. There’s a choice of designs, with or without trellis panels, and is guaranteed to keep its colour. There’s no need for painting or repainting, and no wood to rot. The only maintenance required is the occasional wash with the hosepipe!

Colourfence is professionally installed, and comes with a 25 year guarantee.

Image courtesy of Colourfence

I bet that, right now, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “that looks expensive”, and you’re right in the sense that installing a Colourfence is more of an investment initially than simply replacing your wooden fencing when it falls down.

However, on their blog Colourfence have a post called The True Cost of Wooden Fence Panels, in which they explore the ongoing maintenance and replacement costs of wooden fencing over the 25 year lifespan of a Colourfence. Now, they’re going to be slightly biased, so you have to take their calculations with a pinch of salt 😉 But if you follow their logic and work out – from your experience – how much money and time you spend on maintaining, repairing and replacing your fence then you’ll know whether a Colourfence is worth saving your pennies for! Checkatrade did an independent survey of the cost of different sorts of wooden fence panels that you may find helpful.

Ryan will certainly be taking a look at that when the time comes, although for the moment our fence still has a bit of life in it, so I guess we’ll be getting the paint cans out again in the autumn!

Mashua clambering up the trellis fence

And there’s a question even Colourfence might not be able to answer at this point – would plants enjoy climbing up a Colourfence? Would they even be able to do it? My mashua is currently grabbing hold of our painted wooden trellis for all it’s worth, which is exactly what I hoped. With a small garden, you have to make the most of your vertical spaces 🙂

This post was produced in Collaboration with Colourfence, but as the garden’s Chief Engineer Ryan is honestly pondering whether a Colourfence would be right for us in the future. The words, as usual, have erupted entirely from the molten pool of magma that is my brain.