My backyard is cut in half by a picket fence and archway. The part between the house and fence is mostly lawn, with side gardens. The part behind the fence is a mixture of vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and a large shed, with what used to be an attached greenhouse/chicken coop.
When the deer would come into my yard from next door, I would send the dog, Moby, a dachshund, out to bark and chase them out of the yard. But because the picket fence on the left side of the above photo did not reach all the way to the side fence, and the open archway, the deer just ran in circles, with Moby in pursuit. Eventually, Moby gave up, and the deer stayed.
In an effort to solve some of this problem, I extended the picket fence on the left side by adding two more sections, helping it to reach to the fence line on the left side of my yard. It is slightly hard to tell in this photo, because there is no color in the yard when this photo was taken in March, but the two new sections are unpainted, natural wood on the left.
For the gate, I did a lot of searching on Pinterest for ideas. I started a new board there entitled gates, where I kept all my ideas while pondering the options. The gate I liked the most and thought most capable of making myself, is the photo below.
And this is my version.
I liked the rabbit cutout, but my daughter thought it was too cutesy. In the end, I did agree with her, and went with a hummingbird cutout, which I like so much better.
At first I wasn’t sure I liked the gate, as it made the yard feel more closed off and greatly hindered my view into the back of the yard. But I have grown to love it and the personality it adds to the yard and gardens. Plus, it creates the sensation of separate garden rooms, waiting to be explored.
There used to be roses on each side of the archway, but over the winter, they died. So, I replaced them with large pots planted with pink petunias and Euphorbia “Hip Hop”. Growing nearby the potted petunias are Lamb’s Ears and Nepeta, with Clematis climbing the fence.
I love catmint (Nepeta). It is one of my favorite “go to” garden perennials to create the quintessential cottage look. And the cat likes it too.
Nepeta plays well with so many other plants, softening the look of everything around it. I especially love it planted at the feet of roses.
I used my favorite shade of green paint on the gates. It is a Valspar Duramax paint from Lowes called “Backwoods”. It compliments every shade of God’s green earth. The photos do not do justice to the loveliness of this shade of green paint. So, if you are considering painting anything outside green, be sure to check out the color in person, at the store.
While I was at it, I also made a matching gate for the side entrance to the back yard. This gate also has an arch over it. I hung a wind chime from the arch as another deer deterrent.
New fences and gates mean lots of painting, which is what it seems I’ve been doing all spring. The new materials needed fresh paint, and the old fence sections needed lots of scrubbing to get the algae off. I hope to finish off these fence sections this weekend.
White picket fences are a symbol of suburbia, and represent old-fashioned America, when life seemed slower and simpler. They are a lot of work when they need repainting, but always worth it . . . once the painting is over. Unfortunately, there are still two sections of fence in the front yard, that need scrubbing and painting. But the end is in sight.
Wishing everyone a lovely Memorial Day Weekend and some time to sit and relax.