Monday, May 27, 2013

Building a Garden Fence, Part 1

If you told me a few years ago I'd be building rustic fencing and growing tomatoes I'd call you loco, but here we are. Last week we planted a small raised bed veggie garden, and our pup Fern promptly dug up the lettuce bed and ate a brussel sprout plant. We knew we needed to get a fence up ASAP, so on Friday we picked up 35 cedar posts from a guy on Craigslist, loaded them in the car, and hauled them home (please excuse my fuzzy iPhone photos).

Next we selected and cut a few small trees from our back woods to use for the fence rails.

And then we set to work measuring our plot and digging holes for the posts with a hole digger.

We used a sledgehammer to pound the cedar posts into the ground, and before long our fence was starting to take shape.

On Sunday the rails went up. We pre drilled the posts and beams, then used 5/16 x 5 construction lag screws that have a bronze ceramic coat to screw our rails into the cedar posts. Not everything is centered perfectly or exactly level, but we are telling ourselves that's fine because this is a "rustic" fence.

Here's where we're at right now.

In time the bark will peel off and the whole thing will turn grey as old wood does. It's not a professional  fence, but it looks right at home next to our barn. I was surprised to find that it already looks like it has been there forever.

This week we will attach rabbit wire to the back of the fence frame to keep the critters out. Once that's up we plan to add a gate and a small entryway arc. Eventually we will add more branches between the rails for reinforcement. Josh will also add two more raised beds to the left of the existing three for a total of five.

Our garden doesn't look like much now as our plants are still young and small, but I hope one day it will resemble the garden below. Isn't this the most beautiful spot?

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll be sharing photos of a finished fence and flourishing plants very soon :)


  1. We did a garden remodel with a raised vegetable garden this spring, as well. Your fence is looking just perfect and I adore your inspiration photo. Can't wait to see your finished fence with the arch and gate!

  2. Thanks Kathy! I hope our finished product doesn't disappoint. Good luck with your garden!

  3. The fence looks gorgeous! I love the rustic look. ^_~ Can't wait to see the next batch of photos.

  4. Oh that I be that much younger to begin again. Claire, you and your husband make me envious of a life that I wished I'd had. It's lovely to follow you along your journey. You make me smile and the bounty from your garden will make all your efforts worthwhile. Bravo!

  5. Love the rustic fence .. and so happy to see that I'm not the only one with fuzzy iPhone photos. A friend once asked me, "are you in Beijing?" because a photo was so fuzzy. =)

    I was already missing gardening (temporarily apartment living) but this makes me miss it more. You'll be amazed at how big everything gets and at how much bounty it produces.

    Hope you enjoy it. Love seeing the pics!

  6. Oh this is just too neat, Claire!

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  11. Late to this conversation, but how did you attach the rails to the fence posts? I see the lag screws, and the predrilling, but how did you connect them to the posts? Maybe obvious, and I'm just missing it....

    It looks amazing, by the way! How has it held up?

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