Jonathan & Denise >
There’s a gate between the front south-east corner of the house and Greenhouse 1, and from the other side of the greenhouse to the east garden wall there’s a timber fence, about 1.6m tall that we put up about ten years ago to serve as a boundary between the back and front garden. (Similarly, though without an intervening greenhouse, there’s a gate and fence between the south-west corner of the house and the west garden wall.) The gates and fences also serve to keep Tilly in the back garden, when necessary. More importantly, they’re there to break the force of the winter gales as they whirl around the house and bounced back and forth by the garden walls. During summer, the fence disappears amongst the greenery ; but by winter the waist-high vegetation has fallen away, and the deciduous native trees have lost their leaves. In summer the shrubs and trees may even shelter the fence ; but in winter the roles are reversed again. We know from past experience, that without such a fence, nothing natural can thrive in this area of the garden : so, to have any garden worthy of that noun, this fence is essential. And so too, therefore, is keeping it in good order.
The fence is made with wood, and even if treated with preservatives, is subject to decay and liable to damage : occasional repairs or replacement is inevitable. To be fair, ten years is not bad, and the storm that blasted through the middle section of this fence was characterized by extremely sudden and violent gusts, and it’s those that do the damage.
It wasn’t the only fence that was damaged, and all of those demanded more urgent reinstatement, so it was only in the past few weeks that we’ve been ready to tackle this job. Until then, all we could afford the time for was to clear up the wreckage and remove the shrubs that had grown up against and even through the fence. Repairing and replacing (mostly the latter) took us, working together, just three hours over two lovely sunny evenings.
The zig-zag alignment helps the fence better resist the force of the wind, both structurally and also by breaking up the flow and dissipating its energy. It also allowed us to leave the most established trees undisturbed.