Using Fences to Accent a Water-Wise Landscape

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape December 16, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

A bare fence provides an opportunity to create an interesting planting design. Source:  Gardening in the Southern Highlands blog


A rustic fence, rocks, wagon wheel, and water wise plants creates a sense of place. Photo credit: Landscape Design Advisor Media Director: Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0 

Fences have both functional and aesthetic qualities and can easily be used to accent a water-wise landscape

A fence provides immediate results and can be used in the following ways.

  • Screen unsightly views
  • Provide privacy
  • Delineate the edge of a space or property
  • Provide support for vines
  • Provide a backdrop for water features, statuary, plants, and other objects in the landscape

Some Considerations When Using Fences

  • Plant  water wise shrubs and large herbaceous perennials to obscure existing unattractive fences
  • Incorporate a variety of plant types to accent an attractive fence
  • Consider the color, texture, or material of the fence when accenting with water wise plants (contrast / compliment)
  • Plant appropriate distances from fence for mature plant size
  • Avoid solid fences that do not allow for air flow
  • When building a new fence think about what materials will complement the existing plantings and structures
  • Use drip irrigation to keep water damage on the fence to a minimum
  • Check municipal codes for height and setback requirements





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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.