on the fence

fenceLet me share with you a frightening formula:

corner lot + busy street + toddler who is clearly going to be an Olympic sprinter (as long as races are held on a zigzagged track) + no fence = fretful nights where sleeping is replaced by nail biting and days are spent inside holding your increasingly curious (and heavy) child up to the window to teach him about nature from afar.

We’ve been having the fencing debate since the day I got pregnant. Actually: we started discussing fencing for this lot long before baby, when we bought this house. Truth be told: I guess we mentioned it the first day we saw the house.

Our house doesn’t have a back yard – there are a few feet of sloping ground cover spotted with trees, all of which abuts our neighbor’s driveway. So it’s all side yard (this is the busy street) and front yard (this is a busy-ish street.) This means that any fencing we get, whether we go big or keep it relatively small, will be very visible and change the profile of our property.

Turns out that fences are not cheap. And, unless you own a house that calls out for a cute white picket fence (ours does not), they are mostly ugly, they seem to degrade quickly and, from what I can tell, they tend to strike up intimate relationships with weeds.

In order to give our son a proper play space outside where we don’t have to put him on a leash, we have been shopping for fencing. And by shopping for fencing, I mean trolling the web and our local neighborhoods to see if we can find anything that won’t make our beloved mid century modern home look like prison grounds.

Chain link? Vinyl? Wrought iron? I don’t think so.

This is our fantasy fence, stained wood with horizontal boards:

horizontal fencephoto source

But we are afraid to get an estimate. (Hereby proving that it’s possible to get sticker shock before there is even a sticker.) We are concerned about how often we’ll have to get it stained and how much all this maintenance will set us back. We also wonder if it will beckon burgeoning graffiti artists (although that could be kind of cool.)

So here we sit. On the fence. Or more literally, inside…reading books to our son about glorious places with grass, with bugs, and these cute little critters called squirrels.

Do you have a nice fence?

12 replies

    • I have heard this type of fence referred to as a “California fence” here a few times. Therefore, I imagine that there are a lot of these in your neck of the woods…? 🙂

      • i hadn’t heard it called that! but there are many of them out here, ha! 😀

  1. Fences are so darn expensive! I’m thankful my husband can put them up or I have no idea what we’d do. That fantasy fence is so gorgeous I can’t even imagine it out in the elements. HA HA! Trust me, your fantasy fence is mine too. I bought a money tree today at Home Depot and if it actually starts growing bills I’ll send you some! You deserve a fence that NICE!
    Good luck.

    • It’s true – it would be a shame for any rain, snow, or bird poo to make contact with such a lovely fence – maybe we could rig up some kind of umbrella system to put above it as protection…surely that would be both inexpensive and attractive…

      Excellent choice at H.D. – show me the moneeeeeeeeey! 🙂

  2. What’s wrong with a leash?? Just kidding. I will get off the fence and go out on a limb to say bag the fence. It’s a great idea if you have a flat yard or a dog( hello electric fence)but otherwise over rated and too expensive. How about fencing in that beautiful spot on the side of your house for outside private space and a BBQ? By the time Ian runs faster than you(which is about three and a half)he will be old enough to be on a soccer team.
    As far as fences go…I prefer the open and airy kind. Large enough to keep kids in but see the world around…::)) good luck…big decision.

    • Excellent food for thought here…Yes, every time we get closer to getting a fence, we think, but there are lovely parks and playgrounds all around that we can go to….

      And yes, it is a rather sloped and hilly piece of property (which I kind of like) so the fence will look wonky…

      thanks for your comment!! 🙂

    • yes, if we do it, it will have to be just a part of the yard – we have about an acre so there is no way we could do the whole thing!

      thanks, as always, for your thoughts Leslie!! 🙂

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