Fences are great in that they can help keep kids or pets safe, keep your nosey neighbors out, and allow you complete freedom of your yard. But unless you have the money for natural-looking wood structures, a lot of modern fences can look industrial and ugly.
Thankfully, there are easy solutions to these problems. That is if you’re not afraid of a little dirt.
Plants are a great way to hide ugly or broken fences. These suggestions range from small and easy ways of hiding an unsightly fence, to large projects that are sure to make a backyard look professionally designed.
For 8 great ideas on how to hide your fence with plants, keep scrolling.
1. Plant Bushes or Hedges
Bushes and hedges are a popular way of creating a border in gardens, so why not use them as a way to hide your fence. With either option, it will add depth to the boundary of your property, helping it to look less boxy.
Bushes and hedges also shield against wind and noise, keeping your backyard a quite safe haven. With either one, you’ll get a plant that is easy to manage, and longterm solutions.
If you want more privacy, you can allow bushes and hedges to continue to grow taller, or you can prune them for a modern, clean-cut look. With rose bushes, they are known to grow around four to six feet tall.
And with newer rose bush varieties, they don’t require a lot of maintenance. With rose bushes that don’t require any deadheading, meaning they don’t require you to clean off dead blooms manually, there is even less upkeep.
With hedges, there is a multitude of beautiful plants that can be grown and trimmed to perfection.
The most popular type of hedge is the boxwood, which can be seen in the gardens of European royalty, such as the Palace of Versailles. They are some of the fullest hedges, and can easily be manipulated into different shapes.
If you prefer a more traditional, pretty hedge, there are plenty of options that include bright colors like roses, such as lilacs, azaleas, and forsythia.
Before choosing a plant, be sure to do your research on which plant to use to grow a hedge, as some varieties, such as Yews and English Holly, are poisonous to children and dogs.
2. Plant a Variety of Flowers Around the Border
Sometimes you can’t hide a fence completely. Other times you don’t mind the top portion of your fence, but wish you could hide the bottom half.
When this happens, sometimes it’s the best option to create a small garden on the edge of your fence, giving it a charming look and feel.
With small borders, there’s can be a lot of leeway and creativity.
Different colored plants and flowers can create a rainbow effect around your fence. And you can use anything from pots to boxes, to building a garden up against the fence with wood or brick.
Borders don’t always have to be at the base of a fence, either. Hanging a line of baskets filled with beautiful flowers can create a cool effect that camoflouges an ugly fence.
3. Plant Trees like Willows, Aspens, or Birch
Trees are a fantastic option for privacy if you the time or money. To install a full-grown tree in your backyard would cost around $1,200 to $2,000.
But if you’re willing to wait around, baby trees cost less than 10% of that and take around 5-10 years to fully grow.
When it comes to disguising an ugly fence, all you would need are trees that are as tall as your fence to remedy the problem.
Weeping willows, quaking aspen, river birch, or dawn redwoods are all considered fast-growing trees, meaning that even if they are half the size of your fence when you plant them, they will grow quickly to help hide it.
Another great fact about trees is that, when large enough, trees can replace fences entirely, meaning you can get rid of that gross, outdated fence.
An option that doesn’t take years to mature, but is as aesthetically pleasing as trees and box hedges are arborvitae.
They are an evergreen, coniferous tree that provides plenty of width and height for privacy. And best of all, they mature quickly and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
For more privacy or to hide a chain link fence, you can plant them closer together, but if you want a spacious looking backyard they also do well when planted farther away.
5. Fix Wire to a Fence that Plants Can Crawl Up
For a fix that doesn’t just hide a fence, but incorporates it into the design, fixing a wire to a fence where plants can crawl up is an easy solution. For this, you can choose between a variety of plants that are easy to maintain.
One of the more popular options is ivy. A singly ivy plant can cover up to six feet of square fence panel in 3 months, meaning that you can easily disguise a large amount of fence in a short time.
If you want more color, another form of crawling plant is Wysteria. A lovely shade of purple, blue, or white, this vine can grow 25-35 ft in full sun.
For an option that provides a great smell, Honeysuckle is easy to maintain and can grow 8-10 ft., which is perfect for smaller fences.
6. Bamboo (ryzones. properly plant)
Bamboo is popular for plenty of reasons; it’s one of the fastest-growing plants, it’s highly sustainable, and also has natural defenses against pests, bacteria, and fugus.
It also grows uniform, making it easy to create a fence out of it or cover up an old fence that you don’t want to rip out.
Bamboo can create an exotic look for your backyard and provides fantastic privacy. It’s also very easy to install, whereas stores will sell bamboo panels that can be easily fixed to a fence with cable ties or wire.
Be sure to research which type of bamboo is best for your climate, and whether or not bamboo will be a problem for your neighbors. Since bamboo is so fast-growing, it can become a problem when it grows too far into your neighbor’s lawn.
7. Use Upcycled Items to Plant a Garden Wall
One of the best conversation starters for visitors is the use of creative upcycled items in a garden.
Plants can grow anywhere, really, and with all of the waste materials made of glass, plastic, or even rubber, you can make a place for your plants to grow for free.
A recent trend is using painted tires to create circular gardens, which can easily become a border for your fence by cutting tires in half and creating semicircular gardens.
An easy and cheap way to create a border of plants to hide your fence is taking items such as old rainboots or plastic/glass bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill, and creating a garden wall on your fence.
This way you can not only create a pretty and useful fence but also help to reduce waste, which is always a great thing.
Herbs like chives, parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, and dill are wonderful plants to grow, making your fence not only pretty to look at, but useful come dinner time.
If you don’t want to garden, but instead just want to decorate your fence, you can simply just hang up old soda or beer bottles on nails, a wall of birdhouses, paint a mural, or use metal art that resembles flowers.
Fairy lights are also known to make a backyard look particularly magical.
8. Box Planters
Speaking of upcycled items, pallets are known to be one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to create a backyard that catches the eye.
Pallets come in many shapes and materials. The most popular type is softwood, which are used to transport items safely and then usually discarded of.
Softwood pallets can easily be fastened to a fence, no matter the material, and used as storage or as planters, making an ugly fence useful and beautiful again.
They are also a great option for decoration as they can be stained or painted whatever color best fits your backyard aesthetic.
All you need is some landscape fabric, a staple gun, and some small plants. Either place the pallet against the fence to create a border at the base or hang it up. Another great, cost-effective option is to create a fence out of standing pallets that can then be decorated with flowers or crawling ivy.
For more information how to create a wood pallet garden wall, be sure to watch the video below for great tips and examples: