Master Gardener: Adding a garden fence |

Master Gardener: Adding a garden fence

Nancy Porter
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Guess what appeared in my flower garden. I knew the generator and propane tank were coming, but I didn’t realize how ugly they would be. It was fall, and there was not much to do to hide them. All winter I had to look at them and try to figure out how to hide them when spring finally came.

I questioned my Master Gardner friends regarding bushes. I realized it would take years for nature to hide the intruders. Finally, my husband and I agreed on a plan. That in itself is quite a task.

First, we had to dig out rocks that were put in many years ago to keep the new dirt we brought in to make the garden. Then we had to figure out how big the fence should be: tall enough to hide the generator and propane tank, but not too tall to hide my view of the horses.

We decided to build a frame and put up corrugated rusting siding that would match my horses shed. However, this was not a quick project. The upright fence posts had to be at least 2 feet deep to support the metal. The cross pieces needed to be strong enough to hold the corrugated metal, which called for 2-by-4 planks for the cross pieces.

After building the frame, my husband made a wall under the first wrung fence to hide the lower part of the generator. The metal was pre-cut for the different angles of the fence. If you didn’t already know, metal is heavy.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The fence is complete and in the process of rusting. I am supposed to rub vinegar on it to quicken the process, but I have been busy watering and pulling weeds and riding my horses.

The fence is done, and now, I am in the process of cleaning out in front of it.  There are some Alaskan Daisies that lived through the building process. I think some colorful potentilla bushes will add color and camouflage the fence. Hopefully, in a year, all will look normal, and no one will think the fence is an addition.

Master Gardener: For more

Colorado State University Master Gardeners are available to answer your gardening questions. Email or call the CSU Extension office at 970-879-0825 and ask to leave a message for the Master Gardeners. Thursday morning office hours and scheduled site visits are currently suspended.

Nancy Porter is a graduate of the Colorado State University Master Gardener class of 2017. She is also a retired kindergarten teacher and a profession photographer. Her photos can be found at

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