Garden Series 3/4
Wow! I cannot believe we are over halfway through this garden informational series! If you are new, welcome! Over the past couple of weeks I have been going over some FAQ and general information regarding our garden project. Last week, I discussed our garden groundcover and gravel, as well as the reasons behind our choices- If you’ve missed any previous post, feel free to click the links below to visit them and learn more about how we built up our garden so far!
Fencing the Garden
Tutorial: Building Raised Garden Boxes (Coming Soon)
As always, for the most recent updates, follow me on my Instagram: @theroostingplace
Like most everything around here, I don’t choose to do things the easy way, or the way that everyone else has done it before. I want my space to be uniquely “me” and therefore I am constantly pulling my inspiration from everywhere I go! I actually saw a similar chevron fence from a designer on Instagram (I wish I could remember who it was) and while I could tell their’s was done professionally, I was determined to incorporate this beautiful zagged pattern into my life at home!
I will also be the first to note that this was NOT done by a professional, it was done by me, with help from the hubby when he was home. We are not professionals and I have no desire to ever claim to be one. The fenceline is not perfectly straight nor are the angles 100% perfect, but I am 10000% okay with that. I learn a lot by doing and making mistakes first hand, and love that I can then share my mistakes with you so that you (hopefully) don’t make the same ones I do. At the end of the day, I love our fence so stinking much, and cannot wait to watch the vines grow and see how the plants will look with the black background—so. stinking. stoked.
So, with that disclaimer, let me tell you how we did it.
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2×4’s for fence panel frames
1×3’s for chevrons
4’x4’x6′ treated posts
4’x4’x10′ treated posts (if doing a gate arbor)
Concrete bags (60lb is much more managable than the 80lb-ers)
Kreg Jig Screws
Black Steel Welded Wire Garden Fencing (or your preferred rolled fencing)
Gate Hinges + Lock Mechanisms
Miter Saw that adjusts for angles (you can also cut these angles by hand but not reccomended)
2″ nails (for framing nailer)
Stain or paint of choice
Sealant of choice
If you have it in budget, RENT AN AUGER. And not just one of those hand held ones—a big one. It’s worth it – especially if you are a 5’2″ 135 pound lady. And where we rent our machinery tools from the pricing was not that large of a diffference, and like I said, totally worth it. This one could be pulled behind a vehicle with a hitch, and rolled around to each hole by the operator, making it…easier…I say easier because I fought with the slope and constant pull of the auger to roll down the hill. But I did it, and you can too!
I will note that if you want a straight fence line, use the string method and measure out your holes real time while you are augering. (click on the link to watch a video) Had I had another body (or more patience) when I did this, I probably would have done the more sure-proof method for a straight fence.
Because I pre-measured all my holes and marked with spraypaint prior to starting, I did not get the cohesive 8-foot distance in between each post that I was shooting for, nor is my fenceline perfectly straight…rookie mistake…but it’s okay.
Time for a two-person job: use a post hole digger to remove any leftover dirt, and to get a cohesive depth. (We set ours 2′ down). Then set the TREATED posts in the hole (it is important that you spend the extra $$$ on treated posts, this keeps your lumber from rotting over time). I highly suggest two people because it makes life easier. One mans the concrete, the other levels and holds the post while the concrete is being poured.
Next, we gonna make a fence panel frame, so take the 2×4’s and cut them to desired length. (We designed ours so that each panel will be attached to the outside of one post, so each panel will meet halfway on the post width. You can also attach them in between the posts, but for me that math made my head hurt and made the process more difficult, so we attached the panels to one side.)
Basically, we are making a (roughly) 8’x4′ rectangle with a supporting verticle piece in the middle out of 2’x4’s. Adust for the width of the 2’x4’s when making cuts, and assemble them all with kreg jig screws (AKA the best invention ever).
Using the staple gun, attach your wire to the frame on one side. We had to cut the wire to fit our frame even though our panels were 4-foot tall, and the wire claimed it was 4-foot wide…I’m confused too but we made it work and cut everything down. This step isn’t necessary, but I wanted to minimize the chances of critters coming in the garden via the ground. If they were going to get in, they have to work for it.
We then attached each panel to the post with wood screws. This will ensure that the frames are extremely sturdy and secure. You can also see below that we staggered our fence with the natural slope, setting the bottom corner about 1/2″-1″ from the ground and leveling the top before securing the other side. Here’s what the panels look like before adding the chevron pattern:
Now, for the chevrons I wish I could give a more guided direction that is easy to replicate…but honestly…the whole process was a guess and check game. Because the panels are not squares, nor are they even, my angles could not all be 45 degrees.
Here you will use a nail gun and nails: I chose a starting point (I wanted the points to meet at a diagonal point on the shorter ended of the panel) and did all my cross bars at once. On the end pieces and on the middle “halfway” mark of the support beam, I did try to do 45 degrees so that the points would line up together…
Then I measured 8″ from each “tip” for the start of the next one. As I said, these edge cuts were 45 degrees and I let them end up where they wanted on top.
I know that makes absolutely no sense, but the best advice I have (if you are like me and not math-brained) is to cut as you go, and find a method that works for you. I had to do each piece at a time because no two panels were the same size (SMH and my lack of patience for the string method). Here you can see how the chevron pattern ended up working out.
I went back and forth on my decision to stain the fence to match the coop, or to paint it black. But at the end of the day, I chose to do neither- and I stained the fence black. This gave a softer, more natural black and allows the grain to peep through, and gives the perfect contrast to this area.
Using my Wagner SprayTech Flexio 570 Handheld sprayer, I braved putting my beloved little sprayer through the true test and STAINED MY FENCE via a sprayer! This is something I was terrified of trying, but I’m so glad I did because hand staining was going to be a pain in the booty. I was dissapointed when I could not find a black exterior stain, but instead used Minwax Wood Finish Oil-Based Interior Stain in True Black . After carefully researching, I found it best to dilute your stain in a 3:1 ratio (stain:mineral spirits) as to avoid clogging your sprayer. This method worked like a dream and within no time my fence (and I) were covered in black stain (reminder to cover anything you dont want stain on– overspray is no joke!)
Once the stain had plenty of time to dry, we coated everything in a clear exterior deck sealant.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that the gate arbor was a toughie. I couldn’t decide with the style I wanted but ultimately ended up with a simple straight arbor (made out of 2 8″x2″ boards (cut to length) screwed to the top of the posts) and simple cross beams made from leftover wood.
I then added some fence toppers to my posts and stained+sealed them in the same fashion as the rest of the fence. Easy peasy way to take these posts from drab to fab, and add a little feminitiy to all the harsh lines. Pretend that “porch” sign says garden because one day I’ll change it- the style was just too perfect to pass up! I can’t wait to get to planting when the weather cools down and watch how the addition of greenery will transform this space even further!
Thank you for sticking with me as I went through the “clear-as-mud” process of our fence. Because most of the projects we do are curated from visions in my mind, trial and error is apart of everything. But I think that is what is so stinking fun about it all! Check in soon to learn how I make my raised garden beds!