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BEAUTIFY AND HIDE A CHAIN-LINK FENCE

Two years ago my husband and I recently moved to Texas and bought a home that has an existing chain-link fence around the back yard. The good news is we have a dog and the fence contains him in our yard, but the bad news is -- we have an unattractive grey chain-link fence!

Recently I decided there has to be a way to either "hide" the fence or make it more attractive. My computer experience came in handy and after a few hours of research I found many choices for beautifying and hiding a chain-link fence.

One option is to paint the fence. Your local home and garden center sells paint specifically for galvanized fencing and comes in four or five colors. To paint the chain-link portion of the fence, my husband and I were on each side of the fence and rolled the paint on with a thick roller. It was easier and less time consuming that I thought. We used a small paint sprayer to spray the posts and top rail. Now the fence is "camouflaged" and you don't focus on the fence as much as you do looking through and beyond the fence.

The second option is to hide your fence with plants, specifically, vines. Here are some things to consider when selecting vines:

  • Use larger vines if you want to cover a fence quickly.
  • Annual vines will tend to grow faster than perennial vines, but with less lush foliage.
  • Think about planting annuals mixed in with some perennials.
  • Try alternating two or three different vines.
  • Consider bloom time when choosing plants -- balance early blooming vines with later blooming varieties.
  • You will have to spend time training and pruning your vines so that they grow laterally.
  • Don't forget to think about how the fence will look in the winter if the vine you use dies off in cold weather.
  • Choose an evergreen vine which can obscure your fence all year long.
  • Some vines can get very invasive -- do some research before selecting a vine.
  • Don't use the weedeater too close to the fence -- you could chop off the roots of the vines.
  • If you have pets, keep in mind that things that are thorny, like climbing roses, can damage eyes or scrape up your pet.

Ilene Healey, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service


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