Picket Fences

Picket fences are iconic boundaries for front yards and gardens. In fact, the stereotypical image of a traditional home has been a vine-covered cottage with one of these garden features in front. Normally, they are about three feet high and offer no real privacy or shelter, which makes them more decorative than practical. In fact, most dogs can easily jump over one. Generally, the only function these garden features serve is to demarcate a boundary. However, they look good. And, traditional. Their charm is the opening and inviting appearance that is created.

These garden features can accent the style and color of a house, or even support low growing shrubs as well as vining plants and climbing roses. They can also dramatically increase curb appeal. These garden features can also be used to enclose a particular area within a garden for specific plantings or recreational use.

For do-it-yourselfers, these features are easy to build.


  • First, the posts are set in the ground about four feet from one-an-other.


  • Next, two horizontal rails are affixed to the posts.


  • Then, the pickets are affixed to the to the horizontal rails, just clear of the ground, with a gap between them that is slightly less than their width. The pickets should be the same height as the posts.


  • The tops of pickets can be cut square, pointed or rounded- before they are attached to the horizontal rails.


Of course, this same basic design can be modified with irregularly sized pickets and wood choices. And, you don’t have to paint it white. This classic garden feature can be reinterpreted and adapted to artistically fit with just about any home or landscape design. Again, the primary function will be increasing aesthetic appeal, so if you choose to build a non-traditional boundary, use cuts, shapes, and colors that truly reflect your personal sense of style.


From Picket Fences to Garden Fences

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