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The board fence is composed of vertical posts and horizontal boards. Less fussy and stylish than its picket fence cousin, the board fence is a perfect choice for large properties. The spacing of the boards determines the transparency of the fence. Here the spacing is far apart, allowing the architecture of the house to come through.
This type of fence functions much like the picket fence in that it defines an edge. It also provides that perfect place to sit on a warm summer day.
The split rail fence is the rustic cousin of the board fence. Most likely found in rural areas to define a property edge and where forming a garden space is the desire. Made of hand-hewn timber and left to weather naturally, split rail fences have a back-to-nature appeal that machined materials don't possess.
A favorite type of split rail fence is found in many rural areas, with the fence laid out in a chevron pattern, as here in Conner Prairie, Indiana.
A wire fence is ideal when a lot of transparency is desired. It is the reverse of what one would expect: The fencing is transparent; the gate is solid. This fence establishes a strong connection from one side to the other.
A latticework fence is ideal when more screen and less fence is desired. Like a gossamer fabric, the fence doesn't provide much security or privacy — perfect for when an edge and backdrop are all that's desired.
A solid fence of wood posts and rails with a corrugated infill creates a striking presence. And the plantings certainly soften the fence, creating a nice combination of textures and colors. This is ideal for transitional or contemporary architecture, as it combines a clean, modern aesthetic with softer, older materials. And this fence is great at providing privacy as well as security.
Where's the fence? For those looking to create an outdoor room, it doesn't get any better than a living fence and a crisp, clean white gate. And this type of fence will change with the seasons: barer and more transparent in winter, and full and dense in late summer.
Further reading: Check out Fences: Authentic Details for Design and Restoration, by Peter J. Harrison, if you're looking for some nice information on historic fences.
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12 Great Fences and Gates