Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sorry State of my Fence

All year long my garden has given me joy as I watched it grow and picked its bounty. I love my garden. Though I started with hard clay under a pesticide ridden lawn, I now have fertile black soil.

Protecting this garden is a fence. It was once a gorgeous white cedar picket fence, but time went on and the house was painted brown, the fence followed suit. Now years afterward its paint is peeling. You can see the brown of the paint but also patches of silver of the ceder underneath and patches of its old white paint.

Its latch no longer works. I keep its gate from opening in the wind by a length of string. Some of the post caps have cracked and broken off. The posts themselves are starting to be eaten by insects. The fence is falling down. I prop it up in the worst spots with 16" brick pavers jammed against the posts, but still it leans.

It has done its job over the years and it needs to be ripped out and replaced, but I'm not sure I ought to. I don't intend to be living in the house in two years (maybe less). I want to move to where I can be on public transportation, where I can walk or bike to get groceries. Basically I want to live somewhere I don't need a car. This was the perfect place to bring up kids. Its a safe neighborhood, with large back yards, woods to play in, and good schools, but my kids have grown up and it is no longer perfect.

Realistically the person that buys my house won't want a vegetable garden. Most people don't. Sadly only about a quarter of our country grows any of their own food. If I rebuilt the fence and then a nongardener came along, it would be such a waste. They would rip it out anyway. It is a hard thing to think that my beautiful garden that I love with its wonderful soil could be turned back into a lawn, but it has to be taken into account as I make my decision.

So my fence leans. But it still keeps out the rabbits and will last long enough.


  1. If your fence could talk I am sure it could tell us some stories. I like the weathered look of it.

  2. Yes, I would say your fence is a great example of shabby chic. Lots of people strive for that weathered look.

    My plants are also looking perky this week thanks to a good dousing from Hanna!