There are copious fencing options open to the hobby gardener. Some vary in height and color while others rely on wood or metal for their base materials. Choosing the right fencing for flower gardens requires a careful consideration of the functions the barriers should perform. In some cases, these barriers protect the flower garden from destruction, while in other instances they function as an aesthetic tool to draw out the natural beauty of the plants.
A chicken-wire fence that surrounds a vegetable garden keeps rabbits from feeding on growing vegetables and ornamental flowers. It provides an attractive option for the gardener who neither wants to exterminate the animals nor set out live traps and later relocate the rabbits elsewhere. Since rabbits are active year-round, the fencing must be in place for the duration of the growing and blooming season.
If fencing is only used to keep out small animal pests, it is possible to rely on largely invisible chemical barriers. Landscapers and hobby gardeners sometimes refer to these solutions as liquid fences. Ingredients vary by brand and manufacturer. A good example is the chemical rabbit repellent that incorporates garlic, paprika, thyme oil and sodium lauryl sulfate. While this type of fencing is invisible, it does have a rather strong odor.
The gardener should construct a fence before flower seeds have a chance to germinate and attract nuisance animals. In the case of deer, this practice prevents the establishment of a grazing pattern within a homeowner’s garden plot. If the window of time is missed and a deer population has begun foraging on the grounds for tasty flower treats, it may become necessary to protect the plants with a barrier--or even electrical fence.
In addition to being functional complements to the landscape, flower garden fencing also fulfills aesthetic considerations. Taller fences provide a contrasting background that prevents flowers from seamlessly flowing into surrounding landscape designs. They also provide support for climbing vines. Shorter fences offer a visually pleasing separation between a flowerbed and a grassy area.
Within the scope of a community garden, fencing is a line item that formal bylaws must address. Even if the community members decide not to limit material choices or impose size restrictions, it bears formally mentioning who will be entrusted with the regular maintenance and repair of the fencing that surrounds the individual plots as well as the garden as a whole. In fact, community garden members who wish to protect their blooms or veggies may even consider erecting a taller eight-foot fence and train roses and other thorny plants to grow up alongside it. This helps deter vandalism and theft.