Vining flower plants use wrought iron fences as a "natural" trellis.

Landscaping in Front of a Wrought Iron Fence

by Benjamin Shorter

Used to create window grates, fences and gates, wrought iron, also known as worked iron, can be shaped into ornate or simple designs. Wrought iron fences, whether they are large, small, ornate or minimalist, lend a classically elegant aura to any landscaping. The type of plants you choose to pair with your wrought iron fence depends on the size, color and character of the fence as well as the overall aesthetic of the landscape.


A smaller, more delicate wrought iron fence that has a complex design or pattern pairs better with climbing or trailing plants. Pairing this type of fence with larger shrubs can overwhelm the otherwise detail-focused object. Plants that produce individual blossoms or more feathery evergreens will accentuate the visual complexity of the fence, letting it become the focal point of the landscape. A larger, stronger fence with thicker pieces of iron can be paired with comparatively larger plants, such as potted trees and sturdier, more substantial evergreens, as the plants will not overwhelm the presence of the fence.


While most wrought iron fences are black, they can be painted different colors to suit your landscaping needs. The classic black creates a backdrop that pairs well with brightly colored flowers as well as the dark green foliage of evergreens or climbing plants, such as English ivy. For a lighter looking neutral color, you can paint your fence white, which will still provide a neutral backdrop. If you prefer a brighter color to match a particular scheme or to really showcase your fence, you can paint your fence a bright color, but balance it with tamer colored shrubbery.


Wrought iron fences can come in a range of design options. From very clean, simple lines that produce a minimalist effect, geometric or abstract patterns for a modern aesthetic, or heavily wrought, curlicued designs from old-world Europe, the character of your fence can determine the landscaping best suited for it. To maintain a clean, uncluttered look, pair single stem blossoms with scattered or minimal plantings with a minimalist or modernist styled fence. With heavily designed, ornate fences, use well-pruned plants, such as topiary, to add a touch of whimsy to the dramatic nature of the fence. You can also add color to offset the intensity of the fence design by using roses, trellised flowering vines or even lavender.

Garden Aesthetic

A wrought iron fence is often the first thing one sees about a landscape or garden design. Choosing vegetation that suits your overall aesthetic is important, as this external structure will help shape the overall character of your garden or landscape design. If you are striving for a country cottage appearance, climbing flowers such as roses or morning glories will add to the overall effect. However, if the rest of your garden or landscape is more formal and less natural-looking, choosing plants that can be kept well-manicured is ideal. Consider planting English ivy, rose bushes or topiary trees to create a tidy, formal appearance.

About the Author

Benjamin Shorter has been a writer for publications such as the "New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal," "National Post" and the "Edmonton Journal" since 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from McGill University, a Master of Arts in history from Central European University and a diploma in journalism from Concordia University.

Photo Credits

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