Wagon wheels can be used to build a unique fence.

Unique Yard Fencing Ideas

by Paul Schuster

There's no reason you need settle for a fence just like everyone else's. From unique color choices to found materials, your fence can be unique and attractive. Such a fence can also be functional, depending on whether the objective is to prevent children from dashing out of the yard after a ball, or it is to provide a visual boundary at the front of your property or between elements of your landscape. As always when working with building materials, wear protective gear and keep dangerous objects away from the kids.

Wagon Wheels

A collection of wagon wheels can provide you with a low-lying but unique and charming fence. Authentic wagon wheels are sold at antique stores, in rural areas at barn and yard-sales, and online. Dig a trench to hold about one-third of each wagon wheel underground, and then backfill. Space the wagon wheels evenly to form a fence. Creating a homey and old-time feeling, you use the wagon wheels as is or string garden lights along them for additional charm. For a final flourish, plant flowers or vines at the base of the wheels.


Dried bamboo poles are easily found in varying lengths and thicknesses at home decor and garden centers. You can place the bamboo poles ridgedly side by side, or leave 1 to 2 inches of space between poles for a more open appearance. Dig a hole for each pole that is at least 6 to 8 inches deep to ensure that it does not tip over with the first gust of wind. Renting a fence-post digger will make this job easier. Wear gloves to protect your hands from blisters. Lashing the bamboo with cord will add to the stability and provide more of a together look. If you want the poles to retain their golden color, paint them with an acrylic sealer first.

You can decorate the area around your bamboo pole fence with a pebble bed, which will also reduce the amount of mowing and weeding you may need to do near your fence. If you have small children playing in the area however, you may want to avoid small pebbles in case they become too tempting and are swallowed.

Contemporary Split Rail

A riff off of the classic split rail fence is to use two-by-four pieces of lumber in place of the traditional split rail. Stain and paint your lumber any color you like. If left untreated, the wood will eventually turn a silver-grey color, which works for a rustic look. Stack the bottom boards on concrete blocks or flat rocks to keep them off of the ground, which will reduce the amount of decomposition that takes place. Stack the lumber in a zigzag pattern, alternating the pieces so there is a gap between each piece of lumber. When stacking, ensure the lumber is placed securely so that a stray piece of wood doesn't fall on a child or pet. This fence is easily put together, and is easily taken apart, making it a good choice if you like to change-up yard elements often.

Picket Fence

A traditional picket fence can be given a modern makeover by painting it in an unconventional color. Think of bright colors, like fire-engine red to create an eye-catching border. Conversely, choose a pastel color for a more neutral, calming yet contemporary look. Make the picket fence child-friendly by ensuring that the pickets are high enough to prevent climbing. For a lower fence, consider rounded picket tops rather than the traditional pointed end as an additional safety measure.

About the Author

Paul Schuster began writing in 2006 and has published in "Gardening Life" and "Canadian Gardening." Schuster is the director of the Toronto Botanical Garden, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Horticulture from the University of Guelph. He leads gardening workshops for elementary school children.

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