Use a Slatted Fence Panel to Create More Room for Blooms and Zone Your Plot
N ow that we can buy fence panels again (hooray!), here’s a quick and easy job for this weekend that will transform the look of your garden. Using a slatted fence panel or two to create a screen won’t cost a fortune, but it will add a new dimension to your plot. Dividing your outdoor space into rooms will make it feel bigger, as well as adding a sense of privacy, and using a slatted panel creates a barrier but still lets the sun shine through. And, by only partially hiding what’s behind it, you get just enough of a glimpse of mystery, which implores you to go and explore! You don’t need to use it to define a zone if you don’t want to. Placing a panel in or across a border instantly makes it more interesting. And extending your garden vertically will provide additional space to grow lots of fabulous climbing plants, so you can add splashes of high colour. This is especially useful in a small garden where space is at a premium. Climbers love a see-through screen that’s not set against a wall or fence, as they can enjoy light from all directions. We’ve used two back-to-back panels to produce a fuller, deeper effect, but you could use just one if you prefer and want to keep your budget to a minimum.
Day 1 PRESERVE YOUR PANEL
Protect the wood so it lasts for ages.
YOU WILL NEED: @ 2 bamboo canes @ Paintbrush @ Clear Wood Preserver, such as Cuprinol Wood Preserver, £13/1L diy.com @ 2 slatted panels, such as Hartwood 6 x 6in Slatted Pressure Treated Fence Panel, £74 sheds.co.uk @ 2 x 2.1m fence post, £10.50 homebase.co.uk @ Spade and tape measure
WHAT TO DO 1
Mark the positions for the fence posts using the bamboo canes.
Standard fence panels are 1.8m long, give or take a few mm, but it’s best to hold the panel in place and use this to place the canes, just to be sure. 2 Paint the panels and the posts using the wood preserver. Pay particular attention to the base of the posts where they will sit underground, to reduce the chance of rotting. Standing the posts in a container of preserver for an hour will maximise uptake. For best results, apply two coats, ensuring the first coat is fully dry before applying the second one. 3 Dig a hole for each fence post, measuring approximately 30 x 30cm wide and 45cm deep.
Day 2 PUT UP YOUR SCREEN
Take a before and after photo to see the dramatic effect!
YOU WILL NEED: @ Brick off-cuts, large stones or gravel @ 2 Postmix Concrete, £5.60/20kg homebase.co.uk @ Spirit level @ Stainless-steel screws @ Screwdriver, preferably battery-powered @ Drill and drill bits.
WHAT TO DO 1
Place the brick off-cuts, large stones or gravel to a depth of 15cm in the base of each post hole, so that 30cm of the posts will be underground. 2 Mix the concrete. Place each post in its hole, ensuring the outer edges are exactly the length of the panel apart, and fill with concrete. Check with a spirit level that the posts are vertical and will be square to the panel when fitted. Allow the concrete to set. The concrete we’ve chosen is quick-setting, but it’s still worth nailing props to the posts to keep them steady and in the right place while the concrete sets. 3 Once fully set, screw the panels to the posts using screws at 30cm intervals, and ensuring the panels are horizontal with a spirit level. Drilling pilot holes in the panel and posts first will make screwing together easier.
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