FENCES AND SCREENS
The next thing to do is to consider boundaries. (In some cases this will be the first step, but it is strongly recommended that the site be roughly levelled as desired, and a few pegs driven in to outline the main features beforehand, partly becauseremoved can sometimes be used advantageously to make a bank behind newly-planted hedges.) It is unnecessary to peg out a garden entirely before a hedge is planted, and if there is unlikely to be much alteration in levels, hedge plants are best put in as soon as possible, as they will sooner become established.
The most popular form of boundary is an evergreen hedge, and fuller details concerning these is given elsewhere. It is worth remarking here that good ornamentalare not expensive if regarded as a substitute for artificial fencing.
Modern types of artificial fencing are extremely valuable, because they provide a screen immediately, but they do not furnish the garden in the way that a green hedge does. However, where it is necessary to put up a boundary quickly, that will form a complete screen; the modern woven board fencing will be found decorative from the moment of erection, and very serviceable and long lived.
The erection of screens of various kinds between one garden and another, and between one portion of a garden and the next is another of the items to be dealt with early in the layout of the garden. Every screen should serve a direct purpose, and should be a picturesque background as well as a division fence. Screens, like boundary fences, can be either living or artificial, that is to say, a good boundary could be made between one section and another with plants only.
For the moment, we are concerned only with the erection of artificial material, such as stone, brick, wood, etc. This material should harmonize with other features in the garden, and if there is any choice, preference should be given to the type of screen which will gain beauty with age. For instance, a sturdily-built trellis of square design (squares of any size from 2-12 in.), over which suitableare grown, will be more beautiful each year.
Rustic screens, unless the wood is of lasting quality, are likely to collapse just when theare reaching the height of their glory. So much depends on the purpose to which the screen is to be put, that there is plenty of variation in connection with this feature. If the screen must absolutely hide whatever is behind it, as in the case of a screen in front of an unsightly shed or heap, it must be of fairly close type.
There are an immense number of easily erected screens on the market from which the gardener can choose, where expense is no object. These designs can be more or less copied by the home carpenter at considerably less cost. The essential thing to remember in erecting any sort of screen is the stability of the posts, coupled with the durability of the material. The posts used should penetrate to a depth of 2 ft. into the soil (for a high structure) and the part below the soil surface should always be treated with some sort of preservative. Above the ground the wood can be left untreated if it is oak or teak, or treated with creosote if it is of a softer kind.