Asked on Jan 30, 2017

What can I do about this chicken wire fence?

Maripat Sparks
by Maripat Sparks
I've got this horrible chicken wire fence in my backyard that separates the garden from the yard. Any ideas on how to minimize the visual of this? I live in a rental so removing it isn't an option
q chicken wire fence, fences
  43 answers
  • Diane Mitchell-Hull Diane Mitchell-Hull on Jan 30, 2017

    • Jpc15346815 Jpc15346815 on Jan 31, 2017
      I wouldn't plant a climbing vine, sometimes those things are a BEAR to control. I had a spiteful neighbor who planted morning glory. When I got back from vacation it looked like kudzu growing all over my hedge along the back property line and starting down one the fence of my side property line. That was in 1998. I'm STILL fighting that garbage because it reseeds itself like crazy and even though I weed it out as much as possible, it's still a problem.

  • Janie Janie on Jan 30, 2017
    I had a chain link fence that I hated , and I hid it by planting ivy below and letting it cover the fence completely. It takes a few years, but well worth it! Get a fast growing variety of ivy. There are other vines, some that are quicker growing, but be sure that you get one that doesn't lose its leaves in the winter. A bit more expensive fix is to hide it with bamboo fencing that's already wired together, and securing it to the chicken wire. I prefer the vine covering. It just takes longer.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 30, 2017
    I was also going to suggest the rolls of bamboo fencing as should you move you will be able to take it with you.

    • Jpc15346815 Jpc15346815 on Jan 31, 2017
      I agree!!! Even though people say that bamboo fencing might be a bit pricey, as you stated, the renter can take it with them when they move. If they plant a vine like ivy, which once established grows crazy fast, and is super invasive. My neighbors trained it up their chain link fence, then a couple years later, it was taking over their yard and growing up a tree. When landlords rent houses, they can't always count on people taking care of the property as they should. I've rented my house when I moved to Germany, and came back to a hot mess that took years to get back in shape.

  • Maripat Sparks Maripat Sparks on Jan 30, 2017
    I think I'll go with the vine. The bamboo fencing sounds a little pricey. Thanks!

    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 30, 2017
      are you allowed to plant? The vine will not cover that big area,as you will need many and again will add up in money which you will loose if you leave.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 30, 2017
    Morning glories you can do by seed and are fast growers. Just seed start well and water enough.

  • Maripat Sparks Maripat Sparks on Jan 30, 2017
    Yes, we are allowed to plant. You're right, that would take a lot of vines.

    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 30, 2017
      Sorry I am not trying to be right just practical.So my next thought is to do container plantings with perennial grasses again so if you move they will be portable.They are tall and temporary but will block out the situation.Honestly I would not invest money to plant for someone else property. Barrel planting is the only way to go.

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 30, 2017
    You don't say what area you're living in but most climates will allow for vining plants to grow when the weather permits. A couple packages of seeds for morning glories and sweet peas would be very cost effective. Container gardening would be ok if you have the funds to buy the containers, soil, plants etc but I don't think they'd give you the same overall coverage that vines would.

  • Maripat Sparks Maripat Sparks on Jan 30, 2017
    I appreciate your comments Janet. I don't think you're trying to be "right"! I actually love the idea of perennial grasses - they are so pretty and they grow really well in Southern Colorado. I've never tried to grow them before and I don't have much of a green thumb. My guess though is they're pretty hardy and foolproof!

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jan 31, 2017
    How about covering it in pretty dropcloths? Thats removable but instant upgrade! Also, you can add flowers like this Hometalker:

    have fun with it

    • Bbunny42 Bbunny42 on Feb 03, 2017
      Did not have time to check the website listed, but you could always paint a scene or flowers on the drop cloth or just spatter paint on it for almost-instant art!

  • Diane Mitchell-Hull Diane Mitchell-Hull on Jan 31, 2017
    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, Morning Glories can be a pain if not in the right location but there are annual varieties. There are many other vines that are not invasive also...check with your local nursery for advice. How about a row of happy sunflowers? Colorful and good to eat! Pole beans are another option. Many plants can be trained to grow verticallyif you weave them through the fence as they grow. Cucumbers, zucchini, etc. are good options. Cherry tomatoes also do well. How about hanging some flower pots filled with herbs or or a colorful cascading floral? Make a statement and display some fun removable yard art . Use your imagination and get creative!

  • Katy Katy on Jan 31, 2017
    Another creative idea is plastic ribbon tape,you can get it at most big box hardware stores Home Depot,Lowe's etc. You could then weave the tape in and out of the fencing. If you plot it out on graph paper you might even be able to do a design of some sort. The tape I've seen comes in colors such as orange,bright pink,yellow,blue. Contractors use it to mark trees and such,but many crafters use it too and it's cheaper at the big box hardware stores than say at a craft store. If you are a knitter or a crocheter you could also yarn bomb it.

  • Maripat Sparks Maripat Sparks on Jan 31, 2017
    Oh that's a great idea! It sounds like the most cost effective idea yet.

  • Barbara Barbara on Jan 31, 2017
    I think that the fence is vintage and cute. Clean out the grass and weeds so that you can create a flower bed using annuals since you ate renting. Perennial daisies would be darling as well. Just my thoughts.

  • Maripat Sparks Maripat Sparks on Jan 31, 2017
    Really?! Okay, maybe I just need to embrace it and not hide it!

  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Feb 01, 2017
    Chicken wire? That's expensive, vintage Double Loop Fence you have there, with a nasty chain link fence in the background. I'd KILL for a Double Loop Fence! It has crappy fence poles holding it up instead of wood posts like it should have. And it should have roses growing on it. Good grief! See if you can replace the metal posts with wood, and plant something pretty. Barbara has the right idea.

    • See 1 previous
    • Ingrid cattley Ingrid cattley on Feb 04, 2017
      In Australia it's called "Emu Wire" and the original stuff is highly prized. You can now buy reproductions of it and gates to go with it.

  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Feb 01, 2017
    Here's a nice example.

    • Joanie Joanie on Feb 04, 2017
      Take the bottle tree OUT!! Put it in your back yard near your bar or b.b.q. Clothes on the front porch.......No! I'm Country, but not red necker......Sorry, but I'm honest when you are going to ruin a good look to start with.

  • Maripat Sparks Maripat Sparks on Feb 01, 2017

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Feb 02, 2017
    Definitely not chicken wire. I think instead of replacing the metal poles, I would get some narrow wood lathe and cover them (these are pretty inexpensive). I would make a top for the metal poles and put either a hanger out from it and put hanging plants on them or like a late on the top that could hold a pot. Maybe have some kind of viney plant in them hanging down. Then down along the bottom I would put like clumps of daisies intermixed with maybe mums so that you will have both summer and fall flowers for you to enjoy. Once those are done for the season you could put some fake evergreen or something of that sort in the pots to get you thru the winter.

  • Inetia Inetia on Feb 03, 2017
    You can get bamboo fencing at home depot for a decent price. It comes in different size reeds in different heights and can be wired to the existing fence.

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 03, 2017
    My thoughts are Honey suckle has a SCENT that you would love. It grows fast and needs a fence to hang on to, it flourishes is really pretty and your problem would be smells like, magnolia flowers, lagustrum and lilac. What a beautiful smell!! PLUS, it is also a wild flower, yellow and white.

    • Patricia Patricia on Feb 03, 2017
      However it's good to remember that honeysucle is woody and can bring down a strong chain link fence with its sheer weight

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 03, 2017
    You may be thinking of Wisteria? Honeysuckle is a slender, tight winding green vine,..... unless you are from another part of the country????????? A Wisteria has a wooden vine and you almost need a fence post to hold its weight. I think you may be a little confused on the plants??????.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jody Jody on Feb 13, 2017
      I live in upstate SC and also have an ugly conglomeration of fencing I'm desperately trying to hide. I have chain link, some fence panels, some cattle fencing and some brick wall that my non brickmason DH built. So far I have some honeysuckle, which after 20 years is getting woody and pulling on the chain link. Three types of confederate jasmine vine- creamy yellow/white wonderful smelling flowers. Also some of them are beginning to get woody and heavy. I have roses- some bushes, some climbing, nandinas, hydrangeas, canna lilies. It sounds really busy but I'm dealing with sun and shade issues. For what I've spent the last 5 years I think I could have had a gorgeous marble one built. In defense our lowes does a lot of plant clearance so I've not spent as much as it looks. I just ordered clematis vines. The ones on the front of my house are 15+ years, the ones across the street are 30 years old. They seem less woody and heavy than the other stuff I have. My new next door neighbor has decided he wants to add wild grapes and Passion flower. I have climbing hydrangea on my house. Not sure about the grapes, but the other vines are less woody- so far. I have used parts as trellis for vegetables. Might not be the look you're going after but if you're like me and have some patience but tiny budget, its a temporary fix and at least looks like you're trying. Waiting for all the wonderful help coming. So glad you asked.

  • 861650 861650 on Feb 03, 2017
    There are so many great ideas on this page! I did see one on the internet and it was painted white. Maybe you could do that and/or another color along with some of the above ideas.

  • Charro Charro on Feb 04, 2017
    I'd plant some heirloom running roses on the fence. You could also underplant clematis vines. It would look beautiful.

  • Dana McFaull Dana McFaull on Feb 05, 2017
    Plant sweet peas or clematis on it and let it grow

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 05, 2017
    Everyone has their own opinions.....I DO like to know what I'm talkin' about when I have something to say. I KNOW because I have Honeysuckle. I'll give ya this much Susie Q, maybe you live in a region where it is HEAVY.

    • Dana Corby Dana Corby on Feb 21, 2017
      We have wild honeysuckle here in the PNW, and it gets very thick and heavy. It's literally pulling one of the branches off a Douglas Fir.

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Feb 06, 2017
    That totally depends on what you want!

    • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Feb 07, 2017
      Everyone knows that including her. She is asking for ideas and then she will make a decision.

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 07, 2017
    How about this? Put that chicken wire in an area. Buy yourself some chickens and get yourself a Rooster and get your eggs daily.

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Feb 07, 2017
    It is a rental property so she does not have the choice of moving it without the landlords permission. Additionally she may not be in a location where she would be allowed to have the chickens. Doing as you suggested also does not change the look which is what she is wanting to do.

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 13, 2017
    Jody: I got your point!! have your opinions on plants, as I do.......Soooooooooo, we don't be it! Good Luck!
    Happy Valentines Day! ;)))

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Feb 20, 2017
    Oh how I would love to have more of your "chicken wire" fence. I buy it when ever I can find it. It is lovely in a perennial border. You might be able to sandwich those metal posts between two 1x2 pieces of wood to disguise it. Tie them with wire in inconspicuous places to hold in place. My Great Aunts garden was fully surrounded with this fence material and the garden had an abundance of sweet pea vines and bachelor buttons. Another tall flowering plant that can be is Cleome. These plants can get invasive but are just so beautiful in borders.

  • Dana Corby Dana Corby on Feb 21, 2017
    I don't think this fencing is strong enough to allow planting *anything* directly on it. But you could plant things in front of it to mask it. I'd suggest evergreen shrubs, (possibly broadleafs like rhododendrons or azaleas) so you don't have to look at the fence in the winter. If you really want vines, you might consider putting tripod fencing (so you don't have to dig post holes & upset the landlord) in front of the existing fence and run your vines on that. Good luck!

  • Pennae Pennae on Feb 22, 2017
    Put a few concret blocks on their sides then put your pots on them and fill with climbing beans or tomatoes etc
    when you move take them with you!!

  • Kate Baxter Kate Baxter on Feb 22, 2017
    Pennae that is a great idea. especially using the concrete blocks. I was going to suggest Scarlet runner beans. I know in England they love them because I have English neighbours and they are delighted to take them off my hands. I am not fond of them but they put on a spectacular show with loads of blossoms even if you don't eat them Pull the beans off them and they are not too heavy . Plus they will not take over your garden like Honeysuckle. I don't know where you live but if it is warm enough a lot of the vines can get out of hand so fast. My father planted an English Ivy and I spent all my time cutting it back. It is literally bending the posts that are supposed to hold it up.

  • Chris Chris on Feb 22, 2017
    I might plant ornamental grass along the fence.

  • Charmaine Swan Charmaine Swan on Feb 23, 2017
    Try planting some bigger plants, in pots in the ground there. You can always dig the pots out later if you leave. It will look nice with flowers too.

  • Tova Pearl Tova Pearl on Feb 23, 2017
    I think climbing plants or brightly colored (plastic) ribbon threaded through it at different intervals would decorate it well. good luck!

  • Pam Pam on Feb 23, 2017
    well..... you could plant cucumbers and snap beans but beware when the season is over they are a pain in the butt to totally remove the vines or like another suggested to plant a pretty climbing flower that is vine like and not too heavy. or you might be open to the plastic lattic they carry in hardware stores and like the fence with it and attach it with floral wire in different places then come back with potted leafy plants as a bed. when you are ready to move just remove the lattice and the plants and take them with you.

  • S L Hinson S L Hinson on Feb 23, 2017
    go to lowes buy bamboo grass hedge in roll it and tie it off. Viola instant privacy as well at a back drop for potted plant perhaps a bench seat a couple chairs ect ect ect.

  • Equ20917472 Equ20917472 on Feb 23, 2017
    How about some colored aluminum slats to weave in and out? You could change up the colors to make a pattern. Or you could spray paint the wire and just add a few of the slats throughout to make a pattern.

  • Rymea Rymea on Feb 26, 2017
    If you are talking about the nearest fence in the picture then that is not chicken wire. That is an antique fence which I have seen for sale at antique stores, $$$. I think it is charming, however, I might paint the posts. It's much prettier than the one behind it. We had that fencing at the house i grew up in with sweet peas and Clematis growing on it. To each his own.

  • Lori Lori on Feb 28, 2017
    I did the bambo roll fencing along a chain link fence for privacy....I just zip tied it to the chain comes in 4 and 6 ft's not expensive at could space it out and do pots of plants in between.

  • Baba Baba on Jun 25, 2017
    What about a trumpet vine.... they are pretty and grow fast.....

  • Tombstone Tombstone on Aug 08, 2017
    Evergreens do well in Colorado, the key is ever green, container pots also the way to go. This would be low maintenance and give you some privacy, if that is your neighbor. Do not plant morning glory, your landlord will not like that.