We wanted privacy along the north side of the property, but didn’t need it along the back part, since the lot is deep and we have the garden providing its own natural privacy. Also we didn’t want to cast additional shade on the garden back there. So we went with 6 foot California chain link (same height as the wood privacy), which is chain link attached to wooden posts instead of metal. It was something that the fencing company suggested when I explained what we were trying to accomplish. It turned out to be the perfect solution.
There is a utility easment along the back edge of the property. It is our property that we are responsible for, but we had to keep fence off of it so that it doesn’t prevent access for utility workers. We made sure to measure everything and also had a gate installed so that we can get back there and maintain the area.The property line ends at the telephone pole, so the next photo (looking south along the east property line) shows how the fence is set back from that. I insisted on a 6 foot wide double gate, just to make sure that we had plenty of room to maneuver in that area if needed.
The nice thing about the California chain link is that it really doesn’t detract from the look of the garden. It actually blends in quite well, but gives a better sense of definition around that part of the yard. Also I think it looks better for the neighbors adjacent to the back of the property.Even though we have a native garden, that is left somewhat on its own the further we get away from the house, I still want it to look like it’s well-managed. It wouldn’t be a good example for others to appreciate native plants, if it were just an ugly bunch of weeds and grass left to go wild. I try to be mindful of that and give the neighbors a good impression of our native garden, that we are doing all this with a purpose and are keeping up with it. Here’s a view from inside the fence, at the back part of the garden looking toward the gate.
Things got off to a slow start in the garden with the long winter we had, but now most of the wildflowers are in full bloom. We have plenty of bees, dragonflies and are seeing monarch butterflies.
Right now we have Joe Pye weed (a great nectar source for butterflies), wild bergamot (visited by bumblebees and hummingbird moths), various types of milkweed, Culvers root, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, cup plant and royal catchfly all providing a lot of color.
As for birds, we have many juvenile woodpeckers, including a mother-son pileated woodpecker pair that comes to the feeder often. It’s fun to watch her go to the suet feeder, grab a beak full and take it over to him. A neighbor told me about a hawk that took a chipmunk, so I assume that was a broad winged hawk since I hear them often when I’m out in the yard. I haven’t seen many hummingbirds, but it won’t be long before we start seeing males moving through on their migration back south. Lately we’ve had a lot of baby toads hopping around, so hopefully they are enjoying the garden too.
In this next photo we are looking east from the patio. The neighbor on our south side has had a privacy fence for a long time, seen on the right side of the photo. We didn’t completely enclose our yard with the fence like theirs (we left it unfenced on the east side, by the front of the house.)
Lastly, below we have a wider view from the patio, showing the small garden between the patio and deck. We have a bird bath (heated in winter) that gets regular use. Far off in the back is the California chain link, with the wooden frame visible in this view. We also have a mulch path around the edge of the garden, and we plan to continue reducing the amount of grass by replacing with more flowers toward the back,behind the bluebird box. We’ve accomplished a lot in the yard this summer!