covering a chain link fence?

kimmiekSeptember 6, 2007

I have a 6' chain link fence along one side of my yard, which I would like to cover as quickly as possible. Also want privacy from neighbors' 2nd story deck. Any suggestions?

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You don't state how long your fence or what the exposure is. If you need a two story privacy hedge, bamboo will
work quickly. Types of bamboo are actually rated one story height, two story height, etc.

I used a barrier and planted bissetti bamboo. Hid the neighbor's ugly white shed. It'll cost you some money though. But the privacy is well, priceless. Susan

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 9:10AM
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I use Arborvitae, native conifers like Western red cedar and Western hemlock, and vines like Boston ivy and Clematis montana rubens. They all need a couple of years to get the job done. The vines are not evergreen, but they grow so dense after a while that it's hard to see through them. The Boston ivy has beautiful leaf color in Fall, and the Clematis blooms in late Spring. The native conifers eventually get very big, so they are not a good choice for a small space. The Arborvitae gives the densest cover.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 12:17PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper are great for fences, you get that beautiful fall color and even though they are not evergreen I find the framework adds it's own charm even without the foliage in the winter. We have one of the large leaved types of Virginia Creeper on one fence, turns a beautiful ruby red in the fall and has clusters of purple berries to boot.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 2:29PM
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nwnatural(zone 8 PNW)

Boston Ivy or Virginia Creeper on a chain link fence? You must have to tuck the growing vines in every other day?

I have yet to see a vine growing successfully on a chain link fence, IMO ;).

I think the bamboo is a great idea, or another hedge that would grow through the fence and camouflage it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 7:38PM
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Nwnatural, I train them in the first year, but after that they are on their own. Although they will cover the fence faster if you keep training them. My chain link fence has become an indispensable part of my gardening. I would be lost without it.

Here is my Rosa moyesii and hybrid Clematis on a west-facing chain link fence.

Here, the visual impact of a 6' fence is softened by 18-year old native conifers and a smoke tree.

Here is a 6' fence covered with Clematis montana rubens and Clematis macropetala, also covering a concolor fir and western red cedar. Yes, there is a fence under there.

Here is a "living gate" where the Clematis has covered one half of the gate, and is not damaged by opening the gate, since the stems have remained flexible due to the constant flexing.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 12:07AM
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Here are some Morning Glories covering a section of fence with no help from me. Annuals are a lot of fun, but you will only get good fence coverage towards the end of the Summer.

Here is a hybrid Clematis. Great flowers, but these plants don't cover a big area of fence, like C. montana does.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 12:33AM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

My front and side yards are all framed with cedar/copper fences that are designed to be used for climbers. The 2x2x6'clear cedar is vertical on 4" centers and the 1/2" copper (sprayed with acrylic to stay bright) is horizontal on 18" centers. The top rail is 5/4 x4" cedar and the bottom rail is 2x4" PT. The 4x4 posts have amber glass caps to tie in with the cedar and bright copper.

On one side of my lot, I have an easement path with a cyclone fence that I hated looking at so I tied it into this same theme. I spaced the 2x2 cedar about a foot apart, used the same top rail and just eliminated the copper. The minute I put it up the fence disappeared, even before I planted anything :-) I just planted everything this year but am tickled with the results. I have two Campsis 'Flava" that bookend one 25' section with Hibiscus 'Haight Ashbury' in between for foliage contrast. Then on another 25' section I have 3 Rosa 'Abraham Darby' separated by Rosa 'LD Braithwaite' and Rosa 'The Dark Lady'. I use that green velcro tape which disappears in the foliage. I realize this wouldn't do much for a neighboring second floor deck but it sure makes the cyclone disappear.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 9:37AM
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flowerfan2(z8/ WA)

Wow,Lilydude, that is the most beautiful cyclone fence I have ever seen. You plants are beautiful. I love those clematis. It is amazing how climbers can add so much to a garden.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 10:23AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Boxofrox, Pictures? Sounds wonderful.

Lilydude, I agree. Gorgeous!

To block the neighbor's second floor windows from seeing down into our hot tub we put a 4' tall section of lattice on top of our 6' cedar fence. I have multiple Clematis planted on netting on the fence growing up to it including an evergreen one. The other houses are single story. This one was built after our next door neighbor sold off the back half of his lot.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:04AM
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Here is a fence covered with Boston ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata.

Here is a "living gate" of Boston ivy, partially open so you can see it is still moveable.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:32AM
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Spectacular photos! Garden photos like these are worth way more than 1000 words. Feasts for the eyes, very educational, THANK YOU !!!

I have a chainlink east fence with clematis and trumpet vine and honeysuckle etc, covered in glory in summer but since the leaves fall, too open in winter. Planted everygreen honeysuckle and confederate jasmine but worried it won't completely block neighbor just 3' away.

Thinking of planting some miniature ivy to get winter coverage. Must plant climbing roses, too beautiful!

A neighbor had big huge thick wisteria covering a long fence, gorgeous. Needs to be trimmed or will overgrow everything. Also drops leaves in winter.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:52AM
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My chainlock fence, eastside, from neighbor's view:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:59AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

All I can say is WOW! you've got me wishing my wooden stockade type fence was chain link. A continuing trellis that won't rot, how good is that.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 1:11PM
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Kimmiek: I have similar situation.I did have ivy there and I was covering sort of ok, but it was getting quite big touching my windows and my windows were always wet.Needs lots of training also.I cut it all off this Spring because the water it accumulated was always touching my windows and the paint was peeling off.So I have seen a similar fence and it was kind of landscaping fabric green in color made of plastic like material .This fabric covered the fence nicely and all you could see was lovely green color.No maintaince and no problem.Its been in our neighbourhood fence for about 3 years and always looks clean and green.So this is what I intend to do with mine.If you want more info I will have it as I have to do mine so I will find out exactly what it is.It has very tiny wholes in it like ventilation wholes, but gives total privacy and looks great.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 1:45PM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

This is how I covered mine :-)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:28PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Boxofrox, that is outstanding. Wow. Beautiful. The cedar and copper fences are almost too gorgeous to cover with vines....

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 4:54PM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

Why thank you :-)

We have a mobile pet groomer that comes and she was asking me what I was going to do about the cyclone fence. When I told her she scrunched up her nose with a kind of skeptical huh ? The next time she came she couldn't believe the eyesore disappeared w/o even planting anything.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 5:31PM
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Bumping this thread back up to the top for the great photos -- somebody asked on a new thread about "house eater" vines, LOL

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:59PM
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Amazing photos.

This gave me several ideas to answer the questions of my customers.

Thanks everyone for mentioning the plant names also.

Phoenix Fence

Here is a link that might be useful: Phoenix Fence And Deck

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:30PM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

Any suggestions for a semi-shaded chainlink? I would love to train some kind of flowering vine over it- it lines our yard by a walking trail. There is ivy on the other side.

The orange ball in the upper right of the image is where the sun rises in the mornings- through the trees.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Clematis armandii is evergreen, white fragrant flowers, likes shade. Must keep roots cool, moist and sheltered.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Akebia is a nice pick too, very fast growing evergreen vine (in this region), nice small flowers, and will even fruit if you have different types planted.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:04PM
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