Fencing Considerations For Creating An Authentic Historical Garden


If you're hoping to recreate a period authentic garden to match your historic home, there are plenty of variables to consider. For example, brick patios and rose bushes are common in English country or Victorian gardens, while manicured shrubs are more common for tudor-style homes. One of the key components of your garden is choosing the right type of fencing. The best fencing type for period gardens depends on your home's style and what your personal needs are. Here are some fencing types to consider. 

Wrought Iron

Wrought-iron fencing is among the most traditional options for historic garden replicas. It was common to see Victorian, Italianate, Colonial, Classical and Federal style homes with this type of fencing. Wrought iron is an older style of working iron, and it can very expensive, which is why some homeowners opt for a "look alike" fence made from aluminum or steel instead. Iron offers significant benefits over other materials, however, and can be worth the price. It offers:

  1. durability. Some wrought-iron fences in historic cities like Philadelphia and Boston are beautifully crafted and original to the buildings. If you opt for wrought iron, you know you're investing in a product that will last. 
  2. authenticity. Wrought iron will look more authentic with a period home than almost any other material, including "look alike" materials. Wrought iron will develop a lovely patina as it ages -- aluminum and steel products will not. Wrought iron fencing will also show the marks of workmanship, helping your gates and fence panels to look like originals. 
  3. design potential. Wrought iron can be made to look however you want. Curves, straight lines, angles, and even additions like leaves were common in iron fence designs in the 1800s. 

It's also important to take into account that not all wrought iron fencing is black. More modern fences are usually painted black, but in early centuries, they were also painted green, grey, or rusty brown. For homeowners concerned about black fencing being too austere, these colors can offer authenticity without severity. 

Stone or Brick

Despite the beauty and versatility of wrought iron fencing, for some homes it is not the right fit. Arts and crafts (craftsman) bungalows, cape cod cottages, and prairie-style farmhouses would look too "finished" with a full iron fence. The best options for these homes is a stone or brick fence. For arts and crafts homes, brick is more common. Straight lines and square angles are the hallmarks of the arts and crafts movement. Instead of an iron gate, a beautifully crafted gate from hardwood would be the best choice. For farmhouses and cape cod homes, stone walls built with natural stones and finished with simple wrought iron gates would be the best fit. 

Wooden Pickets

Wood fences are another historic option to consider, and for some homes and budgets, they are the best choice. Log cabins, frame farmhouses, and more modest versions of period movements benefit best from wooden fencing. For example, a Queen Anne Victorian home would look best with a garden fenced by wrought iron, as it matches the intricacy of home's design. However, many people from this era could not build such large, ornate homes, so they followed the trends while building Folk Victorian homes. These had some nods toward the frills of the era, with some gingerbread trim and maybe a turret or some detailed pillars. The white or natural picket fence was often the finishing touch. This is also true of arts and crafts homes, cottages, small federal houses, and colonial row homes.

For more information on building a period authentic fence for your garden, talk to a fencing contractor near you. 


15 September 2016

Finding Better Fencing Contractors

When we started trying to build our own fence, we realized that we were way out of our league. We had no idea how to go about securing the fence to the ground, and it seemed like no matter what we did, we couldn't get things straight. We realized that in order to protect our investment, we should hire a professional fence contractor. We found an excellent contractor in our area who offered great rates, and they did an amazing job. When our new fence was up, our kids felt safer in our yard and we weren't worried about the fence staying stable. Read this blog to learn more about fencing.