Picture of Build an all natural garden fence (for nothing!)
The ultimate in repurposing--collect and use vines and fallen trees to create a perfectly imperfect natural garden fence. It sets off your little piece of paradise.

Step 1: Materials and a plan

Picture of Materials and a plan
It helps to have some land where you can find small trees, thick grape vines, and long, young grape vines. Other than that, you'll need a saw, clippers, and a sledgehammer. I highly recommend leather work gloves, snake or muck boots, and long sleeves.

Don't marry your plan. The vines will pretty much do what they're going to do; your best bet is to try to get along with them. You'll be working with three types of found wood: straight pieces (I used sweet gum and cedar) for the posts, and thick grape vines for the rails, and young vines--the longer, the better--for lashing the rails to the posts.

I chose sweet gum for three reasons: the trunks are straight and pretty strong, we have a lot of it, and we don't mind cutting it. I used cedar when I could find it already down; I won't cut down a cedar tree. Cedar, too, is straight and strong, and it smells so good when it's cut.

I worked about three posts at a time, and even then, sometimes I'd pull one up to reposition it, depending on the curve of the thick vines. Cut the posts with an angle on one end and a flat surface on the other end. That way, you'll have a pointed end to pierce the ground and a flat end to pound. Most of my posts are three to four feet long.
LadyHaint2 years ago
I love the idea of having a living muscadine fence. I had never thought of it thanks for sharing.
Dr. P (author)  LadyHaint2 years ago
It give me a lot of happiness. It's really alive right now, and there are hundreds of tiny clusters of potential muscadines appearing. Maybe the birds' attention will be on the nearby peaches and pears, instead. Oh, no, wait...!
Tony Rimmer3 years ago
Very nice.
cupritte3 years ago
Nice project! I completely sympathise with not everyone getting it. I have something similar in my yard, a boarder made of sticks, so it kinda looks woven sometimes and right now it just looks chaotic. I get some compliments, and some people asking if they can do some yard maintenance for us. I like your system a lot. It looks very clean and natural.
Dr. P (author)  cupritte3 years ago
Thanks, Cupritte. I'd like to see your fence. I'm always looking for new ideas!
bajablue3 years ago
I really LOVE this! Good job!!!
Dr. P (author)  bajablue3 years ago
Thanks! It's never ending--come help!
bajablue Dr. P3 years ago
Sorry... too busy constructing my own garden fence from discarded lobster boxes and such. ;-)
Dr. P (author)  bajablue3 years ago
Oh. My. Goodness! Beautiful!
bajablue Dr. P3 years ago
Thanks so much...

I call this the Rustic Nautical look. ;-)

scoochmaroo3 years ago
Gorgeous, gorgeous! I love it. What a labor of love.
Dr. P (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
Why, thanks! Come see it, and I'll let you add to it.