22 garden fence ideas

Freshen up your plot and add extra privacy with these garden fence ideas

Every plot can benefit from good garden fence ideas in one way or another. They're a classic choice for marking the boundaries of your outdoor space – whether that's defining your front garden, screening off your neighbor's patio, or distinguishing different 'rooms'.

However, fences aren't just for practicalities or privacy. They can be a stunning feature in themselves. There's plenty of choice when it comes to materials, size, and color, meaning you can opt for a style that will truly complement your garden. From rustic charm to contemporary designs, you can be sure that there's a fence out there that's perfect for your space.

To help you choose, we've rounded up plenty of garden fence ideas. So, if your existing fence is looking dated, dull or dilapidated, or if you just fancy an update, get ready to get inspired.

22. Work with tonal color

Painting a fence in blocks of different hues in the same way you might treat a wall indoors can add interest to your garden's vertical surfaces.

Here, tonal shades have been used to create the horizontal blocks. The look is eye-catching, but they're earthy tones and complement the outdoor situation beautifully. You could get the same smart but organic effect with shades of green, too.

21. Create intimacy with a dark shade

If you're going to use an area of your garden for entertaining at night, why not use a dark hue for your garden fence ideas? It'll make the zone far more intimate and cocooning – just like a snug inside your house.

Stick to garden furniture in a lighter finish though, so that they stand out against your dark backdrop.

20. Swap to metal fencing

Wrought iron railings can complement an older property. But, there are less period-style metal designs available too for your garden fence ideas.

These panels are made from Plastisol coated zinc for a colored finish that will last.

And, if you want to let more light into your plot, take a lead from this garden and incorporate lattice panels into your fence design.

19. Try a fence of lights

Fences don't have to be solid – particularly if they're being used as a subtle garden divider rather than to stop the dog getting out, or the neighbors encroaching on your turf.

Follow the lead of this design which combines shepherd’s hooks that you put into the ground with festoon lights. They're ideal alongside a path, as seen here. But, they would look just as good as a divider for an alfresco dining area, creating a magical ambiance as night slowly falls.

18. Go for cut-out panels

Growing plants up a fence takes time, but adding organic pattern as part of the structure can create an instant and durable feature.

This fence would work on a boundary or between different areas of the garden. The decorative panel will allow glimpses through for a new view of planting beyond the fence, without surrendering privacy.

17. Create cohesion with your garden fence ideas

Match your garden fence to your decking, and even your seating, for a pleasantly harmonious vibe.

Pair with a complementary color palette for extra wow, and add accessories to match, such as outdoor cushions or rugs. It's a contemporary look which will instantly elevate your space.

16. Contrast with accessories

It's easy to update a tired looking fence with a smart coat of exterior wood paint. But, it doesn't always have to steal the limelight. Allow it to become a chic backdrop instead, to make your garden furniture and planting really pop.

Go light and bright to make your plants stand out, whilst gray or other muted shades are a strong choice for a sophisticated, urban look. Or, if you really want to turn heads, try going for two tones like in this example.

15. Try a dark green scheme

Using dark green tones on modern garden fence ideas can create a subtle urban-jungle-like vibe. It's an understated choice that feels grown-up and on-trend, and will allow any accessories in front to stand out.

In this mini outdoor kitchen, wooden chopping boards and other natural textures add to the naturalistic vibe, whilst pops of bright orange draw the eye. Oversized festoon lights overhead add to the ambiance.

14. Combine with raised beds for a softer look

Garden fence ideas are commonplace for front yards, defining edges of plots from the world beyond. And, to boost the privacy levels and for added security, ramping up the height can be a good idea. But as this example shows, a tall fence, even when in a dark tone, needn't look severe.

Adding plenty of greenery in front is key, with the help of some raised garden beds. These rustic wooden structures shown above look truly beautiful adorned with cascading foliage, structural alliums, and clipped evergreen shrubs.

A line of silvery Himalayan birches finishes the setup well, whilst providing extra screening between the house and the road. They also make a striking contrast against the inky-hued pales behind.

(Polly Eltes/Future)
13. Get playful with paint

Backyard fence ideas can add a fun accent to a plot if you're willing to get creative. Here, a traditional picket-style design has been given a playful twist by painting each pale in a different hue. It's super simple to recreate the look, just remember to opt for complementary tones for a considered vibe.

Use around the perimeter of your plot, or to section your patio from your lawn – we think it would make a good addition to a family garden.

(Alun Callender/Future)
12. Match it to your pergola

This modern setup revolves around the striking pergola, which not only provides shelter, but is also a sturdy support for the hanging egg chair.

To add an extra boost of privacy and make the scene feel cozy and intimate, a smart black fence lines the zone. Painted to match the pergola, the furniture, and even the patterned paving, it recedes into the background rather than trying to take the spotlight. What's more, it provides a support for plenty of climbing plants.

(Protek/Justin Coakley/@design_at_nineteen)
11. Set the scene for your container garden

Love to grow your plants in pots? Then garden fence ideas can create a beautiful background to your display.

This soft blue hue is wonderfully soothing and looks gorgeous against the mix of pastel-colored flowers and trails of foliage in front. The use of shelves elevates the look further, making the most of the vertical space for a real focal point.

(Thorndown Paints)
10. Integrate a fence with your outdoor kitchen

More of us are using our gardens as an extension of our living space these days, so it's no surprise that outdoor kitchens are having a moment. After all, who doesn't love a good BBQ out in the fresh air?

Backyard fence ideas can be surprisingly handy for alfresco cooking – see this example here to demonstrate. Its generous height allows ample room for sleek horizontal rails – ideal for hanging utensils and even a spice rack.

In a contemporary gray hue, it mirrors the built-in grill and silver-toned plant pots, creating a fuss-free but totally stylish scene. A trellised section up top will balance out the look, allowing light and air to flow through. Try adding a climbing foliage plant nearby, too.

(Simon Whitmore/Future)
9. Complement rattan furniture with woven styles

For a more naturalistic look, woven panels made from willow or hazel are a fabulous choice for fences and garden screens.

They're great for small gardens – just opt for one panel or two to provide all the shelter and privacy you need for your patio. Style alongside rattan furniture for a pleasing mix of tactile textures.

Colorful sofa cushions will bring a vibrant touch to the scene – these blue tones are perfect for a summery setup. Pale gray and cream would make an elegant alternative. Don't forget a string of festoon lights overhead for a cozy ambiance when dusk falls.

8. Open up the view by switching to glass

Not every fence needs to add privacy. Sometimes, you may just want a barrier to define the boundary of a zone.

Glass designs are a brilliant solution for opening up the space and making it feel bigger and will allow you to admire the view – whether that's of other sections of your garden or beyond.

They work particularly well if you're after a pool fence, as seen here. And if you did want the area to feel a little more exclusive, but still want to allow plenty of light into the space, you could always opt for a frosted version.

(Alistair Nicholls/Future)
7. Match your garden buildings

We're head-over-heels for this chic urban plot. It's a brilliant example of how a small space can be transformed into a stylish retreat for relaxing with friends and family. And that garden office is the ideal addition for working from home in style – it's no surprise they’ve had a huge surge in popularity recently.

The charcoal-hued privacy fence brings the whole plot together, matching the raised beds and the office structure, and allowing nearby colors of textiles and plants to stand out. Again, a string of festoon lights brings extra warmth to the scene.

(Chris Snook/Future)
6. Up the level of greenery in your garden by attaching a trellis

Trellis are another way to give an existing fence a bit more of a boost. Plus, they're super affordable – in fact, if you're handy with a bit of DIY, you can even build your own.

They are a simple way to create a living wall effect and can be adorned with all sorts of pretty climbing plants. Opt for a rose for a cottage garden scheme, or perhaps some tumbling ivy or a scented jasmine is more your style.

Whatever you choose, think about how it will complement the fence itself – this deep green foliage looks gorgeous against the timber behind.

(Jacky Hobbs)
5. Layer up your fence with a decorative screen

Do you have a dull fence that’s crying out for a bit of pizzazz? If you don’t fancy whipping out the paints to give it a makeover, this is a great (and less time-consuming) alternative approach.

This Corten steel panel is right on-trend, offering a warm, rusted patina to the scene that works well alongside the black planter and architectural flowers and foliage. Just one or two panels are all that's needed to create a chic focal point for a patio and will instantly give even the plainest of fences an elevated update.

(Jacky Hobbs)
4. Create a contemporary backdrop with a slatted style

Many traditional garden fences are a series of uprights, but if you want a contemporary look to suit a more modern garden, swap to a design that majors in horizontal lines.

Not only will it give your plot an instant update, but it can also create the illusion of a wider or longer space as the eye is drawn along the horizontals. For this reason, it's a great approach if you’re looking for a small garden.

This example provides a stunning backdrop to a modern seating space. We love how it complements the cool gray walls and pared-back planting nearby, while festoons strung up high will offer a welcoming vibe when night falls.

3. Go for a smart black backdrop

This sturdy black fence is a perfect choice for chic urban living. Painted in dark tones, it feels effortlessly cool.

A neat row of espaliered trees adds an extra level of privacy up top, and brings a fresh pop of green against the dark hue. Further planting below continues to lift the zone, adding to the welcoming vibe.

Pale tones tie together the rest of the space, offering a striking contrast to the surrounding screen. Meanwhile, a scattering of cushions provides an accent of pink – a playful finishing flourish.

(Jacksons Fencing)
2. Choose a more sculptural approach

This fence, spotted at Chelsea Flower Show, is anything but average. It's built from sustainable oak that has been hand carved to depict a intriguingly waved pattern. And, we think you'll agree that it makes a real feature point for the space while encapsulating an essence of natural beauty.

It's a great way to screen off a section of a plot to provide a boost of shelter and garden privacy. Plus, it provides an attractively textural canvas for the vibrant planting, featuring the likes of Hydrangea paniculata, Miscanthus sinensis, and Verbena hastata.

(Jacky Hobbs)
1. Keep it sweet with soft pastel stripes

You can give lots of different fence types a modern makeover by opting for pretty pastel stripes. The icy blue and baby pink tones in this scheme are sure to delight any onlooker and make the perfect backdrop for summer socializing outdoors. It's a particularly wonderful way to soften the impact of a tall, solid, privacy fence.

A look like this brings instant character to the space and looks lovely when paired with soft textiles nearby in complementary hues. Meanwhile, the neatly clipped hedge and lawn in front add a visually pleasing splash of contrasting green to the zone.

Recreate the design, and your patio or courtyard will instantly stand out from the crowd.


Freshen up your plot and add extra privacy with these garden fence ideas.