Garden fencing can be both practical and ornamental, serving to contain flowers and plants or adding a decorative element to an outdoor living space. With the right specifications, some fences can also protect vegetables from hungry animals.
Whether you have raised beds or an in-ground garden, there are a number of fencing solutions that can add style to any yard. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best garden fence for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Greenes Fence RCCG4PK CritterGuard Cedar Garden Fence
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amagabeli Decorative Garden Fence 32inx20ft Rustproof
- UPGRADE PICK: Zippity Outdoor Products Manchester Semi-Permanent
- BEST ROMAN: Vigoro Empire 30 in. x 36 in. Black Steel Fence
- BEST GOTHIC: Amagabeli Decorative Garden Fence Wrought Iron
- BEST VINYL: Zippity Outdoor Products ZP19001 Madison Vinyl
- BEST STEEL: Vigoro Rockdale 43.8 in. Black Steel Fence Panel
- BEST TALL: Zippity Outdoor Products WF29002 Garden Metal Fence
- BEST SHORT: Worth Garden Plastic Fence Pickets
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Garden Fence
Depending on the reason for adding a garden fence, there are lots of things to keep in mind, including material, height, style, and installation requirements.
While some garden fences are chosen to be purely decorative, others are designed to keep children, pets, and pesky critters out. If a critter is the problem, it’s important to identify just what kind of animal has been causing damage to the garden in order to pick the right type of fence to deter it.
Some of the most common culprits are squirrels, raccoons, skunks, deer, rabbits, gophers, and voles. While they can all wreak havoc in their own way, fencing needs will vary depending on the type of creature in question. Generally, tall mesh or wire fencing, rather than ornamental fencing, is best for keeping animals out.
Garden fences are available in a variety of materials, depending on their style and function:
- Wood fences are typically made from redwood, cedar, or pressure-treated pine and can be stained or painted in a variety of colors.
- Steel and aluminum can resemble wrought iron and can be painted, making them good choices for ornamental fencing.
- Vinyl and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fences are both affordable and easy to maintain. Because of their weather resistance, these types of fencing can last for years. Occasionally, PVC posts are hollow and are reinforced with other materials like wood or aluminum.
The height of a garden fence can be either an aesthetic or practical choice. Decorative edging might be as low as 12 inches in height, while taller fencing would be necessary for keeping out wild animals. Fences to prevent deer from eating vegetables must be at least 8 feet high because of their jumping abilities, while rabbits can usually be kept away with a 2-foot-high fence.
Fences to deter domestic cats and dogs should be at least 3 feet high and should ideally be anchored with strong posts so that they’re not easily knocked over.
Decorative fences come in a number of different styles:
- Picket fencing, sometimes referred to as timber palisade fencing, has a traditional look and can be made from wood, PVC, or vinyl.
- Gothic fences take inspiration from the ornate gothic architecture of the Middle Ages. They are typically made from wrought iron or powder-coated aluminum meant to resemble wrought iron.
- French gothic fences are typically made of wood, with pickets shaped like spades or arrowheads.
- Roman fences are distinguished by their finial-topped posts.
- Convex fences have arched panels.
- Concave fences are designed to dip down in the middle of each panel like an upside-down arch.
- Stockade fences have rounded boards that are pointed at the top.
There are different levels of garden fencing installation:
- Temporary fencing is easy to install and can be moved if necessary. It’s designed with sharp stakes at the bottom that simply need to be inserted into the ground, without requiring any digging.
- Semipermanent fencing also utilizes sharp stakes, but because these fences are larger, some digging or hammering may be necessary depending on the hardness of the ground. Stakes can usually be driven into the ground using a gardening tool like a hammer or mallet. Digging small holes, on the other hand, may require equipping a drill with a tulip auger drill bit.
- Permanent fencing is less common for decorative garden fences and edging. It requires posts to be set in concrete in the ground for maximum stability.
Our Top Picks
When it’s time to start shopping for garden fencing, the following options consider all the features above, including purpose, style, height, and installation requirements. Here are a variety of choices for the best garden fences to suit most needs and budgets.
Made from a combination of cedar and galvanized steel, this four-pack of garden fencing panels from Greenes Fence is built to last. Each panel is 45 inches long by 23.5 inches tall, including the wooden stakes that simply need to be pushed into the soil for easy, semipermanent installation.
This fencing is designed to be more practical than decorative and should be tall enough to keep rabbits and other small critters at bay. It works especially well when used in conjunction with raised beds to provide even better protection. The mesh openings measure approximately 1 inch by 2 inches, making them small enough to prevent many animals from entering.
The design of this ornamental fencing is simple yet elegant. Each panel is 32 inches high and 10 inches wide and is made of iron with a vinyl PVC powder-coated surface. The green finish enables the decorative fencing to blend in with a garden’s plants, and the material is weather resistant and rustproof, ensuring its durability.
This fencing is temporary, and the interlocking panels make installation easy. The spiked feet simply need to be put into the soil, no digging required. It can easily be moved to another location without much work. The panels also fold completely flat so they can be stored compactly over the winter or when not in use.
Zippity Outdoor Products’ semipermanent vinyl fencing has a concave picket design and a height of 42 inches, making it tall enough to deter roaming pets and a variety of wildlife. This set comes as a two-pack of 92-inch-wide panels. Vinyl fencing is a great choice for gardens because it’s naturally durable and weather resistant. It won’t need to be painted or stained over time because it’s designed to maintain its color with no maintenance.
Depending on the hardness of the ground, the user can insert the stakes into the ground or drill holes with an auger bit. The matching Manchester Gate, which is sold separately, can be used to complete the project.
Roman-style fencing is characterized by the finials topping each post, providing a classic look that works well with a number of different decor styles. The posts of this Roman fence by Vigoro are 3.7 inches apart at the top and 1.6 inches apart at the bottom, with the design serving to prevent animals from going through. Each panel is 3 feet wide and 29.2 inches tall.
Made of welded steel, each panel features a powder coating for optimal durability. Installation is semipermanent, with stakes needing to be driven into the ground using a hammer or mallet. Panels then join together by passing the posts through the eyelets. It’s important to note that the Empire Fence Posts are necessary to complete the installation.
This ornate fencing by Amagabeli is designed with the spade-shaped pickets that are emblematic of Gothic-style fences. While most fences of this style are only available in black, this model comes in black, brown, or white.
A single panel is 32 inches high and 2 feet wide, and the package comes with five panels. The rustproof metal material is designed to look like wrought iron and folds down flat for easy storage in the off-season. It’s constructed with sharp stakes for easy, temporary installation that can be moved or disassembled if necessary.
Zippity Outdoor Products’ picket fencing has a concave design and a traditional aesthetic. It’s made of vinyl, making it both low maintenance and weather resistant. The bright white color of the material is durable enough to not require repainting over time. Each panel is 30 inches tall and 56 inches wide, and each purchase includes two panels as well as the necessary posts and caps.
The fencing is designed to be semipermanent, with minimal digging necessary. The stakes simply have to be inserted into the ground during installation and pulled out to be removed. If the ground is too hard, the manufacturer recommends using a drill and tulip bulb auger to create small holes.
Made of black steel with a powder coating to prevent corrosion, this fencing from Vigoro has an opulent-looking scrolled design at the top. Each panel is 43.7 inches high, making the fencing tall enough to keep out most household pets as well as other pesky intruders. The mesh is also designed to be tighter at the bottom to deter animals from getting through.
It’s semipermanent, with the spikes needing to be driven into the ground before each 3-foot wide panel is linked together. Each package comes with three panels, for a total width of 9 feet. A matching gate is also available to complete the project.
Backyard fences are typically about 6 feet tall, but the average garden fence is much shorter. This model by Zippity Outdoor Products has a maximum height of 42 inches, though the concave design dips to 37 inches at the lowest point. While it isn’t tall enough to keep out deer, a fence that’s over 3 feet tall should prevent most dogs, rabbits, and other animals from entering a garden. The powder-coated metal finish ensures weather resistance.
Each unit includes five panels, for a total width of 180 inches, though additional units can be purchased as well. The fencing is designed to be semipermanent, with simple removal and reinstallation.
If keeping animals at bay isn’t a priority, a short fence is a smart choice for containing plants and flowers while ensuring they’re still visible. This picket-style protective edging is temporary and doesn’t require digging or drilling.
The set includes four panels, each of which is 23.6 inches wide and 14 inches tall. Assembly is also simple, as the panels latch together with ease. The low height makes this style of fencing a great pick for embellishing a flower garden. It’s made of white propene polymer plastic, which requires little maintenance and is easy to keep clean.
FAQs About Garden Fences
Here are answers to some common questions about garden fences.
Q. What is the most durable fence?
The most durable garden fences are made from vinyl or powder-coated steel.
Q. How high should a fence be for a vegetable garden?
The height of a fence around a vegetable garden varies depending on what kind of animal needs to be kept out. Fences to deter deer, for example, should be 8 feet high, while fences that are 2 feet tall are sufficient to deter rabbits.
Q. How do I maintain a garden fence?
Garden fences made of PVC, vinyl, or powder-coated steel are very low maintenance and don’t require any regular upkeep. Wood fences typically need to be power-washed and restained periodically.