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Creative Fence Installation: Salem’s Deepwood Estate

Deepwood Estate ArborWhen it comes to creative fence installation, Salem homeowners need look no farther than the historic Deepwood Estate for inspiration. The gardens of this unusual home demonstrate a variety of unique ways to incorporate cedar fence materials, natural elements and traditional fence styles into your yard and garden.

In the 1930s, the estate’s 5.5-acre grounds were cultivated into a series of formal gardens by Lord & Schryver, the Northwest’s first female landscape architecture firm. Recognized by the National Park Service as pioneers in landscape architecture, the Salem-based duo went on to design more than 250 gardens throughout the Northwest. With its combination of man-made and natural fence materials, Salem Deepwood Estate contains the only publicly available example of the firm’s residential work.

While most homeowners don’t have quite so much space to work with, many of the concepts used in the gardens can be applied to smaller yards.

Creating Garden Rooms

One of the most notable features of the estate is its use of garden “rooms.” Lord & Schryver divided the gardens into smaller themed areas – including an English tea garden, a secluded “Scroll Garden” and a “Great Room” garden – with each room separated from the others by a hedgerow or other creative fence installation. Salem homeowners can adapt this idea on a smaller scale by breaking their own gardens into rooms.

If you are an avid gardener, consider using hedges, picket fencing or other low-height cedar fence materials to separate a series of smaller gardens. Make each room inviting by adding seating. For an extra creative touch, a series of smaller gardens can lead to a private sitting room tucked into a back corner of your yard, hidden behind a trellis covered with climbing vines. Some garden room ideas to consider:

Butterfly garden. Attract butterflies with a small garden room overflowing with bright flowers and other butterfly host plants. Use picket-style cedar fence materials as a backdrop for the color explosion.

Pizza garden. Tie a length of string to a stake to mark off a circle in your garden, and divide the circle into six wedges. Within each wedge, grow one of your favorite pizza toppings: basil, oregano, parsley, onions, peppers and tomatoes, for example. Mark the entrance to your pizza garden with a small, Italian-style pergola.

Wine tasting garden. Set aside a room in your garden for wine tastings. Outline the space with a pergola or trellis covered with grape vines.

Fence Installation Alternatives

If you want to break up your garden into rooms but don’t have enough space for a fence installation, Salem homeowners can also use arbors made of cedar fence materials as transition points. Flank an arbor with shrubs or plants to create a doorway, or use an arbor to introduce a water feature, such as a pond filled with fish and aquatic flora. An arbor can also be used to frame a particularly pleasant view from your garden or to highlight a small bench or seating area.

Another space-efficient way to separate your rooms is to install a privacy screen. A privacy screen is a type of fence installation Salem contractors can add to your yard that prevents neighbors from peeking in on your backyard activities. Made of cedar fence materials or the material of your choice, a privacy screen resembles a tall lattice section that you can install partially or completely around any other area of your yard that you want to section off.

The Deepwood Estate provides many examples of creative uses for garden fence materials Salem residents and visitors can apply to their own homes and gardens. As you walk through, take note of the features you find most impressive, and think about how to adapt them to your yard on a smaller scale. And remember, you don’t need 5.5 acres to create an amazing garden.

[ photo: courtesy of Deepwood Estate ]

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