• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to enliven a plain fence with climbing vines and flowering plants.

    Steps:
    1. Drill -inch-diameter holes in fence. Locate the holes about 4 feet off the ground and about 6 feet apart.
    2. Use a screwdriver to turn a screw eye into each hole.
    3. Twist a length of galvanized wire around one screw eye, then pull it tight and twist around the remaining screw eyes. Use pliers to snip off the excess wire.
    4. Repeat the previous three steps to install a second wire at about 2 feet off the ground.
    5. Take a garden rake and clear the soil along the base of the fence of all weeds, leaves and debris.
    6. Loosen the soil along the fence line with a small gas-powered rotary tiller.
    7. Spread 2 to 3 inches of compost over the tilled soil.
    8. Sprinkle fertilizer onto the soil, then turn over the soil once more with the rotary tiller.
    9. Arrange the potted plants along the fence line, separating the climbing vines with flowering plants.
    10. Dig planting holes with a shovel and pull the plants from their pots.
    11. Loosen compacted root balls with a three-tine garden claw.
    12. Set the vines into the holes, making sure to tip them back toward the fence.
    13. Backfill around the root ball with compost/soil mixture. Repeat for remaining plants.
    14. Remove any bamboo support sticks from the vine plants.
    15. Carefully wrap the vine tendrils around the galvanized wires, and then loosely tie them in place with jute string.
    16. Thoroughly water the plants, then spread 2 inches of cedar bark mulch over the soil.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Only requires a few simple tools and a free afternoon
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    Video Directory

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      Tools List

      • drill
        Drill/driver
      • flathead screwdriver
        Screwdriver
      • needlenose pliers
        Pliers
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake
      • rotary tiller
        Rotary tiller
      • wheelbarrow
        Wheelbarrow
      • pointed shovel
        Shovel
      • hand cultivator
        Three-tine claw

      Shopping List

      Climbing vines and flowering plants

      Galvanized wire

      1-inch-diameter screw eyes

      Compost

      Jute string

      Cedar bark mulch