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Daily Garden : The Modernist Fence

November 4, 2009

modernist garden with corrugated metal fence by ro/LU

modernist garden with corrugated metal fence by ro/LU

modernist garden with corrugated metal fence by ro/LU

modernist garden with corrugated metal fence by ro/LU

This garden designed by ROLU, rosenlof/lucas, ro/lu uses corrugated metal and reclaimed wood to create the fencing, an idea that I love, but think perhaps needs refinement in practice.  I think this garden is great for it’s ideas but would love to see some more exciting planting in front of that modern shiny wall.  It has me thinking, what would I plant in this garden for visual effect? (I have no idea what planting zone this is in or what weather conditionns are like – so the imagination field is wide open).   What do you think?  What plants would look especially good in front of a shiny stripy metal wall?

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  1. Andrew says:

    Gosh, it looks like they’re hoping to screen their nice wall out, doesn’t it?

    Ideas: Plants that look interesting with light streaming through them, as there will be a lot of reflected light coming off that metal, and plants that will move and play with that light. Plants with dark leaves for strong contrast. On the lighter leaf side, plants with glaucous blue leaves, as powdery blue and silver go so well together.

  2. how it grows says:

    Our local architectural review board would have a seizure if they saw that fence, but I like it. I agree with some of the other comments – if you have a wall that unique, you shouldn’t cover it up too much.

  3. Sylvana says:

    I actually love it as is, it reminds me of a waterfall – but think that it could also look good with a brushing of color. Definitely could use more plants! But then, I am a gardener 🙂

  4. louise garwood says:

    Yea, the arborvitae will cover that lovely wall soon enough- too bad. I love the architectural quality- but it could be neat to establish some kind of espalier along it then the horizontal effect would be echoed in the planting and the fence would not become completely covered up as it will with the arbs. Wonder what the neighbors thought when they put up that fence?

  5. rochelle says:

    louise – I love the espalier idea…a cool modern/ not modern combo. I agree andrew — something that looks good with light coming through it would be really nice.

  6. michelle d. says:

    There is something disconnected and unbalanced about the fence.
    Even though there is not much architecture showing it seems out of context to the site.
    I’m all for using traditional materials in untraditional and or unusual ways, but this fence and especially the planting is not working well aesthetically with one another or the site.

    This style of wall building has been done here in California for the past 15 – 20 years and I have seen some really great design work done with this style.
    Once you see it done well, and then you see it done not so well, the not so well designed project just falls flat.

  7. Why cover it up with plants? I would play with the distorted nature of the corrugation. By using a reflective element (water, color plastics, both, light, etc.) on the ground plane adjacent to the fence. Any planting would be minimal, showcasing form, playing with the light and shadow.

  8. private says:

    I think the corrugation would age better if angled. The diagonal would look more intentional, and keep more interest as the shine wears.

    The black lace sambucus would be dramatic there, with a japanese laceleaf maple and maybe a false cypress – they grow open and lacy in the shade. Add a black pine, and coleus or coralbells.

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