Building Fences

garden fence

Some lessons have come to me late in life including the importance of a good fence. My daughter and I recently replaced our vegetable garden fence – formerly a patchwork of flopping metal. It had no gate which meant leaping over the prickly wire, sometimes catching clothes or skin. Fixing that fence had long been on my endless home improvement wish-list.

I hesitated to spend money on materials when there is so much else that needs to get done – but Molly said, “You love gardening, it makes you happy – let’s do this.” And so we did. We bought posts and a few rolls of small-mesh wire fencing and borrowed our neighbor’s electric staple gun. We took turns hammering in the posts. I love swinging a hammer. Remembering my days as a sculptor, letting the weight of the head do most of the work, watching and feeling the nail settle into the wood, and finally, the satisfaction of making something strong. Molly was better than me at handling the staple gun, shooting them in with a pop as I held the fencing taut. I’m particularly proud of the gate. We don’t have a drill so I twisted the screws into the hinges by hand then hung it by myself after leveling the base just-so.

Now, my tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and flowers will be protected from ravenous rabbits and the resident bully of a groundhog.

I look at our handiwork and realize another reason I wanted to fix that fence. The process and completion of this simple, imperfect structure affirms what feels like a new stage of my life – clear, strong boundaries built with love – and a gate that easily opens when needed.

beach fence


6 thoughts on “Building Fences”

  1. Good for you Tricia (and Molly)! I really admire someone who is very DIY and handy — I’m just beginning to try to be. You have indeed built a strong boundary with love. Happy Spring to you.

  2. Happy that you can enjoy your garden and the critters are finally not welcome!

  3. Very poetic take on the new addition to your garden, “clear strong boundaries built with love and a gate that easily opens when needed” very eloquent and thoughtful, and I wish I knew how to garden haha everybody that I’ve ever spoken to that gardens tells me it’s a fulfilling experience. I might need to try it someday

  4. I love the piece, your fine work in building the fence, and the metaphorical path to the message! Happy gardening! XXOO

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