As hard as it might be to believe, your fence says a lot about your personality. Whether you prefer your own company or you like to have guests over, a fence is a reflection of how you feel as a person. While some neighbourhoods are very close, with parties and get-togethers happening frequently throughout the year, others may not be so hospitable – and their choice of social-shutout may describe more than just mere privacy preferences.
Fencing is a first line of defence when it comes to keeping something in or out. It can help prevent the dog from escaping or stop neighbours from looking over your wall. But what does your fence say about you? And what sort of neighbour does it make you?
The private neighbour
Those with high, sturdy fences often don’t want to be disturbed. We’ll call these the private neighbour and chances are you will rarely see them because they prefer to keep themselves to themselves.
But be prepared to hear from them first if something goes amiss or disturbs the serenity of your street. The private neighbour can be a little demanding, as they find loud noises such as barking dogs and laughing children inordinately irritating – and are not afraid to say it.
It can be difficult getting on with the private neighbour because that hefty fence is a pretty clear signal that they don’t want to talk.
However, they have been known to be fierce friends if you manage to pierce the deliberate rawhide exterior. The private neighbour will often quietly tend to their own fence without too much care for other neighbour’s fences… unless they try to get a peek into their garden.
The party neighbour
If you live in a quiet neighbourhood, it won’t be hard to figure out which of your neighbours is the party neighbour. Their fences are normally fairly high, but can be quite flimsy, as the constant social leaning and drunken stumbles may have weakened the fence’s integrity slightly (along with that of said party-host).
They do the job, of course, but sometimes look a little scruffy – occasionally showing the effects from the night before… or because the party neighbour is just too busy having fun to worry about the state of his or her garden.
Particularly affluent in the booming summer months, the party neighbour’s fence can often be seen gently rocking in the evening sunshine – much to the delight of neighbouring blooms. Legend has it, the party neighbour is also partial to a spot of trellis fencing, as it makes a great place to hang party banners, baskets and piñatas on them – because what party is complete without a sweet-stuffed hanging animal to beat senseless whilst blindfolded? Ah, the party neighbour. What a hoot.
The pristine neighbour
Who has a subscription to Gardeners’ World magazine? That is likely to be the pristine neighbour – a house-proud individual with a well-kept garden and an idyllic fence to match. The pristine neighbour is likely to have a traditional white picket fence, or perhaps the frightfully British close board fencing with a top of trellis fencing intricately layered to encourage the growth of ivy plants.
The pristine neighbour tends to a whole catalogue of beautiful flowers and plants in their garden, and displays wonderful levels of glamour as they preen the bed twice daily.
To maintain an amicable relationship with the pristine neighbour, it is advised you keep your digits to yourself. Such mesmerising care and attention requires a dedicated green-fingered keeper, so for any gossip and to find out who said what, where and when; the pristine neighbour is like the evergreen Daily Mail of your cul-de-sac.
The pally neighbour
A close relative of the party neighbour, the pally neighbour most likely has a self-built fence that could be a fair attempt at a garden divider or privacy keeper.
But depending on the relative skill level of said neighbour, you may be faced with a recycled salvaged wreck hanging together by rusty nails. On the whole, the pally type is a friendly neighbour, always willing to stop by for a chat and will gladly help another neighbour out with organising a BBQ, Neighbourhood Watch or erecting a fence.
On occasion, their help is not quite wanted, warranted or welcome but they mean well and are essential for balance – as too much party, privacy or pristineness is not ideal for the perfect community.
The pally neighbour is the loose glue that sticks to no one yet holds it all together – selflessly sacrificing their own fencing arrangement to be pals with everyone.
More often than not, a fence is an accurate representation of character, intention and place within the community. If you’re not happy with your current fence, why not change it?
And iif after reading this you’re anxiously eyeing up your fencing arrangement through the curtains, fear not. A bit of TLC, a slight dip into the budget and some elbow grease (not necessarily your own) and you could be the talk of the town down at the pristine neighbour’s next tea party. You know what they say about people who change their fence?
There are hundreds of different styles available to choose from and that fence could make all the difference to a completely new garden. For hundreds of handmade fencing styles and local installations in the Sussex area, see www.balcombesawmill.co.uk – a seasoned expert in the variations, and what each says about you.