Gossip Over The Fence

The tradition of ‘gossiping over the fence’ was a commonality, when neighbourhoods were a communal environment rather than individuals simply living in houses amongst each other. This pastime has gradually become a rarity, existing now predominantly in the elderly community who may be accustomed to this behaviour. Due to advances in technology, there is little need to communicate face-to-face anymore, particularly with those you consider to be acquaintances (such as neighbours), and social media may be a large influence of the lack of neighbourhood camaraderie in recent years.

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As an extension, neighbourly feuds are now much more likely to develop than they were in the days of gossiping over the fence, due to compression of communities as the world grows – things as minor as car parking and bin placement can cause communities to divide and clash, particularly with the formation of ‘cliques’ that would have been much rarer decades ago.

Traditional 6ft Fence Panels:

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A high wooden fence such as this suggests a blunt mark of territorial boundaries, without welcoming your surrounding neighbours, even for a friendly chat. The fence is blunt and boring, but is a commonality nowadays. Fence height can occasionally also be the cause of neighbourly arguments, as individuals suggest the height blocks sun or is simply an eyesore.

Lattice Fences:

A lattice can make your fence appear more detailed and interesting, but manipulating the height can influence the true effect you are aiming to portray to your neighbours. A high fence has a similar impact to the standard 6ft fence, closing you off from those surrounding you, whereas a short fence welcomes communication whilst simultaneously suggesting your boundary in a non-offensive manner. Both are friendlier than a regular, high fence panel.

Picket Fence:

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A picket fence is a much older style, and was particularly common in the days of gossiping over the fence. It is friendly and inoffensive, and allows neighbours to see into the local gardens, encouraging engagement. The fences are easily climbed, which may have been appealing and practical for children, when playing outside together was more appealing to the youthful mind than a video game or television.

Wire Mesh Fencing:

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Whilst partially maintaining the friendliness of a low fence, such as a picket fence, the wire also has connotations of industrialism and harshness, causing a blatant divide. These are efficient for keeping neighbouring animals out of your garden, whilst also allowing the community to engage with you across the fence.

Rope/Chain Fences:

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Rope and chain fences are more of a division than a fence, and are more common in front gardens (as pictured) than back gardens. A rope fence is friendlier than that of a heavy chain, which can appear blunt or threatening. Whilst marking a division, these also appear reasonably welcoming, although breaking the border, particularly on grass or flowerbeds, may not be as welcome as it seems.

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