April 21, 2010

Kludge Fence

I promised to post pictures of the work I have done in the back yard.  I hope today will be another good day of work, so I thought this morning would be a good day to post what has been going on.  My main focus of attention in the yard has been what I call the Kludge Fence. I learned the term Kludge from reading the blog There, I Fixed It.  From Wikipedia: "A kludge is a workaround, a quick-and-dirty solution, a clumsy or inelegant, yet effective, solution to a problem, typically using parts that are cobbled together."  This is a pretty much a good description for many parts of this old house, including the electric and plumbing, but it definitely describes the back fence.

The "fence" is made up of about three kinds of garden fencing, chicken wire, wooden pallets, random metal rods, broom sticks, and a couple of plumbing pipes, thrown in for good measure, I guess. Keeping all of this random metal and wood upright, was about 20 years of overgrown bushes, twigs, and vines... all intertwined into the fence, half living, half dead wood. Now, just to be clear, I did not make the Kludge Fence, it was here when I moved in.  It has always overwhelmed me and has made me hate yardwork. It is an eyesore, even when it was in full bloom and mostly green.  I decided this spring that it is time for it to go.
I cut away all the vines and branches, unweaving them from the fence as I went, cutting a foot or so at a time in some places. Part of me hated to cut down living plants, but it was such a tangled mess, there was no other way. I bagged up a few dozen yard waste bags and hauled them to the curb over the last few weeks. It all had to be done by hand with pruning shears and cutters, because all of the loose rusty metal jutting out in all directions.  It wasn't possible to just use a chainsaw or something. There are about 4 spots that need to be cut with a saw, and Dad loaned me a small electric one, so I am excited to use that.  I am very eager to pull out all the fence, although I have to wait a while for that, because of the Zoey dog.  I will need a new fence solution in place before I take out the old one.  I talked to the neighbor about splitting the cost of a privacy fence, so we'll see about that.  In any case, I am feeling a lot better about the yard lately.  There is still so much (so, so much) to do, but I feel like I see improvement, so that makes me happy!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. I have been there...It is a chore and a pain but work that must be done. Do not fret about cutting down plants...Everything regrows and now you can train it to suit you and your design. It has taken me 9 years to sort out my back and front gardens. they were a mess to be sure. It is worth it in the big picture. Kudos to you girl friend.

  2. Thanks! It sure would be nice to work on actually growing something I want in the yard. Up until now, it has just been trying to keep up with overgrowth. My friends and I are spending more time outdoors now, grilling food, hanging out, so I want it to be nice. Its a good motivator!