How to install your own aluminum fence

It’s really not as difficult as some people think to install their own aluminum fence… be it for around their backyard or for around their swimming pool.

The hardest part is the actual digging of the holes. They’re usually 2′ into the ground with a diameter of about 6″. You can use a standard post hole digger or make the process easier by using a hydraulic auger.

Before you start digging all the post holes (usually 72.5″ on center for a residential fence), make sure you mark off where your gates are going to be located. Keep in mind before digging your gate holes, that a 4′ wide gate is usually measured as the opening size from the inside edge of one gate post over to the near side of the other gate post.

More information about hanging a gate can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.

All the aluminum fence sections come pre-assembled and are ready to install. Once the post is in the ground, slide the fence rails into the holes in the posts and secure them with a self-tapping screw that goes into the post and through the rail inside of the post. Do this for each rail. Once that’s done, you can pour concrete into the post hole that you previously dug out. Time to move to the next hole and repeat the process.

To make sure that all the posts are in a straight line, tie a string to a stake and hammer it in the ground 1′ past or behind the one end or corner post with the other end connected to a stake in the ground 1′ past the last end or corner post in that line. Make sure that each post is right next to the string, but not touching it. Also make sure that each post is plumb by checking each side with a level… before the concrete has a chance to dry.

Continue this for each straight run of fence before attempting to hang the gate.

Further aluminum fence and gate installation instructions can be found in the link at the bottom of this page.

We hope you found this information helpful.

For more information about purchasing your own aluminum or vinyl fence, visit our website below.

We have some very unique styles of aluminum fence that are made from American aluminum extrusions and then fabricated in North Carolina, USA… to make them completely American made and assembled. Not very many of our competitors can say they same.

Some Fine Ferns

Ferns are something of a British institution, being one of the most common members of most of our forest and woodland based eco systems. Ferns are also an extremely diverse family of plants, as they can be suited to a variety of different weather conditions and situations, and varieties can be found for virtually any garden. In this piece well be discussing a small selection of varied ferns that can be raised in the domestic British garden and the conditions required to ensure they maintain good health.

Top Five Ferns:

1. Asplenium scolopendrium

More commonly referred to as Harts Tongue Fern, Asplenium scolopendrium is an evergreen fern which will form a dense bouquet of arching, leathery, deep green fronds with frilled edges. It propagates by way of the spores that develop on the underside of its leaves, identifiable by the stripes they form on the leafs surface. Grow in humus-rich, moist, but well-drained soil. Due to their vulnerability to sunlight, it is imperative that they are grown in at least partial shade and they also prefer a neutral or alkaline ph. level.

2. Athyrium niponicum

This fern is a particularly beautiful as one can tell from its titular description, Silver Falls, the Japanese Painted Fern, as it is also known, has a beautiful silver tint to its leaves and fronds made particularly vibrant by sunlight, which makes it such a shame that it can only be successfully sustained in full shade! It is also deciduous, although it will maintain this colour throughout all seasons on finely divided, lance-shaped leaves. For best results these should be planted in shade, in moist, fertile soil with an acidic ph. level.

3. Dicksonia antarctica

The first tree to make it onto our list, with the potential to reach about six metres tall, Dicksonia antarctica has a brown, fibrous trunk and broad, arching deep-green fronds. It should be planted in a shady position, preferably under other deciduous trees. Ensure the stem remains well watered in the summer season but avoid watering the crown in winter as this will increase the likelihood of frost damage. Plant in an acidic, loamy soil, ensure that it is not too exposed, particularly in colder areas and stuff the crown with straw in winter to protect it from frost.

4. Matteuccia struthiopteris

The Ostrich Fern, or as it is sometimes more descriptively known Shuttlecock Fern, is a deciduous one, with huge erect rosettes with an outer layer of bright green fronds enclosing smaller brown fronds, it will also bear non-edible cream coloured fruit in the summer and has a clump-forming, spreading habit. It is excellently suited for water or pond based gardens. Like the Dicksonia they are suited to an acid based soil content, but prefer extremely wet conditions in partial shade.

5. Polystichum setiferum

Also known as the Soft Shield Fern, these evergreens should be treated with extreme care due to the feathery nature of their leaves and thus respective weakness against the elements, they should be planted in a cool, moist and shady area. However the one advantage of these ferns is that they are fairly indiscriminate to whichever soil they are planted in, not minding acid or alkaline ph. levels.

And there we have it, a variety of ferns for a variety of locations and although they share the common characteristic of vulnerability to the elements, remember, they also share another which is key to your reason to plant them – beauty.

Something Fungal This Way Comes…

The gardening headlines this week have been plastered with the threat of two new diseases that could potentially devastate Europes indigenous tree population.

In southern France, along the famous Canal du Midi, a plan has been in motion since last winter that will see the felling and destruction of 42,000 plane trees in the region. This is due to the arrival of Ceratocystis platani, a disease that, since the 1970s, has been blitzing across Europe, originating in Italy. It is believed the blight, endemic to North America, was brought across the ocean by U.S. soldiers in World War Two. While the Midi, perhaps due to its recently endowed world heritage title, is certainly the most noticeable among the losses, the disease has also become prevalent in Switzerland, Germany and Greece, where it now threatens a vast percentage of the original Plane population.
The Canal, a world renowned tourist attraction, was originally designed as an economic conduit that allowed the merchants of old to bypass the treacherous Atlantic Ocean en route to the Mediterranean Sea. However, in a somewhat ironic twist, the original species of Mississippi Plane that have successfully adapted to this affliction are being imported in great numbers in order to replace one of the Canals main attractions. Unfortunately, while Toulouse can cater to their favoured humid environment, it is unclear whether this species will be viable to supplement the depletion that chillier areas of the continent have suffered.
The threat does not stop in Toulouse however – given the virility of the affliction, tree pathologist Steve Woodward (University of Aberdeen) agrees that it poses a grave threat to the urban based Planes of cities like Paris and London. It is the Plane that so commonly and attractively lines our city streets.
“We are talking about a massive disaster here if it continues to spread,” he says.
The disease is a fungal infection that, once exposed to the roots of the organism, will completely overrun it within 3-5 years and due to the damage this causes to the plants integrity, it is imperative that it be removed, lest it should fall and endanger passers-by in doing so. The disease is characterized by cankerous sores appearing on the inner bark of the tree, as well as an accelerated decline in both the quality and density of the plants foliage. No wound to the outer bark is too great or small to escape it and contact equals instant infection.

In addition to this threat from abroad, a new menace has been identified in rural Devon as a potential watershed moment for the diminishment of our domestic Yews and Lawson Cypresses in the form of Phytophtora lateralis. Identifiable by the patchy colouring of its trunk, a tree will also often exhibit slightly lighter foliage in places followed by out of season autumn colours. The tree will succumb soon after, as this foliage deterioration signals that the tree has become totally infected. While certain soil drenches can be utilized in the earlier stages of the disease, these will likely prove ineffective once it has advanced past the root structure; aside from which, use of these drenches on a mass scale would likely cause further environmental concerns and prove something of a pyrrhic victory.

Due to this increasing encroachment of pests and diseases, a body has been established to specifically target incoming detriments to our native plant life. This group, known as the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Action Plan, has been allocated seven million pounds with which, over the next three years, they will attempt to exert a tighter control on the intrusion of foreign fungi and pathogens that threaten the endemic population.
“If we don’t act now, we could end up with a similar situation to the 1970s when more than 30 million trees in the UK died [as a result of] Dutch elm disease.”
-Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.
The key responsibilities of the plan will include the monitoring of exotic plants allowed to cross British borders, as well as increasing the knowledge and awareness of currently existing domestic threats.

Gardening Around the World The Top Ten Gardens to Visit Part 1!

As gardening is such a global pursuit, is important that those of us who hold an interest in horticulture should be encouraged to pursue the purveyors of the crafts excellence and to the ends of the earth if possible! With summer holidays approaching, we now have an opportunity to tailor any excursions we might be planning in order to realize this goal. So, weve compiled a list below, which in our opinion, best reflects the champions of green fingery around the world, based on the qualities of aesthetic, ambition, innovation and technique.

Although our list maybe different from yours, and yours from aunty Janes, weve tried to include the widest possible range of disciplines and cultures that best reflect the multinational art form that is gardening.

So in no particular order

1.Le Chteau de Versailles (France)

Topping more or less every list going and the last word in French formal gardening, which prizes order over natural formation, and pristine and exacting symmetry, is prodigal designer Andre Le Notres masterpiece. Designed and constructed during the reign of King Louis XIV and unique for its use of foundations which litter the 800 acre site and whose original hydraulics are still in use today.

2.Katsura Imperial Palace (Japan)

Its no secret that Im a sucker for the Japanese garden style, but this bias by no means detracts from the majesty and grandeur that is the Katsura royal garden, designed over five hundred years ago by then prince Toshhihito, with the aid of a tea master-come-horticulturalist. It is the most famous and thorough representation of the Japanese water garden and has been asserted as the most complete example of the countrys culture anywhere.

3.Villa Lante (Italy)

The Villa Lante is probably Italys foremost example of renaissance gardening. Construction began around 1566 under the direction of Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola and later improved upon by Tommaso Ghinucci ,who oversaw the design of the gardens renowned fountains and water grottos. Another famous aspect of the garden is the progressively descending plateaus of water, serving as a fluid stairway, and it is for this reason that Ghinuccis involvement was so paramount, as without his engineering expertise, the fluid perfection of the fountains could not be achieved.

4.Huntington Botanical Gardens (United States)

Henry Huntington procured the San Marino ranch at the turn of the century and successfully converted the land into a kind of a gallery of different garden designs, including a famous section devoted to lily ponds. It houses over 14,000 species of plants and its desert area is home to the largest collection of Aloe outside of its endemic Africa. Other themes covered in the garden are European formality and Japanese minimalism.

5.Stourhead (England)

Made famous by the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Stourhead really is a relic of English tradition. Originally established in the 18th century, it is also one of the largest sites on our list, at over 1000 hectares. It houses its own village, Palladian Mansion and forest. The real beauty of this place stems from its inspiration – as the scenes there depict, its designer took much from the pastoral poetry and art that was popular at the time and tried to evoke those themes by erecting circular temples and naming features of the garden for characters from the Greek tradition.

Tune in next week for more inspirational gardens from around the world!