The Picket Fence Dream

A picket fence quickly and easily transforms a garden bed, and it is functional too.

What you need:

Picket fence sections to match the space you’re fencing.

75mm gum poles (about 300mm longer than the height of the fence you’re installing)

5 x 50mm screws (we prefer Tek screws)


Spade, cordless drill driver, driver bit, builders line, line level, spirit level.

To do:

Step 1
Starting at a corner, dig a hole about 300mm deep and install a gum pole by backfilling the soil and stamping it down. Make sure it is level.
Step 2
Install another pole at the end of the first straight section you are fencing. Attach the builders line to the first pole and this pole using small nails, and use the builders line and level to make sure the first and last poles are level.
Step 3
Use a section of fence as a measure and mark where another gum pole needs to go approximately 1.2m from the first one. You want the fencing to come half-way across the gum pole.
Step 4
Dig a hole and install this next gum pole, using the builder’s line to make sure it is level. You can leave the second gum pole loose in the hole and make it secure after you’ve attached the fence.
Step 5
Screw the first section of fencing to the two gum poles using the 50mm Tek screws, checking that the fencing panel is level using a spirit level.
Step 6
Repeat the above process. When you get to the end of a section or another corner, you can cut the fence section to fit the remaining gap.
Step 7
To install a gate you’ll need two gum poles about 800mm apart. Install the first pole properly and screw the gate’s hinges to it. Then install the second pole to correctly fit the gate.

Which fence?

We chose this particular fence because it is made of treated saligna timber. Saligna, which comes from an exotic gum tree species, is a sustainable hardwood and is far stronger than pine. It is more resistant to weather and pest damage, and so is far more long-lived.

It comes in 1.2m lengths and in four heights: 300mm, 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. Matching gates (780mm wide) in all four sizes are also available.

The Gardener