In many parts of the rural United States horizontal fences have been a fixture for years — called prairie fences, they can be seen gracing the boundaries of bluegrass horse farms in Kentucky and cornfields in Iowa. But today horizontal fences are an emerging trend in backyard/garden decor in many urban areas. The reasons for this upswell in popularity are not hard to figure out. Because of their geometric pattern they can make a small backyard garden look much larger and more arresting. They look good on either side (important if you have picky neighbors.) Long story short, a line of horizontal fencing is a great way to perk up the look of a tired-looking yard, even one that isn’t much bigger than a postage stamp.

Some tips to make sure your horizontal garden fence gives maximum satisfaction:

Make sure the ground is level. Unlike vertical fencing, which can easily compensate for uneven ground, horizontal fencing must be installed on level ground — otherwise the strips will bend and become permanently warped.

Don’t disdain vinyl fencing strips and posts. This is especially true if you plan to leave your horizontal fence up for many years. Vinyl comes in many appealing wood tones nowadays and it will last for dozens of years without rotting or needing a paint job.