I love the idea of finding alternative uses for things.  Livestock or utility panel fencing is one such example of this.

Just as the name implies, livestock panel is traditionally used to fence in horses, cows, goats…  It’s made of thick, approximately 4 gauge, welded galvanized wire.  The grid or mesh openings are usually 2″ x 4″ or 4″ x 4″.  I prefer the look of the 4×4.


Above, are just a handful of samples for wire livestock panels used in the garden.

The sketch is a design for a fence panel I built a few months ago.  The beauty of a fence or trellis made of wire mesh is that is creates a barrier and helps to define a space, but also allows light to pace through the garden and passers-by to enjoy the space.  For more privacy the trellis can be used to train a vine growing plant – clematis, roses, green beans, etc…  Utilitarian, clean, modern, resourceful and beautiful, all at the same time.

Gabion bench - NW Bloom Ecological Landscapes

Gabion bench – NW Bloom Ecological Landscapes

Jessie Bloom and her team at N.W. Bloom Ecological Landscapes, have found a fantastic use for wire livestock panel in the garden.  This bench / retaining wall made of wire mesh used to cage in rocks is functional, unique and ties in beautifully with the surrounding landscape.  The rocks pay homage to the Puget Sound region’s relationship to the process of glaciation.  As glaciers grow and retreat, they pick up chunks of sediment and deposit debris.  This sediment is known as glacial till – or as gardeners in the Puget Sound region call it – rocky soil.  What a clever use for not only the wire mess fencing, but also the rock, that no doubt, was found throughout the property.

Author: Courtney Olander