For the last couple of years, I've been on a rampage against the traditional privacy fence, which looks something like this:I guess there's nothing really wrong with it--it's wood, it provides privacy so it does the job, and you can stain it to look more attractive. It's just so commonplace, and it looks like a stockade to me; very imposing and uninspiring. Would it really be that much more difficult to do something like this:Place the boards horizontally and alternate them with aluminum pipe. I like that the fence still provides privacy without being overbearing and unfriendly; there are spaces for vines to grab hold as well. Beautiful, clean and contemporary! Here's another fence using horizontal boards but without the pipe:And this one is so cool--the aluminum strip panel really adds some dimension and artfulness to an otherwise traditionally-styled basketweave fence:I've seen some other great ideas around town--like a guy who built horizontal board fences using reclaimed wood from construction sites, so that each piece was a different length and width, all stained a beautiful teak color. Or the fence that had an occasional window in it to give the passersby a glimpse of the garden beyond. You get the idea--think outside the Vertical Yawn Fest of the traditional privacy fence! You can have both privacy and style; there's no need to choose. With a little forethought and creative juice, your fence can be an artful accessory or even a focal point in your garden rather than a boring salute to conformity!