Living Fence

Grapes growing on pool fence.

We have two fences around our pool. One is the safety required fence and the other was a delightful accident! When we bought our home years ago, our daughter was a toddler. The backyard of this existing 1960’s split level came with a pool smack dab in the middle. It proved difficult for a small child to play in this yard. We of course were outside keeping watchful eye over her in the yard but it wasn’t fun when a ball rolled toward the pool or the constant reminding to stay off the pool deck.

We hadn’t lived in home long enough to decide how to fence the pool or even if we liked being pool owners. The house was great and needed lots of repairs which was candy to us architects! The neighborhood was a dream, within walking distance of a great shopping area complete with yogurt shop , groceries and a few trendy restaurants. Sadly the original book store, toy store and show store have since closed but new stores have moved in which keep the area thriving. The pool was the weakest feature of the house since came with the house and we honestly had mixed feelings about it.

One spring weekend many years, my husband ran to Home Depot and returned with a temporary vinyl coated wire fencing. Problem solved we could safely play in the yard until we figured out a grand plan for the backyard! No more balls in the pool or constant warnings.

The magic happened when mowing the yard, my husband causally moved the one Concord grape-vine we had snaking across the yard onto the temporary pool fence. It went wild! Delightfully it sprang around the pool fence. More vines have been since grown from the original. It does takes some maintenance  to keep it healthy  and trimmed. In a few weeks with the cooler weather the leaves will start to fall and expose the pool and fence again. Some years if we time it right before the birds and squirrels get them we have bushels of beautiful purple grapes for jam and juice.

My kids and their friends find it great fun to swim, jump out, pick a grape, eat it and jump back in the pool! For a few days a year the entire yard has the scent of grape Kool-Aid. My favorite part is the natural privacy enclosure the fence provides. With the large pine tree overhead and the large green grape leaves it makes me feel on vacation for a few moments while I leisurely float and all I can see is nature. The neighbors’ houses are completely screened. Sometimes I feel far, far away from the suburbs  of Kansas watching  clouds, seeing the trees, blue sky and enjoying the vibrant green living fence!


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