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I am trying to find some type of sturdy yet bendable tubing in some kind of metal that I can shape into this type of fence in the photos below. I am trying to protect a sidewalk garden in front of our home by discouraging people from walking onto my flower beds. I'd like something at least an inch or more thick and I plan on priming it and painting it white so that it matches the color of the house but more importantly, so that it can be seen at night time so people don't trip over it.

Here are images I've seen online. But to buy something like this already made would be costly. Plus I try to make as much as I can by hand because I take pride in being crafty. So I'm hoping that there is something I can cut and bend to the shape I want and place them in the ground. I want the sides of the hoops to be no more than 12-16" wide, give or take. I like the aspect ratio the most in this first photo below.

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Here is a pic of my sidewalk garden. I am putting taller stanchions along the sides and back (toward the curb) but want to do this smaller "hoop" design in the front and along the two pathways I created that are in the middle. You can't see them because the plants are too tall. But this hoop idea is pretty much my only option because our home is on a hill. You can sort of tell by the photos I took below. Take notice of the vertical stair railing in the bottom photo to get more perspective on the slope of the sidewalk. So placing something like this individually to allow for the elevation to one side would be ideal. I won't do longer garden fence panels because then the vertical portion would look crooked. I see some people do this in gardens that are on hills and I don't like that look at all.

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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Here's a video of my garden, by the way to help give better perspective:

My sidwealk garden

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    What country are you in? – Graham Chiu Mar 22 '18 at 22:50
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    I put "USA" in the title of my post to let people know I'm in America. Is there another area where I should post my country to let people know where I'm from? – Adrien Mar 22 '18 at 23:48
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    Yes, in your profile, add your hardiness zone ( and state if you wish ). However, most people won't look at your profile and will ask for this information in the body of your question. – Graham Chiu Mar 22 '18 at 23:57
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Most people appear to use metal electrical conduit for loop houses, and this can be purchased in most major home improvement stores.

To bend it to the right curvature, you can purchase pipe benders on Amazon or other major online retailer. They're a system of clamps and you can use the length of the pipe to obtain the necessary leverage to bend the conduit. They're built specifically for making hoop houses but should do the same job for you.

If yours is going to be exposed to the elements instead of covered in plastic, you might want to consider painting after before you plant them.

  • Hi, Graham. Are you talking about something like this? [5]: i.stack.imgur.com/yixsO.jpg It looks like the benders are pretty pricey. Maybe I'll find a good deal online as you suggested. – Adrien Mar 23 '18 at 9:18
  • hoopbenders.net – Graham Chiu Mar 23 '18 at 9:50
  • Thanks for that link. I was at that site a long time ago. It looks like the smallest loop one can make is 3ft wide. That is WAY too big for my needs. I want to make "U" loops where poke the ends into t he ground and are no more than 13-15" from side to side. I don't think that site has what I'm looking for. – Adrien Mar 23 '18 at 10:24
  • You can make your own curve template for metal conduit by laying out a piece of plywood, drawing the line you want, screwing in nails about 1 inch apart along the curve, using an extra screw near the start to anchor in the pipe and then bending the rest of it around by pulling on the end. Not sure it will work at that small of a radius, but it's worth a try. – greggles Jun 25 '18 at 15:00
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To use PVC pipe, you can bend it to the shape you want with a PVC Pipe Bender which consists of a heater of some sort which makes the pipe flexible. I have a small electic sleeve which I slip over the PVC. With this you can bend the pipe around a jig so you get the same shape every time. Let it cool and there you go.

When I've used this sort of thing I anchored it by driving 3/8" rebar into the ground vertically and slipping the pvc pipe over it. Might not be best for a potentially high traffic area.

Good luck!

  • Wow, this sounds great. I will have to look into this. I had no idea there was such a thing as a PVC pipe bender. I have no idea about the electric sleeve so I will do a search online to learn more about it. I hope the information is easy to find. – Adrien May 8 '18 at 1:52
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I was surprised to find I actually LIKE this little 'fence'. Do people actually walk IN your bed? You've got a vibrant colorful collection!

The top picture has the best diameter and placement. The lower picture the rods are too skinny. I love the rust color. That will allow your plants to be the focus. White comes forward. Black recedes. Your collection is beautiful but adding a white little fence will make it look way too cluttered, busy and the only thing people will see, can't be helped, is a glaring little fence.

Just thought I'd offer that up. I can see that top photo's fence being a perfect addition to this bed. Yes, you can see the white at night but to not see the white would make someone much less comfortable getting near your plants.

Here is an idea for material that you could spray paint with rust antiquing that really looks great, uniform and would enhance your bed, protect it but not distract from it. 1/2" would be similar to the upper photo's thickness of metal. It bends down to 3" radius which should be more than sufficient for your fence. Cut lengths that include at least one foot on either end to be shoved into the soil.

By being brutally anal with measurements, your little barrier fence will look professional, stable and consistent. No guessing. Mark off measurements on the sidewalk with chalk. I would string a line at the top height of the fence to keep each and every section of curve either level or identical in height to all the other curves.

flexible steel conduit

Please allow your creeping thyme to organically cover the straight edge of the sidewalk. Softens that line...seems to be healthy and happy covering the soil, reducing weeds and helping to hold moisture in the soil. Is it woolly thyme?

I do not like structured 'edging' usually. This particular little fence has won my heart. Please, keep it rust, don't do white. Hey, I went to school to be able say this stuff, grins!! I'd also redo that post and chain to match in rust.

One other thought, 'up lighting' using spot lights could vastly enhance the power of this bed as well as protect it. Do not use cheapo lighting fixtures. You do not want to see the fixture, just what the fixture lights up. You don't want people to see bulbs, too bright, and will be disorienting. Putting a spot light on your palm for instance would make enough ambient light for people to easily see the walkway. Lighting is powerful as long as you do it so you never see the light fixtures. Up lighting, down lighting, spot lighting back lighting...very much worth the money in any landscape.

  • I look at the second photo and all I am able to see is a nightmare line trimming the edge of that lawn...! – stormy Mar 22 '18 at 22:49
  • That's not grass, that's a sedum which is just a ground cover. As far as your idea to not use white, I agree but at nighttime there is no streetlamp on our side of the street. So I am wanting to do white so that people see the border as an obstacle to avoid. I love the old rust color too. But at nighttime it could be a hazard for people walking in what is nearly a completely dark street. They won't see dark metal. I also live in an area with lots of college kids who have no respect for personal property. Trust me, they have no problem killing my plants. I think they actually like doing it. – Adrien Mar 23 '18 at 1:23
  • I like your idea about providing much needed light. But we're talking about a sidewalk grass strip that is technically the property of the city. Are you talking about providing solar powered lights that can be placed throughout the garden? That is something I'd love to do. But I am weary of putting out expensive gadgets that people can snag and walk away with. but if you have other suggestions I'd love to hear them. :) – Adrien Mar 23 '18 at 1:32
  • Ugh, unbelievable you have to worry about being ripped off. There are inexpensive solar lights where they take care of themselves. Tough to do spot lighting. You get these bright lights that blind you. I was talking about the second picture you sent of this little fence, the one that you rightly so thought too spread apart and too thin. THAT grass. Your sedum is it? is beautiful. Allow it to grow out onto that walk a bit. Soften the hard edges. Someone walking by who sees one of those solar lights and tries to nip it will trip over your rust colored fence....grins! – stormy Mar 24 '18 at 7:10
  • Put up a fake red dot laser looking light that couldn't be missed. They'll assume they are on security...this security stuff is getting to be a very big deal. People expect it anywhere and everywhere. It is inexpensive as heck to get a few solar powered cameras that feed right into your computer...I had no idea. Maybe you'll learn people walking on your street are upstanding, responsible and care about you? Grins, you would be so very lucky! – stormy Mar 24 '18 at 7:13

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