Lace Gardens

I mentioned “gardens in lace” in my space salad post, promising to tell you more.

So …

Believe your eyes.

Those are pics of LACE garden fences.

Yup, lace.

Like a dream come true, right? Doily heaven.

This artistic installment, a collaboration between Swiss landscape architect Anouk Vogel and creative design company De Makers Van, appeared in Amsterdam a few years ago, transforming the courtyard of a city housing block into an ethereal garden of white flowers and lace. It’s no surprise that the location has become a popular spot for wedding photos.

Little did I know …

  1. A) There is a flourishing lace fencing movement, mostly in Europe to date.
  2. B) Lace fencing is not only pretty, it’s pretty big business in places like Belgium and the Netherlands.

Well, now that I know, I hope the trend catches on here in the U.S. Leading the way is the Philadelphia University Design Center, which commissioned De Makers Van to craft a fence segment for their 2009 Lace in Translation exhibition.

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia University Design Center via

Mind you, this “lace” isn’t exactly what it appears to be. If you’re an old-school fabric fanatic like me, you’re thinking needle, cutwork, crochet … but, no.

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia University Design Center via

Rather than stitching thread to form a fence or weaving into an existing chain-link fence, De Makers Van’s creations are actually crafted using mysterious high-end galvanized metal wire that is “knitted” (don’t ask me how) to create lovely—and deceptively dainty—illusions of lace.

Look closely at this fence in Belgium:

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia University Design Center via

Remarkable, isn’t it? There are several more photos of fabulous fences here.

“In our projects, we often combine the sensitive and the small with the powerful, large, and industrial,” explains the De Makers Van team. “Fencing is a sign of how we have modified and cultivated our environment. Like brambles, fences are rising rampantly around us. What would happen if a patch of embroidered wire would meet with, and continue as, an industrial fence? Hostility versus kindness, industrial versus craft.”

A sound artistic sentiment, but I still want one for my garden, don’t you?

Until lace fencing goes mainstream, we may simply have to content ourselves with outbursts of crochet, knitting, and weaving to give our fences festive flair. I’m picturing something along the inspiring lines of Brooklyn yarn bomber London Kaye’s fleeting installments of urban joy:

What a wonderful way to give our yards and gardens a bit of flair all year round.

  1. Cindi says:

    THAT is the most remarkable new development ever! I am in line waiting for one of those right behind you Mary Jane. Wow!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Beautiful , creative, and uplifting! What an artistic endeavor to make our world more beautiful.

    Remember that photo of the knitted collar on the tree in Iceland in front of the wool store? What about crocheting lace to put around a tree for a summer look on a main street? It won’t last like metal, but it would definitely make it statement for the season that could be enjoyed.

    • MaryJane says:

      We have a yarn store here in Moscow and they’ve knitted a sock that’s on the trunk of the tree in front. Adorable. Make sure you tune in Saturday for my “Winnie Asked” post.

  3. Well I actually did have a real lace fence once. Story is that I was growing my seedlings one winter in my living room that had all the sun. The rare ” Sikkim Cucumber” that I had never grown before, just took off and “attacked ” my lace curtains. This was my previous home with long floor to ceiling windows and I had the lace curtains to fit. That cucumber was so tangled up in the curtains that come planting time I had no alternative but to take the curtains down and take them outdoors to the garden and hang them up there, while it continued to grow . Like 20 feet! I ended up sacrificing those curtains but it was worth it to grow those amazing cucumbers.

  4. Darlene Ricotta says:

    That is very pretty, It is about time they beautify chain link fences.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  5. Oh my word. I love that video. She is awesome. My little grand-girl Jillian is learning to crochet so I showed her this video and she just kept saying, “Gram that is so cool” over and over!!! 🙂

    And those lacy chain link fences? Perfection!

    – Dori –

  6. Evelyn Mayo says:

    What a great way to bring a little beauty into a bla bla yard!!

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