Some bloggers are very deliberate about the way they choose their subjects, word their text, integrate their photos, and ultimately create each of their posts. I admire the heck out of that, but my own blog is a lot more like my garden--a loosely knit collection of ideas, heavily subject to my whims, with some structure thrown in occasionally for good measure.
In hindsight, I should have taken some "before the fence" pictures for posterity's sake. I have spent so much time aiming around those views, however, that it simply never occurred to me that I might want some now. This picture from June, never posted exactly because I failed to crop out the background, is the best I can do.
In addition to what you see here, my view occasionally included a random assortment of children and neighbors, 2 huge full size trucks, and up to 5 dogs--one of which is always off leash in spite of city regulations, and enjoyed doing his business in my rock garden. (Even though his owners diligently cleaned up after him and he's a sweetheart of a dog, that last fact annoyed me a bit!)
Fast-forward to my current view. The fence effectively removed the clutter beyond my lot line. It provides a much smoother, less distracting backdrop for the garden, and once it's stained in a couple of weeks it will provide some extra color as well.
As far as the color goes, I agree with Craig that gray is underused in gardens, and I've long planned to use a warm gray on the fence. Given my predisposition for contrasts and bright color, this might surprise you a bit... but warm gray will coordinate the fence with the foundation stones and peachy-rust brickwork on the house. Consider also that I'm a practical girl who has learned many things from a 3-year HGTV addiction. Among them, that keeping your big ticket items (couches, carpeting, stockade fencing) a neutral color and using bright pops of color in accessories that you can change out (pillows, vases, annuals, cheap trellising) is a lot easier on your wallet.
And I already have some plans for accessorizing. My wishlist includes a peach tree to espalier, and I am currently drooling over the lovely 'Miss Bateman' clematis thanks to Shirl in the UK. And then, of course, there are the edible peas and fragrant sweetpeas--and the faint hope that I might finally be successful with various squashes if I grow them vertically.
Much of the new fenceline is already spoken for by plants that have been patiently awaiting a planting spot in the yard, however. The espaliered apple wants to be shown off against its flat background, and the 'Himrod White' grapevine was waiting for the fence to be installed so that the exact site of its new arbor could be determined. And the native honeysuckle that I have so admired in Annie's garden really wants to light up this corner of mine.
The more I look at this new fence, the more excited I get! It has all of the feel and promise of a fresh new sketchpad or a blank notebook--and I really have the urge to scribble all over it with plants, so to speak. I may leave some areas blank entirely, however... both in an effort to retain some of that feeling of having the luxury of open space to fill, and to prove that behind that plant material, there is now in fact a smooth backdrop.