I've been watching the posts at Gardening Gone Wild regarding fences. I am truly amazed at how the difference in a fence can change a yard, an attitude, a planting environment. When we moved into our home about 18 months ago, one of the things that struck us was the fence that wrapped all the way around the lot (1.5 acres) and then an electronic gate that enclosed the driveway. While that was fine for enclosure, it was a bit on the extreme side as far as we were concerned and we felt a bit like we were screaming to our neighbors "don't bother me!", which is exactly the opposite of our attitude to our neighbors.
So we slowly took action. First, we removed the gates on the driveway. Since we had a dog and a toddler, we would need an enclosed, secure space so any change to the fencing would mean adding as well as taking away. We removed the fence along the front of our house, but added fencing along the side to complete the enclosure. We removed the privacy wood fence along the back wrapping along the pool in favor of a more open, metal fence that would allow a better view and more yard.
The result has been amazing. A transformation into a more open interaction with our land and our neighbors, more in tune with our attitude with our surroundings.
old fence around pool
new fence around pool
Old privacy fence running behind pool
New area cleared behind old fence line to create children's play area (fence ran along front of stone wall)
The resulting transformation has been exactly what we wanted. The feeling of openness while in the pool, the more welcoming front exterior of our home, everything seems more in tune with how we want to interact with our land and our neighbors.