With winter looming in, you may find it easier to renovate your existing, tired looking fence panels, rather than replace them altogether. There are plenty of products out there that can smarten up your garden fence panels, without the expenditure of replacing them. Here are some tips for your consideration:

- The use of trellis can add an attractive style to your existing fence panels. Trellis comes in a range of sizes, or can be made to measure to suit specific requirements. Use trellis on top of a fence panel to add height, or against the sides so that your panels can be covered in attractive climbing plants. It is good to consider what type of climbing plant you will use, as some more aggressive species can actually damage your fence panels. Here is a list of some of the best plants for using with your trellis: 

Hydrangea Petiolaris, which produce white flowers in spring Clemetis, which give white flowers in February Wisteria, which will need pruning as it can get out of control if left unattended Climbing roses, which are available in a range of colours.
- If your panels are in relatively good condition, but are just looking like they need a bit of refreshing, or if you just fancy a change, try using fence paints or stains. These will spruce up your fence without the need for extravagant expense. Consider colours that compliment and match any other garden timber you may have, and be mindful when choosing bright, wacky colours that you might change your mind about later!

- Using post caps and finials on your fence is a great way to smarten up fence panels. You can choose from a range of options and find the colour to match, or paint the caps to suit. When buying post caps or finials, make sure they are a little wider than your posts, to help protect the top from weather damage.

A final point is about the importance of using gravel boards underneath your fence panels. A gravel board prevents the panel from being in direct contact with the ground, which prolongs the life of your fence. If you erect panels without using gravel boards the bottom of the panel will eventually rot and you will need to replace the entire panel. Therefore, gravel boards are a wise and cost effective, long term purchase that will ensure your fence panels stay in good condition for many years.