Broken fence became wall for charming outdoor room

arbor entrance to seating area
A broken fence was replaced by the sturdy back wall in this outdoor room at the home of Matt and Tashia Tribo in Kenmore. The Tribos’ garage at left and their neighbor’s garage at right act as walls. The room is separated from the rest of the backyard by the short fence in front. Just past the gate, screened by some of the many plants, is a fish pond. Notice the lattice on the fence and on the top of the back wall. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

A wooden fence used to separate this backyard from a parking lot. Unfortunately, plows clearing the lot shoved snow against the fence, and the snow won.

Matt and Tashia Tribo of Kenmore replaced the collapsed fence with a cinder block wall and coated it with a veneer of stucco. The wall, which is as beautiful as it is functional, is part of a charming outdoor room.

The Tribos’ garage and their neighbors’ garage act as the side walls of the room. An arbor covered in grape vines provides the ceiling. A short, lattice fence with a gate creates the final wall and doorway.

Even though it’s a small area, it’s filled with tall plants. Instead of being overwhelming, the height of the plants adds to the cozy feeling. The area even has a small pond with fish!

The Tribos make wine from the Niagara grapes grown on the arbor. It takes 60 to 70 pounds of grapes to make 4 or 5 gallons of wine.

They also make beer with hops from their yard.

The Tribos shared their yard on the Ken-Ton Garden Tour in July.

seating area with grape vines in Kenmore NY
The back wall is made of cinder blocks with a stucco veneer. Grape vines wind around the lattice and columns. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
pond in Kenmore NY
A beautiful pond adds to the tranquility of the seating area. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
grapes with lattice background
Plump Niagara grapes hung on the vines along the lattice in July. Unfortunately, rats later attacked the grapes, so the Tribos had to harvest early. They will have to wait a few months to find out how the wine turned out. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
grapes on garage in Tonawanda NY
Their landscape isn’t large, but the Tribos manage to find places to grow plants. Concord grapes, which can be used in grape pie, stretch above the garage door. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
arbor entering backyard in Kenmore NY
Another arbor creates an entrance from the driveway to the backyard. The arbor is set in a pair of raised beds where the couple grows vegetables. To the right are the hops that Matt Tribo uses to make beer. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
trunk of large old tree in Kenmore
When the Tribos had to take down a large, 100-year-old tree, they hired a company. The company cut off the branches, but didn’t have the tools to cut down the trunk. No other company would take on the job, so Matt used a lumberjack crosscut saw to take off the large section you see on the ground, then spent hours with a chainsaw taking pieces off that large section. He’s not done yet. He’d like to cut slabs off the trunk to make tables. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

6 Comments on “Broken fence became wall for charming outdoor room

  1. Hi Kim, full-grown rabbits should have a hard time getting between the horizontal slats into the raised beds. (Pests, not pets, right?)

  2. I screwed eye-hooks into the fascia boards up by the roof, then threaded the rope through them to a pair of eye-hooks in boards on the ground. The height ranges from about 25-35 feet depending on the slope of the roof. I can feed the rope through to lower them down for harvesting, or use a ladder.

  3. Everything I’ve read says hops need 20 foot minimum height poles or cables to grow on. How did the Tribo’s construct their lines/cables? Are they anchored on the house gutters?

  4. What a charming “room”! The grapes give it a European vibe, plus wine to anticipate! Clever and beautiful use of space.

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