Should wooden fences always be run in a straight line?

Hi,
I've enlisted the help of a friend to run a fence along one boundary side of my property. There's already a hedge along this boundary but it's thin in places and doesn't provide the required level of privacy between my garden and the adjoining public footpath.
The problem is that running a straight piece of string from one side of the proposed fence to the other side cuts off a fair part of the floorspace from my garden (as much as 50-60cm in places) as the existing boundary hedge appears to be curved away from the straight line created by the string.
I believe this can be overcome by dividing the fence into three straight line segments that roughly follow the path of the curve, helping us gain back the majority of lost floorspace. My neighbour, however, thinks that this will look dreadful. Is there some kind of generally understood rule amongst those in the know stating that "wooden fences should always be run in a straight line, otherwise they'll look bad"?
Many thanks
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60cm is about 2 feet. You can't find a way to fill the space using plants?
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Hi Joe,
The problem I have is that the curve of the hedge is such that it curves away as you look at the boundary from the garden. I've drawn a diagram that helps to illustrate the situation better than a thousand words:
http://www.opalise.co.uk/fence.gif
So the patch of land I'm losing actually becomes inaccessible once the fence is up - the fence is going to be just short of 6 feet (1.8 metres). I'm also concerned about the propsect of this patch filling up with litter and other junk over time.
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So, the hedge is your neighbor's, right? And, where's the property line in that drawing? Or, "other"?
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The hedge is the boundary line of my property. On the other side is a public footpath which technically belongs to nobody in particular but is a designated right of way. So basically the light green part is the only area on which I can arrange my fence. I could pull down the hedge (represented by the dark green) completely but don't fancy exposing my new fence to the spray-can happy individuals that frequent the footpath.
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I agree with Ricodjour, then. Segments arranged well. As far as the neighbor, is this just someone with an opinion? Who's putting a gun to their head and making them look at it?
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Thanks for all the feedback folks. I didn't make it clear in the original post, but the friend and neighbour are one and the same. He lays paving slabs for a living but knows a ton of other stuff as well.
So the only remaining dilemma is whether laying down the fence in three segments according to the curve of the hedge will provide enough of a curve for the eventual layout not to look 'crooked'. The length of the fence will be in the region of 20 metres, and the maximum distance between the theoretical straight line and the hedge is around 60cm (maybe a little more). Although it doesn't sound like a great deal, when spread over that length it amounts to a fair-sized surface area. Tricky decision, this...
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Where I am in CA, there are codes for fences, and you have to have a permit (even to rebuild an existing fence) though the permit costs nothing. I would check with your city first to make sure that if your neighbor complains, the fence won't have to come down. Good luck.
Cheri
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On 24 May 2006 10:12:58 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@opalise.co.uk wrote:

Move the hedge.
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I had a similar problem with my backyard, in fact I put my fence up in 5 straight pieces in the manner shown here. ___________________________ ___/ rock water fountain rock \\____
I then put 2 nice rock gardens in the middle inset with a bench and water fountain in the middle. The inset is about 21 feet long. My total backyard is 88 feet wide. Maybe the same can work for you, I have received many compliments on mine and many people think it was designed that way when it actuality then fence is hiding the stump of a huge tree, huge boulders and a guide wire support for a nearby power line.
snipped-for-privacy@opalise.co.uk wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@opalise.co.uk wrote:

Straight fences are easiest. Slightly non-straight looks crooked. Curved/segmented like you mean it - done by design - is perfectly acceptable. Can look quite nice and only takes a little longer to layout and install.
Don't kill the hedge by building the fence right on top of it. Since you mentioned privacy, I assume this is apparently wood/vinyl fencing. Depending on the system, you may want to use round posts to simplify installation.
R
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It's your fence, if 3 straight sections sits fine with you then I say go for it. Personally I would consider planting a new, fast growing, heavier hedge.
--
Mac Cool

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