A picket fence is a variety of fence that has been used mostly for domestic boundaries. It is particularly popular in the United States, where the style has been used since the First Period, and remains popular in current times. Often the fence is painted white (or whitewashed) and made of wood, although modern versions may use plastic that resembles wood. The style is characterized as short with a tapered or pointed top on evenly spaced vertical boards, called pickets.
The fence can be assembled from prefabricated sections, where the posts of each section are posted into the ground but the pickets or boards that make up the fence wall are not inserted into the ground.
A picket fence, ideally white, is seen by some as a symbol of the ideal middle-class suburban life, with a family, children, large house and peaceful living. This stems from the fact that houses in quiet, middle-class neighborhoods often have a picket fence around the garden. In recent years, some people have associated picket fences with what they regard as the more negative aspects of this lifestyle. For example, the director David Lynch uses ironic images of the picket fence in his 1986 film Blue Velvet.