Fences are important for dividing properties and keeping creatures either in or out. However, fences are not always appealing to the eye, especially if they're made of chain link. To hide a fence and make it decorative or even a part of your landscape design, plant a climbing vine or two at the base of the fence.
Bougainvillea is an aggressive flowering vine native to South America and Mexico. This vine thrives in sunshine and has a reputation for being nearly indestructible. Bougainvillea grows woody stems and long, vining sprouts that bear deep green leaves and papery flowers of red, pink, orange, purple or white. Plant bougainvillea in rich, quick-draining soil and water it deeply once a week. Bougainvillea does best in full sun and is a good choice if your fence is in a sunny spot.
Trumpet vines are equally aggressive in the garden. Doug Green's Beginner-Gardening.com calls this plant a "thug-like" vine that will grow "almost anywhere." Like bougainvillea, trumpet vines are bushes that grow vines with long, woody stems. The vines bear broad, bright green leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers in red and orange. Plant trumpet vines in almost any soil, and water them once a week with 2 to 3 inches of water. Trumpet vines grow well in both sun and partial shade, though shade may keep them from flowering as well.
Grow ivy if your chain link fence is in the shade rather than the sun. According to the Garden Helper, ivy will actually burn in bright sunshine, and prefers sheltered areas. Ivy grows on vines that put out aerial roots to help support the plant. Leaves are deep green and sometimes mottled with red, white or yellow, depending on the type of ivy. Plant ivy in compost or loam to give it especially good drainage, and water it once a week. Fertilize established ivy every other month with 10-10-10 fertilizer.