I have the same problem, except my fence is wooden (pine). I plan on staining the fence this Summer, but I also want to level the grade and create a garden of sorts in these areas. My whole yard drops down about 2' from where I'd like to level off the slope. I want to make the corners of the yard gardens, and plan on using retaining walls in the front, however, I'm struggling with what I should use up against the wooden fence.
I know wood will rot if it has damp soil leaning against it, and while the staining will protect it some, I know it won't be enough. I'm thinking about stapling plastic pond liner to the top of where the grade will be and lining from that point all the way down to the bottom of the fence and draping it along the ground, while holding it in place with rocks and/or concrete blocks.
Do you think this would be sufficient in protecting the wood? Or would you use the same method as you suggested above, with the chain link fence? Use a stone/concrete block retaining wall for the back?
Sorry, don't want to hijack your thread. I didn't know if I should start a new thread or post under the same recent topic.