Fences and Walls as Features for Garden Privacy

Stone Wall

Image by sobriquet.net via Flickr


These are purely utilitarian, serving to mark a boundary or to hide some unsightly object. They are usually, by their very nature, unattractive objects, but they need not remain so. Most types of fencing lend themselves to having plants trained against them. Solid fences are ideal for training roses and other climbing plants against, while mesh fences are ideal for growing twining plants. Ivies, especially the variegated forms, are excellent for covering north-facing fences.

Of the different types of fencing available, fences of galvanised wire mesh are probably the least durable, though they are not so obtrusive as fences of the more solid variety. Of the longer-lasting types, close-boarded oak fencing is the best: it will last for a life time, but is considerably more expensive than most of its alternatives. Split oak is more durable than sawn oak. Larch, pine, fir and deal are alternatives, but they all need regular treatment with preservatives, and even then will not last so long as oak. Interwoven fencing can be bought in prefabricated sections of varying heights and lengths, and is usually supplied with posts and fittings. The panels should be fitted between the posts, not on one side only.


A well-built brick or stone wall, particularly when it has had time to mellow, is a great asset to a garden but in view of its high cost usually an uneconomic proposition.

Fences and hedges usually do just as well in providing privacy or hiding unsightly objects, so the expense can seldom be justified. The average gardener can easily erect a wall up to 3 feet on his own, but he would be unwise to attempt anything higher unless he is an experienced bricklayer.

Low walls, two or three feet high, are often used to mark the boundary across the front of a garden: they are also useful where something permanent is needed to separate a patio from the rest of the garden. Other materials than brick can be used for low walls, and it is very often a good idea to use local, traditional building materials where these occur: among such materials are random stone, flint, both either dressed or not, and sea-washed pebbles in coastal areas.

A type of walling rapidly gaining in popularity is the pierced wall, often known as Italian walling.

The effect is more that of a screen than of a solid wall, and in small gardens the lightness and airiness of such pierced walls is much to be preferred to the heaviness of a solid brick wall. Manufacturers now produce pierced wall blocks in a wide variety of patterns.

06. September 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Boundaries - Hedging, Fencing, Gardening Ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fences and Walls as Features for Garden Privacy


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