Beautiful boundaries for homes

Beautiful boundaries for homes

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer

Boundary walls create a distinct border between your property, that of your neighbours and any other land surrounding your home - but they can also make your home a landmark in the neighbourhood.

Garden walls can be made from traditional solid materials such as brick and stone or materials such as metal incorporating eye-catching features for a more modern look.

You don’t need to use identical materials to those used in your house, but features such as timber cladding, paving, or a dry stack stone chimney could tie in well with boundary walls.

There is no reason why garden walls should be viewed as neutral backdrops for the rest of the space. On the contrary, the walls themselves can become garden focal points, whatever the size of the outdoor area.


For small gardens, the key is to draw the eye from the proportions of the space with some distractions rather than using one solid material.

  • Soften visually substantial materials like brick with climbing plants.
  • To avoid an alley effect in a long and narrow garden, add interesting angles and various levels.
  • Raised beds in a wall break the expanse of brick and form a base for planting as well as seating.
  • Eye-catching panels with intricate designs or a water feature will bring your wall to life.
  • Lateral timber screens provide privacy, and raised planters enable a planting scheme.

Add height

A brick wall can create a sense of privacy, but it can also overwhelm a space and block light in some cases.

Trellises are great for raising low garden walls or fences without encroaching on the space or being too imposing. Climbing plants soften the look, or you can use neat box hedging for a traditional look and structure.

Trellises and hedges are also ideal for exposed sites where solid boundaries might be damaged in strong winds.

Living walls

Living walls are great boundaries for small gardens, adding lush greenery and distracting the eye from compact proportions.

They can be planted with almost anything - from useful vegetables and herbs to a combination of annuals and perennials for year-round colour.

An edible boundary will also provide you with fresh produce. Grape vines can be trained up a wall, and apple, peach and pear trees can all be grown as fans, with branches radiating out from a central trunk or as espaliers with parallel branches. You will need a sun-facing wall for this.


A colourful climbing plant can transform a drab existing wall into a striking feature.

Wisteria, jasmine and climbing roses look and smell good.

Golden shower is a vigorous grower, reaching over 12m, so it is best for large walls. It is evergreen and produces bright orange flowers in winter and spring.


A simple coat of paint over a concrete, brick, or block wall can transform it into an eye-catching feature.

White always looks fresh and is an excellent backdrop for colourful flowers and plants. However, it can show up dirt, so if your garden wall is subject to a lot of wind and sandblasting, opt for a bold colour instead. Be sure to use a specialist exterior paint that won’t peel or flake.

Let your home boundaries be outstanding by implementing the measures listed above.

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