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Good boundaries make good gardens.



Although many will be familiar with the popular idiom, “Good walls make good neighbours” and interpret this as good walls are the basis for ensuring a good sense of privacy within our individual gardens. However it should be noted how the appearance and quality of wall finish does have an impact on how we see the garden and ultimately how we enjoy the area. Drab walls contribute little to overall atmosphere and many can cause upset but drab walls can be re-juvenated with sand and cement rendering and with a painted colour finish can help create a more pleasing and stimulating atmosphere in the garden.  A more often difficult and frustrating challenge is tackling the very intrusive appearance of what is best described as adhoc constructed boundary wall(s) often poorly constructed with concrete blocks and finished with lots of irregular edges, levels, verticals and heights and until these issues are tackled and rectified the ugly coarse aspect of such garden walls will be a constant and annoying interference which will significantly reduce the overall visual appeal of the garden and therefore negatively impact the potential enjoyment.

The following example will illustrate a typical situation in which a good size sub-urban garden shares a boundary with adjoining gardens and in this instance there are gardens from four neighbouring properties. On close examination we can clearly see how significant the quality, finish and heights of the shared boundary walls do vary. In order to remedy this problem, several options can be considered. Sometimes a popular solution involves the demolition and rebuilding a new boundary wall, but this can involve a great deal of disruption and considerable expense which is not always practicable or feasible. Alternatively, rendering the existing walls with a sand and cement plastered finish would certainly help to improve the appearance but would not entirely remove all of the defective aspects and adding more blocks would help to reduce the discrepancies in wall heights.


The preferred solution however which was cost effective, more efficient and least disruptive was to clad the existing walls with pressure treated timber boards. The results had immediate impact and effectively concealed much of the unsightly aspects of the original wall finishes. The result provides for a more consistent finish and unified height along the boundary line. Previous characteristics of the unsightly and inconsistent aspects of the original walls were replaced with a tidy and more harmonious finish to create a much improved and more pleasing garden boundary essential for creating a more relaxing garden atmosphere. The timber clad boundary wall was also enhanced with a painted finish to provide a stunning colourful backdrop to complement the garden planting.


This example illustrates how garden boundaries are important elements of garden design and the key role of a consistent and well finished garden wall or fence is necessary to create a visually coherent and appealing backdrop which looks and feels more relaxed.  Good walls may create good neighbours but it is certainly true that good boundaries are essential to make good gardens.

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