The last thing you want to be focussing on when you are enjoying time-out in the garden is a boring blank wall or fence in your backyard. Sunshine Coast backyards are an integral part of coastal living and entertaining, so the outlook needs to be lush and inviting.
However, as fences are a necessity we have come up with a few ideas on how to turn a fence or blank wall from an eye-sore into an interesting feature or focal point in your landscape design. Thankfully there are plenty of options available from the budget conscious right through to the upmarket architecturally designed.
Probably the easiest option for the DIY project is to add some plants. There are a couple of different possibilities here.
The best way to disguise an ugly wall with plants is to use them as a hedge. An added advantage of this solution is that the hedge makes a great backdrop for future planting.
In our coastal environment we have found that Lilly Pillies and Murrayas work excellently as hedging plants.There are a lot of Lilly Pillies to choose from but we have found that the varieties Cascades and Australe work the best.
Another great option would be the use of pots with or without plants in them. They can be strategically placed along the fence or wall and do a great job of providing interest.
If you are limited with space in your backyard how about the ‘on trend’ option of including a green wall to your fence or wall.
A simple and cheap option to jazz up a fence is to add a few small pots to your wall and grow something hardy like succulents in them.
If you want to go the whole hog and do an entire green wall, there are many DIY kits on the market that you can assemble yourself.
IF you are looking for something that will add a bit of an architectural flair, why not try an espalier vine or other plant. This is a great option if you are limited on garden space. It is cost effective and vines are fast growing and give great coverage rapidly.
There are many different espalier designs and types of plant, including citrus and camellias that will suit your particular style of home. A criss-cross style can be really effective; or for a more contemporary style try a simple strand of wire placed vertically that allows the vine to travel upwards. At Living Style Landscapes we have been experimenting with a type of climbing maidenhair fern and have achieved spectacular results.
Decorative screens are another really simple way to funk up a fence. The choice when it comes to screens is huge, ranging from the simple DIY timber screens that you can hang yourself right through to the more complex custom –made steel screens.
For added impact try up-lighting the screens or placing coloured panels behind them to really make them pop.
There is some great metal art available now and we have some talented artists, such as Broadcroft Designs, right here on the coast. Metal art is a fantastic way of jazzing up a fence and its as easy as hanging it!
Mirrors are probably something that you wouldn’t normally consider for your garden but when space is limited, mirrors can have an amazing effect by reflecting the landscape thus making the area appear much larger than it is.
Why not incorporate a day bed into your design. This will not only break up your ugly wall but also have the added bonus ofproviding a lovely little spot to chill out in your yard.
As shown there are many options available but don’t think you are limited to just using one of these, a combination of a few works a treat too. The photo above is of a boring pool wall that needed a serious overhaul. At Living Style Landscapes we decided to combine a few different elements of the suggestions above, incorporating a green wall, daybed, stone, trees and screens to soften the wall. The resulting outcome (see below) not only provided an excellent solution for our client but it also went on to become an award winning project.