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Create Feature Garden Walls

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 19 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Garden Garden Walls Design Retaining

Gardens are beautiful in their own right. But the effective use of garden walls can enhance your garden's natural beauty. They allow you to segment your garden into different outdoor rooms, they provide increased privacy and can even shield you from the bitter north wind.

Why Create a Feature Garden Wall?

There are several reasons why you might want to create feature garden walls in your garden. From a design perspective they can add a great deal of interest to your garden.

Garden walls are often used to create what are essentially outdoor rooms. You can fill each of these rooms with different types of plants or flowers. Retaining walls can also make your garden more interesting by adding different levels. You can visit public gardens or browse landscaping magazines for more creative garden wall ideas.

Garden walls can also enhance your privacy. If you want to relax in your garden without the neighbours constantly looking on, then a plan to create feature garden walls in the right locations can ensure your solitude.

Even summertime breezes can sometimes feel cool in our local climate. Garden walls are very effective in blocking the wind and providing shelter not only for you, but also for your tender plants. It's even possible to create feature garden walls with glass blocks that allow sunlight through while continuing to block the wind.

Materials for Feature Garden Walls

There are so many natural materials available for feature garden walls, enough to give you plenty of ideas and inspiration.

A dry stone wall is a simple garden wall construction method that anyone can master. Slate or shale are good materials to start with because they are flat.

If you want to use other types of stone, get your materials from a builders' supply or quarry, as they can provide stones that have been squared off for building. Even though dry stone garden walls are easy to build, if done well they can last for generations. You may want to add mortar if you are building stone retaining walls.

Brick is another popular choice for garden wall construction. The trick with brick walls is avoiding boredom. A long wall of identical new bricks could look out of place in your garden. An excellent way to avoid this is by using reclaimed materials. Bricks are one of the easiest materials to reuse and the character of reclaimed brick will provide you with an instantly aged garden wall. Keep in mind that a brick wall will probably need a concrete foundation.

Constructing Garden Walls

If you would prefer to watch your garden walls being built instead of building them, you can easily find local garden wall suppliers. They will provide a bespoke garden wall that blends well with your existing landscaping. Garden wall suppliers can often be found online.

Generally speaking, you will not need planning permission when creating feature garden walls. As always, a few exceptions apply. If your proposed wall is higher than two metres, you will need planning permission. Those living in conservation areas or in listed buildings will need to obtain consent to build a new garden wall or demolish an existing wall.

Don't forget to inspect your completed garden wall from time to time. Over time, walls can be weakened by wind, rain, nearby traffic or changes to the wall. If you neglect maintaining your wall, your insurance may not cover you in the event of damage or injury.

The key words for successfully creating feature garden walls are planning and foundation. Planning ahead is absolutely essential when building garden walls. Planning means actually putting stakes in the ground and stretching string along the proposed path of the wall. Any garden wall is only as good as its foundation. Providing a stable, level base will increase the life and beauty of your garden wall.

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