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Wall/border makeover

Hi anyone who is interested, I’m looking for ideas and inspiration for what to do with this area! We moved in a few months ago and this is my first proper garden, although had an allotment for years, balcony pots etc. We had no idea this structure was even here when we bought the place, it was completely subsumed by ivy and jasmine overgrowth. This is the first area I think we can makeover properly. We’re having the old rotten trellis at the top replaced by 3ft Venetian-style fence panels (the horizontal slatted type) which will then continue along the rest of the garden wall as well. Other than that the mishmash of brickwork will stay, but we could paint the concrete blocks, to help them blend in or stand out depending on design choice! This is west facing, the garden is north facing overall but this section is far enough from the house that it gets a decent amount of sun. It’ll be a focal point from a few different angles, from the back of the house as well as planning a morning patio right opposite it. There won’t be grass in front eventually, that will become more planting. We’re in London so a pretty warm microclimate for the U.K.; the garden style I envision is eclectic; bright & colourful (jewel, rainbow colours); exotic/cottage fusion; travel/art inspired bits and pieces. I have a Pinterest plant wish list that could fill a nursery; the challenge for me will be curating things to fit spaces. 

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? What would you do with this?



  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Well it's different!
    The border in front is way too narrow for planting so maybe see about getting rid of the grass in front first to make a decent wide border, minimum 3ft deep but 4 ft is best. This would allow you to plant some climbers, roses and or clematis and have perennials in front.
    A mirror in that arch would look good or a colourful mosaic or painting if you are arty?
  • Different yes! And it’s staying so must be embraced :-)

    That’s a concrete path running in front that won’t be going anywhere any time soon (possibly ever), so the bed is the size it is. There was a LOT of growth (too much!) coming out of this bed before, it’s about 18 inches wide. It’s what we have to work with. As well as planting the bed up i think we can use the ledge for pots/troughs to change out with seasonal interest. 

    Mirror is a fantastic shout for the archway! Actually I have a collection of mosaic mirrors, I wonder if I could shoehorn them in there somehow.....<ponders> Thankyou, mirror hadn’t occurred to me yet! 

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,195
    That's a very eccentric display of surfaces there. It should be quite easy to gently hit out the holey blockwork, using a mallet or lump hammer. I would then refill the oblongs each side of the archway with the same trellising/fencing you are having done for the top bit, thus reducing the different surfaces and making it look more modern and unified. If you didn't want to do this, I would suggest painting the blockwork and the brickwork the same colour as this would also unify the look. A mirror(s) inside the arch would look splendid but please bear in mind that birds often get confused and fly into mirrors. That problem can be overcome with maybe trellising over the front.
    Good luck, do post a pic when you've finished.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • delskidelski Posts: 274
    I wonder when someone will come along and suggest that you paint it black...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,443
    I think you should paint it black...😁.
    Seriously, that is some find and l like the idea of mosaic mirrors, bearing in mind what @Lizzie27 said about birds.
    Off the top of my head, possibly dwarf lavender or something wafty like Stipa tennuissima might be suitable. 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    I would knock the whole lot out and replace with brickwork to match the adjacent wall, or failing that replace the whole concrete block monstrosity with horizontal timber slats (similar to the type you're suggesting for the top).

    Alternatively you could keep the arch, paint the concrete blockwork black (there, I said it!) and clad the blockwork with the horizontal timber slats leaving a gap for the arch. Painted black, the blockwork will not really be visible through the slats.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    edited January 2021
    Or you embrace the 70s-ness of the wall, paint it in groovy colours, and hang a mirrorball from the arch!

    Is it located in a position that makes sense as a feature wall, or is is just sort of randomly put there?
  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 Posts: 2,191
    I love it.  I want one. 
    West Yorkshire
  • It’s a long narrow garden (well around 6m wide and 25m long) and this is the second ‘section’, after around 3.5m of patio at the back of the house first. So it’s visible from the back room/kitchen. I’m planning a circular seating area directly opposite it to catch the morning sun and help make sense of it being a feature. 

    Lots to consider! I do have a rose gold/copper mirrorball on the Pinterest mood board :D

    What kind of paint goes on breezeblocks? I’ve used Protek wood stain elsewhere (Ive got a purple cold frame for the veg patch!). I’m thinking maybe if the fence panels & breezeblocks are the same colour it could work well but what product will go on both wood & breezeblock?
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,443
    For the breeze blocks l should imagine a masonry paint is the best thing to use, but l'm not sure if you'd need to seal them first. Not sure if there is such a thing as a masonry and wood paint, but l bet someone on here does  :)
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