A good-looking garden has a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of your home. But what if all that stands between you and the landscape of your dreams is an unsightly garden wall? Or a bare space that you’re unsure how to decorate?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. This article will look at no less than 16 fantastic ideas for decorating or setting up garden walls of all shapes and sizes, including boundaries, retaining walls, and fences.
Many of these are easy to DIY, and all are creative and unique, so you’re sure to find something to suit your taste.
Ready? Let’s look at fun, interesting, and practical ways to jazz up your garden walls and enhance your home’s look and feel.
On this page
- 16 IDEAS
- 1. Add a Mirror
- 2. Add a Water Feature
- 3. Hang Decorative Planters
- 4. Construct an Actual Decorative Wall
- 5. Arrange Terracotta Pots
- 6. Hang Amazing Wall Art
- 7. Grow an Espalier Fruit Tree
- 8. Install a Modern Trellis
- 9. Use Your Garden Fence to Setup a Vertical Garden
- 10. Add Faux Windows
- 11. Use Lighting to Create Intricate Shadows
- 12. Beautify Your Retaining Wall
- 13. Paint a Fun Wall Mural to Hide Imperfections
- 14. Turn Basic Construction Materials into Wall Art
- 15. Make Stashed Away Firewood Into a Decorative Wall
- 16. Add Charm to Your Garden with Partitions and Pergolas
1. Add a Mirror
If you’re looking to spruce up a bare concrete wall, consider adding a decorative mirror. Reflective surfaces add depth and dimension by creating the illusion of space. And with plenty of framing options available, this is a cheap and effective way to give your garden wall a facelift in less than half an hour.
With this design, the homeowner has also added a small outdoor washstand, perfect for entertaining guests outside or for those constantly working in the garden.
Most gardens have outdoor water supplies, so it’s not that complicated to set up a small plumbing system with proper drainage for this purpose.
This set-up adds vintage charm to an otherwise dull wall, instantly elevating the space.
2. Add a Water Feature
Running water is said to soothe the soul, reduce noise pollution, and purify the air. Given these remarkable benefits, why not consider adding a modern water feature to your garden wall?
This gently illuminated waterfall installation is simple in design but wonderfully complemented by the symmetry of the surrounding foliage and the natural wood texture of the wall itself. That said, water features and fountains are available in all shapes, sizes, and designs, so you’re not limited by space or aesthetic taste. You may just need assistance to help with setting up the pump.
3. Hang Decorative Planters
Image credit: The Green Bag Reusable Planter
Some of our all-time favorite decorative ideas for garden walls incorporate the use of hanging planters. For the most part, they’re pretty affordable, and they serve the dual purpose of enhancing your space while also creating room for more plants. And who doesn’t want more plants?
In the example above, the designer has opted to “build” a wall by connecting several planter bags in a hanging formation, suspending it from an overarching beam. Not only does this look incredible, but it also cordons off the area to form a makeshift pergola, by default acting as a sunshade and privacy screen.
These cleverly designed planters can also be used on existing walls as decorations, and they certainly help to break the starkness of the brick facade. You can choose to hang as many as you feel necessary, so you’re not limited by the size of your wall. For added interest, you may decide to intersperse them with other types of hanging pots in different sizes and dimensions. For smaller dwellings or those featuring lots of concrete, this is a great way to boost your greenery, and it’s super easy to DIY.
Image credit: Concrete Hanging Planters
For those after a more modern look or organic shape, we recommend these stunning concrete planters. Their sculptural aesthetic makes them feel highly decorative, but they’re also very practical for growing various plants. In different sizes and colors, they instantly add visual interest to jazz up even the most unassuming fence or barrier wall.
4. Construct an Actual Decorative Wall
Brick Vintage Decoration Idea
Your perfect garden wall isn’t always decor dependent. Indeed, sometimes the design of the structure itself is the key to getting the exact look you want.
In this example, a simple set of partially constructed brick walls with a charming wrought iron “windowpane” sets the scene for a lovely little garden nook.
You have complete freedom of design, and once set up, there is no need for additional maintenance.
Tall Concrete Wall
If you’re still in the beginning phases of constructing your garden walls or, in this case, adding on a pergola or entertainment area, nothing is stopping you from incorporating some design flair from the get-go.
This tall, windowed concrete wall is functional but also harmonious with nature, given that the spaces in the structure allow for foliage to grow through them.
A combination of paving stones, bricks, and pebbles add interest and texture, as does a small wooden deck for additional seating or decorative elements.
Small Curved Wall
Barrier walls are a great way of sectioning your garden into different “areas.” Here, a low curved wall separates a wilder section of the garden from a secluded seating area, but it feels organic because of its gently rounded shape. Lining the wall with leafy greens completes this look and makes it seem one with nature.
5. Arrange Terracotta Pots
Wooden fences can be a bit of an eyesore with no decoration, especially after multiple repairs. However, an easy way to combat this is to add decorative elements like pots and planters.
Terracotta is an excellent medium for growing your greenery because it’s both durable and moisture-retentive. Arranging terracotta pots in a pattern is a quick and affordable way to spruce up your old wooden fence. Add as many as you see fit and arrange them to suit your taste. This DIY hack is budget-friendly and won’t take more than an afternoon.
6. Hang Amazing Wall Art
Image credit: Etsy
We hang art indoors, so why not extend this pleasure to our outdoor areas too? Markets, homeware stores, and online merchants are full of creative wares suitable for outside use.
This hanging stained glass piece is heavy and durable enough to withstand the elements and will definitely have guests doing a double take.
Goodbye boring walls, hello outdoor gallery.
Image credit: Etsy
Succulents are loved worldwide for their hardiness and are often incorporated into outdoor décor.
Another of our favorite ideas for enhancing your garden walls is getting hold of gorgeous but straightforward structures like these giant wooden letters laden with desert roses and moss.
In fact, you can likely construct them yourself with a bit of patience, and once they get going, they are surprisingly low-maintenance.
7. Grow an Espalier Fruit Tree
An espalier plant is a tree or shrub that has been trained to grow in a particular pattern or shape by manipulating its branches from a young age.
These trees are grown flat against a wall, adding an incredible aesthetic to an otherwise plain space. The wall, in turn, serves as a support.
If you’re looking to add something special touch to your garden, and you have the patience to maintain your espalier fruit tree, you won’t regret it. And come summer, you may even have some fresh fruit to enjoy.
You may even go so far as to grow an entire fence from espalier trees! This latticework trellis formation is nothing short of phenomenal.
8. Install a Modern Trellis
Image credit: gardeners.com
I firmly believe in decorating with greenery, both indoors and out. This simple and elegant modern trellis is excellent support for climbing plants, like ivy and roses, which instantly uplift a bare space like an exterior wall.
Geometric shapes complement the organic feel of trailing plants, creating visual interest and adding depth and dimension.
Best of all, once trained, your climbing shrubs will be easy to maintain with a bit of care and regular pruning.
9. Use Your Garden Fence to Setup a Vertical Garden
Image credit: Perigold.com
The Impressionist Claude Monet wrote: “I must have flowers, always, always.” So, if you share this sentiment, look no further.
While garden space can often limit the number of plants you have in your beds, your wall can serve as an excellent solution for adding extra planters. These hanging wooden planter shelves are not only beautiful, but they’re also convenient. Several stacked above one another form a striking vertical garden that will indeed have passers-by doing a double-take.
Pipe planters are another great way to spruce up boring garden walls. And they’re very affordable, too.
To create a hanging vegetable garden, for example, a set of PVC gutter pipes can be suspended in rows and even joined to form an irrigation system. This is a good solution for plants like veggies and herbs that have relatively shallow root systems and need to retain a fair amount of moisture to thrive.
If you really want to decorate an exterior wall but you’re not super keen on permanent fixtures, this upcycled pallet planter wall may be the way to go. Pallets are cheap and easy to get hold of. A lick of paint to freshen them up and add a pop of color already goes a long way.
Complete this look with small hanging pots filled with flowers, and you’ll be amazed at how much it adds to a space. This is a great project for kids, too.
I absolutely love this charming combination of framed succulents and bird boxes.
You can DIY this whimsical feature wall with framed chicken wire, moss, and succulents. Once their roots are set, they’ll have no trouble staying in place – and looking as pretty as a picture gallery.
Suspended planter boxes are another ingenious way of jazzing up a plain wall or fence.
By joining your planters with heavy twine, you also bypass the need to drill or nail them into the wall, making this look easier to achieve overall.
We all know pallets are endlessly useful for upcycling projects, so why not utilize them to amplify a distressed stone or brick wall?
The bulk of the work to create this aesthetic is fastening your pallets to your structure. From there, you have tons of options for adding planter boxes, vining shrubs, and hanging baskets.
Similar to the above example, this hanging pallet works beautifully to create a small herb garden and keeps your precious plants safe from wandering pets and trampling feet.
A lick of chalk paint makes it easy for you to keep track of what’s growing where, and you can change it up season after season.
10. Add Faux Windows
While this look may not be for everyone, it’s certainly unique and charming in its own right – and a really fun DIY project.
Simple wooden frames set side by side, with a pair of cafe curtains and small planter boxes, create an old-world appeal. Just make sure it’s situated somewhere that’s relatively protected from the elements.
11. Use Lighting to Create Intricate Shadows
Like they say in the movies, never underestimate the power of light. And if you love spending time in your garden at night, this is the design plan for you.
Overhanging lights create magnificent, intricate shadows over planters and serve the additional benefit of helping them grow. You may need a little help setting this up, but it’s well worth it for the modern, sleek aesthetic it creates.
Lantern light fixtures are another great way to spruce up boring or dull exterior walls. Here, the play of shadows and vining trellises add a stately, luxurious feel while also illuminating your garden for visitors or entertaining outdoors.
12. Beautify Your Retaining Wall
Image credit: Walmart
While retaining walls are primarily built for practical purposes, like creating levels in a landscape, there’s no reason they need to remain undecorated.
These hanging shrubs are nothing short of breathtaking, especially in the spring when they’re in full bloom. To make it easy to achieve this look, you can purchase pre-seeded flower mats and suspend them from the top of your wall and over the edge.
Add a gentle touch and a pop of color to a low rock wall with rectangular planter boxes. Could anything be simpler but also so effective? A sweet little bench creates the perfect resting stop for enjoying some summer sunshine.
A retaining wall instantly adds depth and dimension to your garden, but that doesn’t mean we need to stare at unsightly structures. This sloping garden looks perfectly manicured and flows with the lines of the small concrete staircase. A stepped look also gives the illusion of more space and adds room for growing more greens.
What if you want to create an extra level for your garden, but you don’t have a retaining wall in place?
Stone gabions are the way to go and are perfect for designing raised garden beds. They’re suitable for virtually any space, as you have flexibility in how you fasten and arrange them. This is a great way to create depth between your lawn and your garden wall and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
If you have the space, a design like this can be absolutely incredible. There is much to see and enjoy with overhanging shrubbery, built-in concrete planters, and gently sloping grass beds.
And while it looks complicated to construct, careful planning (and lots of plants) can help you recreate something similar, especially if you’re able to track down easy-to-install fiberglass plant boxes and some intelligently angled paving stones.
Amplify your garden beds with a series of retaining walls at different heights – particularly if you’re tired of staring at a straight, flat lawn. The depth it adds is well worth it.
Low retaining walls can be built from almost anything, including stone, concrete, and bricks. Plan out your pathways to suit your taste, and once built, top your new beds with soil for a complete garden makeover.
Here is another, more close-up example of a small, easy-to-make retaining wall. The stones add a rustic feel, and of course, the flowers add much-needed color. For this type of design, you don’t even need any concrete.
13. Paint a Fun Wall Mural to Hide Imperfections
Cover your garden wall with a beautiful, colorful, and unique mural if it looks a little worse for wear.
This can be a great project to enjoy with your kids or, depending on the design you choose, a wonderful art project for yourself.
Materials are inexpensive, and ultimately, you’re making no change to your structure that can’t eventually be undone. This is a great creative outlet that serves the dual benefit of adding a facelift to your home.
14. Turn Basic Construction Materials into Wall Art
Are you tired of your bland brick wall? In good news, you don’t need to spend a fortune to make it more interesting. Arranging basic building supplies, like these short wooden planks stained in a color of your choice, is more than enough to add some depth of interest to your garden wall. Covering the whole lot with some gorgeous creepers and trailing plants adds some greenery while also giving them space to climb and thrive.
15. Make Stashed Away Firewood Into a Decorative Wall
For those who love a winter bonfire but hate seeing piles of logs lying around, consider turning your firewood stash into an attractive wall feature. Logs have a way of looking homey and rustic, and with some plants popped in front or between them, it will feel like they’re part of the scenery. This is a simple and practical way to enhance your garden wall while simultaneously solving your storage issues.
16. Add Charm to Your Garden with Partitions and Pergolas
In this article, we’ve spoken a lot about how to brighten up or amplify your garden wall’s aesthetics but less about how to use walls as decorations themselves.
If you ask me – the answer is always a pergola. It’s the perfect garden addition for those who love to be outdoors or entertain, providing just the right amount of privacy and demarcation.
And they don’t always need to be built-in. You can add a simple trellis to your garden, like the one in the example above, provided you have a structure like an exterior wall to secure it to.
Once your trellis or fence is up, cover it with LED string light to give it the perfect night-time appeal. We also love this little raised deck, which is ideal for seating.
This pergola comprises a straightforward four-post structure with a simple roof and a “wall” made of wire mesh. The mesh works well for growing creepers and shrubs, which in themselves serve as a sunshade while adding aesthetic appeal.
You can also build a mini-pergola with a park bench against an existing exterior wall, with a slightly extended roof for shade cover.
This is a great idea for breaking the monotony of a boring garden wall and provides a perfect resting spot if you want to spend some time enjoying your garden.