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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Garden Boundaries - what are the options?

Garden boundaries are a really important part of any garden design with the final choice driven by a client's personal requirement for privacy, light and aesthetics.


My personal view is that every boundaries should include some form of planting, to soften and blur hard edges and to be environmentally conscious.


Here a just a few of the boundary options you could consider:


  1. Solid Fencing

This is probably the most popular form of boundary in urban gardens as it provides privacy and a clear demarcation between neighbours' gardens. I would always recommend including stainless steel trellis wires to train climbers around, as this softens the hard lines of the fencing and provides fragrance, colour and food for wildlife.


roses trained on a close board wooden fence
Ghislaine De Feligonde Rose in my N12 Dog Friendly Garden

Another tip is to paint your fencing a dark colour as this really makes the plants stand out against the back drop.


Black painted fencing with trellis top and tree fern, Japanese Anemones and shade loving plants
Ash Black painted fence in my E5 Courtyard garden

2. Horizontal batten fencing (or trellis top)

An option if you're happy with a little less privacy and to let more light into your garden is horizontal batten fencing or just a trellis on the top of a lower solid fence. An added benefit of this type of fencing is that climbers can be tied direct to the battens, meaning additional trellising isn't required.


Shadows from light coming through horizontal slatted fencing with corten screen, silver birch tree, limestone paving
Horizontal batten fencing in my E8 Urban Sanctuary Garden

3. Walls

Unless you have an existing courtyard garden, I wouldn't necessarily recommend building new tall brick walls but existing brick walls can be used effectively to grow climbers up or to display mirrors, lighting or other ornaments which could add to the garden aesthetic or make your garden appear larger. A half brick wall, half batten trellis wall can also be a really effective screen, which links the garden to the house by using the same brick.


Garden brick wall with metal edged mirror, Wisteria and wall planters
Wisteria, curve top mirror and wall planters in my E5 Courtyard

4. Hedging

Hedging is the most wildlife friendly option, particularly if you opt for a mixed native species hedge. It is usually more common in front gardens in London, where privacy may not be a priority. Hedges can provide food and nesting habitats for birds and pollinators are a softer and potentially colourful option for a boundary.


Beech hedging in an Edwardian style front garden with gravel Acer tree and grasses
Purple beech hedging in my N12 Edwardian Front garden

5. Railings

Again probably more commonly used for front gardens, in addition to a front wall, metal railings can be provide a clear link to the architectural style of the house and allow for some privacy whilst allowing climbers to soften them and a glimpse at the planting beyond.


Victorian style front garden with brick wall , wrought iron railings, Victorian style tiling and plants
Railings in my N16 Victorian Front Garden

I hope this has given you some food for thought when considering your boundaries. These are just a few of the options available but a garden designer can help you to make the right decision for you and your garden. Contact Sarah Kay Garden Design today to arrange an Initial Consultation meeting.



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