Banish Boring Garden Walls and Fences

Use these vertical gardening design tips to make your fence fantastic.

By , Columnist

Garden Up!

Do you have a blank wall staring at you in the garden? A hunk of empty fence can flummox even the most experienced gardener. Aside from flinging a vine at it, what else can you do?

Garden designers Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet have a lot of tricks up their sleeves for changing bare spots to focal points. Working in their own gardens (that's Morrison's purple fence in the photo) and with clients, they've transformed many a plain-Jane piece of stucco.

Their new book Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces takes on the last frontier in gardening -- the vertical aspect most of us don't even ponder. Whether you're brainstorming about a pocket-size patio or a few acres of landscape, the walls are there and should be part of your scheme. I asked Morrison for sneak peeks into the book, and quick design solutions to common problems.

A key element is stuff. Morrison suggested, "Take a cue from interior design and turn a fence or blank wall into a focal point by adding pots or accessories -- even recycled junk." Her purple fence would not be a success without her mix of containers, mirrors, and art. 

Be true to your own taste, she added, "Choose objects that are meaningful to you or use your fence to highlight a collection, such as antique garden tools." You can accomplish two jobs at once; get a collection out of the house or garage, and jazz up your garden wall.

Come see a preview of the book in the photo gallery, with Morrison and Sweet's design principles in action. You have nothing to lose but a blank fence!

View gallery: Banish Boring Garden Walls and Fences

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Charlotte Germane dishes the dirt on gardens and royalty in magazines, radio shows, newspapers, and blogs. Follow her on Twitter @aRightRoyalBlog to get her slant on the latest news. She live-blogged the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton for The Morton Report and has a series of royalty…

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