Address and Dress the Wall

By Charlie Thigpen

So many people have that big blank canvas where an ominous wall needs to be softened or covered. Sometimes it’s an eyesore or maybe it’s just monotonous and needs a focal point. Here are a few ways to make a wall become attractive, come alive and even become a focal point.

Use Plants

Planter boxes aren’t just for windows. These boxes can be attached to any wall and filled with colorful flowering annuals or perennials, attractive foliage plants or succulents. Find or make boxes that will match the look of your home.
You can also plant perennial vines to cover your wall but be careful because many vines can actually harm your wall. Vines such as Boston ivy or creeping fig will not harm mortar joints on brick or block walls, while vines such as English ivy can grow into mortar joints causing them to deteriorate. Boston ivy is fast growing and gets great fall color but it can become unruly and a maintenance issue. Be sure to prune it regularly to keep it under control. Creeping fig is evergreen, makes a nice year round wall covering and doesn’t grow as fast as Boston ivy.
Another idea is to make a wall trellis or position a free standing trellis in front of a wall and grow non- clinging vines such as Confederate jasmine on the trellis. You will have to give the vine a little assistance to make it cover the trellis.

Try Art or Salvage Items

Concrete plaques are often used to hang on and dress a wall. They can be heavy so make sure they’re secured safely to walls. There are also some nice looking fiberglass plaques that are lightweight, durable for the outdoors and have a great look. Salvaged items such as iron gates or architectural fragments can makes a nice statement piece and help break up a wall.

A collection of old gardening tools sometimes called a tool badge or tool trophy mounted to a wall make a playful statement especially around a garden shed or potting bench.

Don’t fear the wall because it can be more attractive. Make it come to life with plants or dress it with neat items that will make it a focal point.