Most of us have an instinctive desire to mark our territory with a very visible boundary. It gives us the feeling of privacy and the illusion of security, but most of all it marks out our plot, our own piece of paradise.
The problem with a small garden is that the boundary forms a large part of the garden, and it can become obtrusive. In a large garden the boundary merges into the background and creates a nice contrast, but in a small one it can easily dominate.
Tall walls can be an asset – the walled towngarden has many of the attributes of an old walled country garden – but drab wooden fences and large overgrown hedges pose real problems if you want to make your garden look stylish.
Don’t take your boundary for granted and never assume it can’t be improved. The first thing to do is approach the neighbour and the council (despite the rumours, they won’t bite, who knows it might be the start of something wonderful) and find out your limitations. The key is to try and break up the mass with different colours and textures. The combination of wood, rock and foliage can look fantastic. For example; a short rock wall, with horizontal wood battens supporting a climber such as a cardinal creeper.
A living border is also a good alternative such as a box hedge if you want to keep it very formal.