More and more people are discovering the joys of playing in the dirt, or what most adults call “Gardening”. Not only is gardening a hobby, but most interior designers are also discovering the secrets of converting spaces into aesthetic motives using plants.
For those living in a sprawling city, having your own garden at home might be the only way for you to reconnect with nature. Now, some of you might think that gardening is costly, but there are ways to get cheap, even free plants through car boot sales, discount tables and giveaways.
In fact, you can be thrifty with all aspects of your garden, not just the plants. Many projects can be DIY’d and don’t need to cost what it would to hire a professional, you just need to learn how to do the project yourself.
The Trend Of Building A Garden Wall
Building a garden wall is a growing trend. This trend is very much seen in modern and contemporary garden settings.
Building a garden wall is very much suggested in houses or offices with tiny outdoor spaces since these walls don’t require a separate wide space for gardening purposes. Most gardeners will hang trailing plants along the walls instead of displaying pot plants below it. You can also use an existing wall and decorate it as a garden.
This method allows you to get the benefits of a garden without the space.
But what if you don’t have a garden wall ready to cover in plants? Or if you want to build a wall to help section off your garden. Of course you could hire someone to build the wall for you, but you can also DIY it!
Learning how to build your own garden wall out of brick is quite easy once you get the technique down. The skills required are comparable to learning how to plaster a wall, so if you can do one you can definitely do the other.
To get you started, here’s how to build a brick garden wall in three steps.
Building A Brick Garden Wall
You will be needing these basic tools and materials. Note that tools and materials may vary depending on your prefered design and style. But not to worry, they can be easily found in your nearest home improvement shop.
- Mortar mix – buy a ready-mix type of mortar. Using this, just add water and mix it up to an oatmeal consistency.
- Mason’s line
- Cement trowel
- Cement jointer
- Concrete mix – for the footer
- A Shovel
Step 1: Creating the Footer
This part must not be taken lightly as the footer will serve as your foundation. A footer is necessary if you are building your garden wall in a dirt area. The minimum thickness of a foundation used anywhere in or around a property should be 6” or 150mm. This level of depth will be enough to ensure your foundation will not crack.
To start, use your shovel to dig down around 1 foot deep for the desired length of the garden wall and fill in the hole with the concrete mixture. Assure that the surface of the footer is perfectly levelled and composed.
Give the footer enough time until the concrete is completely set. Make sure that the instructions are followed on the concrete mixture to avoid any mistakes in this process.
Step 2: Laying the Bricks
It is always a good idea to lay out the bricks first before we permanently stack them. Doing this will give you a feel for how you want the wall to look and how you want the bricks to be stacked. While laying out the bricks, check each direction with the level from time to time to make sure that the wall your making is upright and flat.
You can also use chalk to make a line on the footer, or use a mason’s line. This is to mark the placement of your first layer of bricks, avoiding possible displacement of your garden brick wall.
Step 3: Mixing the Mortar and Stacking Your Bricks
Mix mortar that would be enough to last 1-1 ½ hours. The mortar will become unsteady after that. To start, begin by placing a layer, or bed of mortar on the concrete foundation. The bricks are then pushed into this bed until they are level and the joints between them are filled. Make sure not to overuse the mortar mix and stay in line with the chalk line you made earlier.
To maintain the stability and strength of your garden wall you should make it double layered (one layer in front of the other). You can build it with a single layer, but this does not ensure the garden wall’s strength and can be knocked down easily. As you continue, check the levelling from time to time to make sure it’s uniform
The second layer of bricks should be staggered from the first. Not only will your garden wall look better, but this will help maintain its strength. The most common form of staggering is called a Stretcher Bond. Repeat the process – staggering each additional layer – until you have reached the desired height for your wall.
Once you have reached the top level, this is the time to set the last row of bricks. This last row should cover both dimensions with the bricks all going in the same direction.
Points To Consider When Building Your Garden Wall
- Do not build the wall too quickly nor move too slowly. Building too quickly will sag the mortar joints from the weight of the layers before them. This is why walls are built horizontally rather than vertically, as it gives the mortar enough time to set before more weight is added on top. If you move too slow you will end up wasting a tremendous amount of mortar if it dries up.
- Do not use cement on bricks. A mortar mixture is the best material to use.
- Always build a strong foundation first.
- If you are still an amateur, use mason’s cord and a pair of line blocks. These are used to stretch the line from one end of the other. This will guide you in aligning the bricks and help you avoid mistakes while stacking.
Decorating your Brick Garden Wall
After all the hard work of building your garden brick wall, you can now have some fun decorating it. There are numerous ways to decorate your garden wall. You can choose from various vines and plants to hang on or grow up the wall, build a food garden and even set up a fire pit nearby. If you’re having a hard time choosing from a wide array of ideas, here is some decoration inspiration:
- Italian Brick Wall Garden: This type of design will give your garden a vintage feel. Paint half of your garden brick wall in a brick red colour and leave the other half as it is. You can add in some flowers and shrubs to complete the look.
- European Brick Wall Garden: Cover the half of your garden wall with hedges and climbers. Add in some pots and light fixtures. Add in colour by planting rows of bright plants across the garden wall’s length.
- Tropical Brick Wall Garden: Use tropical plants like laceleaf, cordyline and bromeliads for this type of design. A tropical brick wall garden is much more appealing if you have two brick walls facing each other.
- Lounge Brick Wall Garden: If you love having a place to read your book or having tea with your neighbours and friends, bring in outdoor pieces of furniture, perhaps a coffee table and you will have the perfect outdoor garden. Don’t forget to add a light fixture above the seating area.
You’ve Built Your Garden Wall!
And with that, you can see that building your own garden wall isn’t all that complicated. If possible, avoid any difficult designs or techniques on your first go and keep it simple. Practice stacking the bricks before you start to make sure you’re happy with your plan.
Apart from the above, there are still a lot of ways to build and decorate your garden wall. You can even mix styles, play around the decorations and change it from to time. If you want a more private setting, build high brick walls.
I hope this will inspire you to make use of that empty lawn and get you into a rewarding DIY project.
Happy Gardening to all of you!