How to Add Height to a Garden

Updated April 17, 2017

Most gardeners tend to plan their gardens at ground and eye level and forget to look vertical for inspiration. Using plants, boundaries, and features that extend the eye up and down can add a sense of life and vibrancy to the conventional garden.
Climbers, trees and structures can add height and give shade to lower growing plants while also serving to give the garden borders. Likewise, an impressive display that draws the eye upward can distract from unattractive intrusions like utility meters.

Use height to create boundaries. The boundary can be anything from a sturdily built brick wall to a fence, hedge, or fairly informal screen provided it extends the eye up from ground level.

Consider your building materials and construction. Clearly, cost may be a major factor, but it is important to make this decision carefully. A flimsy trellis may be cheaper than a sturdy alternative, but if it lasts for half as long it could prove expensive in the long run.

Check building regulations. It is also important to consider local planning regulations especially if you live in an ecologically sensitive area, and since you are likely going for height, to avoid legal disputes with neighbours, check that the boundary is in the correct place and within regulated limits.

Accent the boundary. Each boundary option has its advantages, and all have the potential to become a positive height feature in the garden, perhaps supporting a selection of climbers and wall shrubs to provide additional colour and interest.

Add high growing hedges. A hedge can be anything from a formal feature clipped with mathematical precision to a relaxed collection of shrubs twined with wild roses and other climbers. For height consider formal yew, beech, or privet hedges.

Plant fruit trees to add height. Fruit trees, especially apples, cherries, peaches and many of the cane fruits, will grow tall and sometimes flower drawing interest vertically. Both fruit trees and cane fruits can be trained in a variety of shapes, or simply tied in as they grow.

Install a trellis and climbers. If you want a quick and relatively cost effective way to add height to a garden, then installing a trellis and climbers makes a good choice. Widely available in prefabricated sections in a huge range of decorative styles and finishes trellises can be easily customised to fit in with surrounding plantings and adjacent buildings by painting it to the colour of your choice using wood stain. Choose fast growing jasmines, roses, or clematises for interest.


Never allow climbers to extend past your property boundaries or grow around utility wires.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis
  • Climbers
  • Fruit trees
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About the Author

Richard Sweeney is a former educator and now freelance writer living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He has been writing since 1995 publishing articles in national publications such as "Men's Outlook Journal" and "Travel". Sweeney left the education profession in 2007 but likes to remain knowledgeable about current policies and teaching techniques.