Cameron Diaz uses this vertical planting trick to hide her wall – and landscape designers say we should do the same

This simple but effective planting technique will discreetly conceal any unsightly wall – and we're learning from the best

Cameron Diaz
(Image credit: GettyImages)

It's no secret that we're slightly envious of Cameron Diaz's Beverly Hills residence: a quietly luxurious farmhouse complete with a white marble kitchen and high-ceilinged living space. There's a lot to feel influenced by – but arguably, nothing is quite as inspiring as her backyard – where the actress experiments with a clever vertical garden trick.

In her yard, Cameron has planted a collection of tall olive trees, all of which climb up her otherwise conventional gray-painted exterior wall. While we admit that the wall does not deserve to be labeled as 'unsightly,' it would be significantly less interesting without the vertical planting that adds lush interest against the blank backdrop. 

In strategically planting trees in front of the wall, Cameron has discreetly turned a conventional space into something of a talking point – and landscape experts say we can easily do the same. 

'When it comes to hiding an unsightly wall, using a vertical plant is a fantastic way that can greatly enhance the appearance of your outdoor space,' says Nashville-based landscape expert Gene Caballero.

Gene Caballero
Gene Caballero

Gene Caballero is the co-founder of GreenPal, which has been described as uber for lawn care. He has been in the landscaping business for over 25 years and currently works in Tennessee as a garden and landscaping expert.

How to recreate Cameron Diaz's vertical planting trick 

Cameron has opted for olive trees in her Californian backyard, but Gene says there are many other options that will thrive in all climates. The plant that comes out on top? The climbing hydrangea.

'One of the best plants to consider for hiding an ugly wall is the climbing hydrangea. This plant features beautiful foliage and clusters of white flowers, creating a stunning visual display,' he says.

'The climbing hydrangea has a vine-like growth habit and can be trained to climb and cover the wall effectively. It adheres to surfaces using aerial rootlets, ensuring secure attachment. This plant is particularly suitable for partial shade to full shade conditions and thrives in well-draining soil.' Our favorite climbing hydrangeas are in stock at Garden Goods Direct below. 

Climbing Hydrangea | $27.95 on Garden Goods Direct

Climbing Hydrangea | $27.95 on Garden Goods Direct

It's easy to fall for climbing hydrangeas – with their creamy white lace-cap flower clusters that sit among deep green foliage. These vines will add a distinctive personality to any yard while hiding any walls we want to keep out of sight. 

Alternatively, if we're looking for a plant with a more fiery color scheme, Gene recommends the Virginia Creeper, available here on Nature Hills.

'This vine has lush green leaves that transform into shades of red, orange, and purple in fall, creating a visually stunning backdrop,' he comments. 'The Virginia Creeper is a fast-growing plant that can cover a wall with its dense foliage.' The plant also adapts well to different light conditions, meaning it can thrive in various soil types nationwide. 

'In my experience, these plants have proven to be successful choices for hiding unsightly walls. Their ability to climb and cover vertical surfaces, coupled with their attractive foliage and adaptability, make them ideal for transforming an eyesore into a beautiful feature in your outdoor space.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.