Thanks to Nancy for the heads-up on the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Reading Grandawn’s post this morning I was struck; not by the beauty of the snowy landscape, but by the absence of boundary walls around the houses. This is something I have not seen in South Africa since I was a small child and it’s a scene that never fails to surprise me when I travel abroad.

We’ve grown so accustomed to crime here; higher and higher walls are the norm. It’s impossible for me to put my thoughts into words, really.

Will there ever be a day when the walls will come down?


43 Comments Add yours

  1. nrhatch says:

    Those are beautiful looking walls, but it does seem a shame to have to hide behind them due to crime.

    Thanks for posting, Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The most poignant thing is that kids don’t play out in the neighberhoods anymore.

  2. souldipper says:

    So if I lived there, it would not be wise for me to go to bed with my keys in the front door and the car door wide open? 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Well, you’d arm your perimeter fence, then arm the garden sensors and put the main house alarm on too, the open door may be ok …

  3. slpmartin says:

    I suspect more walls will be going up around the world rather than walls coming down. 😦

    1. theonlycin says:

      Unfortunately, you are probably right, Charlie 😦

  4. Adeeyoyo says:

    It is such a shame. I have always admired pictures of rolling lawns down to the pavement (sidewalk) in the USA. I doubt we will ever see that again because the law seems to protect criminals here. Good one, Cindy!

  5. Tilly Bud says:


    No, would be my guess.

  6. leigh says:

    Got sidetracked by the photographs, pity most walls arn’t as creative.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yeah, there are some downright ugleee ones 😉

  7. Makes me value the right to have a dilapidated apology for a fence at the back of my garden…

  8. Yes, Cindy – the walls also rob the neighbourhood of a sense of community. Nice photos.
    Sunshine xx

  9. sarsm says:

    The photos are great but so sad that you need such walls.
    I am so grateful for where I live, everything open.
    I moved hear from Britain and when we took the kids to school and there is no wall or fence. At first, I was really shocked and a little insecure. But now I love it and find it fantastic that my children have an opportunity to learn in such freedom.

    Stay safe.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Not sure where you are, but enjoy the freedom.

  10. Leeswammes says:

    They are nice walls, those on the pictures, but it was indeed one of the things I found most striking about South Africa: the way people live behind walls. I only went once, for me work, Pretoria, so I didn’t get to see much of the country, but that I remember.

    I don’t think I could live like that – well, that’s easy to say, because I don’t have to, in the Netherlands.

    I’m hopeful that eventually things will get better in SA (they always do) but it may be a long time yet.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The first time I went to Europe I was so shocked to see that unattended bicycles didn’t immediately get stolen 😦

  11. elanoflife says:

    Such a pity that we cannot have the freedom we used to due to crime, now we have to create prisons for ourselves to live in…


  12. Pseu says:

    I wouldn’t like to live behind garden walls, I must say… though these are rather well tended ones.

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re my neighbours and – do you know – I have no idea what their actual houses look like; never been past the walls 😦

  13. grandawn says:

    What a poignant thought! Most of our houses have fences around the back yards, but rarely do we even have a fence around the front yards. It always surprises me when I see a house with a fence around the front yard. I can’t imagine actual boundary walls around the houses. Wow. . .

    Thanks, Cindy, for referencing my post. 🙂 Dawn

    1. theonlycin says:

      Nice when fences are simply there to keep an errant pup in … thanks for inspiring me, grandawn!

  14. You are so right- and it really is so sad. BUT we need the walls to keep our dogs in too!
    Must be onest, one of teh reasons why we moved to this estate in the country. We will never be able to let our guard down, being city folk, but things are far more relaxed out here.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Still, can’t be too careful. I felt very uneasy when I was out in Muldersdrift.

  15. When I moved to Florida, I was amazed at all the walls, high walls, around people’s residences, and some around whole communities. I didn’t see such walls nearly as much where I came from. It seemed to me to be rather unfriendly, but I got used to it after a while. Boundaries are not bad in themselves, but perhaps some of them would be better if removed. I understand what you’re saying about walls coming down. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      And you, Carol, best wishes for a week filled with peace.

  16. colonialist says:

    As Garden Judges we have a category for ‘Treatment of Boundaries’ and would be very bewildered if there weren’t any!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Boundaries as flower beds are quite acceptable ;p

  17. Tandy says:

    the high walls freak me out as we have a lot of open spaces here 🙂

  18. Naomi says:

    Ahh…very clever, Cindy, and beautifully done – although a pity!

  19. Sobering thought looking through these wall photos, beautiful pics too BTW 🙂 You’ve really managing to make us think & be pretty darn grateful for the lack of security we Aussies take for granted.

  20. You are not alone in this. Sad. 😦

  21. gospelwriter says:

    Awesome blog. We can only hope, on the walls coming down – but in our lifetimes we have seen more than one wall fall that the world thought would were permanent barriers…

  22. Tokeloshe says:

    Great post!

    We lived in Richardsbay for many years before we came to Canada. When we left in 1998 there were hardly any walls, but we were shocked when we visited in 2004 to see almost all the houses had walls, the worst was the churches and schools which even had barbed wire at the top.


    1. theonlycin says:

      Breaks my heart, Tok 😦

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