Stone walls have many functions in a home landscaping--privacy, retaining hillsides, creating garden "rooms" or simply adding texture. No matter the material used, a wall can become the focal point of your landscape or can be softened down until it simply blends in with everything around it.
Naturalize a hillside slope retaining wall with a rock garden. If your wall is a natural stacked stone like limestone, scatter large rocks of the same material above the wall and plant sprawling flowers, like creeping phlox, Wave petunias or juniper to creep over and around the rocks and spill over the top of your wall. In shady areas, consider ivy, ferns, hostas and junipers for a low-maintenance area. Tuck plants between rocks in loose stacked walls for an Old World feel.
Put short walls around patios and such to work as bench seating. Pull a teak table up to a corner to create a two-sided bench. Plant tall perennials, such as black-eyed Susans or shasta daisies to peek out over the top of the wall and place a fountain or birdbath nearby. Create end caps on the wall by placing concrete planters full of tall spikes, baby's breath and a trailing geranium.
Tall walls for privacy can be jazzed up with old ironwork--hang an old iron gate for interest and plant a clematis or climbing rose to grow up it. Add outdoor solar-paneled sconces for lighting and a small bistro set tucked behind a butterfly bush for your own little French-inspired getaway.
Plant an herb or butterfly garden at the base of a stone retaining wall. With varying textures, heights and colors, a themed garden will be enhanced by the natural beauty of the stone. A mixture of blooms such as lavender, shasta daisies, hollyhock, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers and dahlias will keep color going through the seasons. In heavy shaded sections of the wall, paint buttermilk on the wall to encourage moss growth for even more depth.