Fences and Walls
A fence can be a cost-effective alternative to plants when privacy, wind and water consumption are issues. Free-standing walls can also provide privacy and wind protection, but walls are usually more expensive than fences. Keep in mind that a permeable windbreak, such as a fence with space between the slats, is better at reducing the negative effects of wind than an impervious windbreak, such as a solid wall.
Retaining walls can quickly increase the cost of the project. If money is an issue, good alternatives include on-contour swales and/or decorative boulders associated with appropriate grading. If a wall is designed to retain the earth surrounding a cistern, include the cost of having a licensed engineer approve the design.