Our property has a cinder block wall that wraps around the front and side. We've debated about tearing it down. It's not original and truthfully does not go with the rest of the architecture. However, what it lacks in form it makes up for in function.
Because we live on a corner, right next to an elementary school we get a good amount of foot traffic. My experience with the parents and kids of the school has been that they don't understand or respect that they're walking through or beside some one's home. I find trash on our perimeter constantly. I can't imagine what our front yard would look like if we did not have the wall. Therefore, I'm not about to knock it down.
Three years ago, during one of my dad's visits he patched the cracks along the wall. They have all come back. We failed at matching the paint color. You can't patch over old paint. If you use the same original color, the existing color on the wall has faded so it looks different. Getting the exact color from a faded chip off the wall didn't work either.
D finally convinced me that we need a trailing vine, Creeping Fig, to make the wall more aesthetically pleasing. He insisted it was the only economical choice. I now think he is right. The vine will cover the perpetual cracks, it will give the house a greener feel and we'll never have to repaint. Our only maintenance will be to trim the vine, especially where the wood fence meets with the block wall.
Two weeks ago D bought 6 vines and planted them along the wall at two different areas. All the rain we've had has done them good. The only "downside" is that we need to practice the art of delayed gratification. It will be a couple of years before the vines engulfs the wall. Maybe the rest of the house will be painted by then!