I've just put a deposit on a beautiful new home. The only fault with
it is there is a 1.5ft x 1.5ft stainless steel Electricity Supply box
in the garden.
Has anyone any idea how I can camouflage this?
My mother recommended planting a weeping will shrub behind the box
which would drap over the front?
I might call the Elec company and ask if it might be alright to paint it a
That way it will eventually blend. Maybe you know someone who does tole
painting? That would look so neat in the garden while waiting for your
weeping thing to grow. Is that a willow and is it far from your plumbing? If
not I'd reconsider. They choke off water pipes etc. I was told this and have
Thanks for the advise. I'll definitely look into painting it - great
idea. Apologies for my typing error earlier. Yes, its a weeping
willow. My mother has some in her garden so I'll talk to her more
Your mother isn't thinking straight. Weeping willows become big trees with
wide-ranging roots. You do not want that near utility fixtures. Tell your
mother "Good idea", and then forget she ever said it. What you want is
shrubs, not trees.
Next, take pictures of the yard, including the box. Bring the pictures to a
real garden center* and tell them what your goal is. If you get what seems
to be an overly fast answer, ask this question about whatever shrub you seem
to be falling in love with: "What sort of care will this plant need in 2, 5
and 10 years?" If you get a blank stare, head to the library. Find 3-4 books
which discuss the shrub in detail.
* "Real" means not Home Depot, not Lowe's, not Wal Mart. You get the
I'd kinda think about the future. As others have stated, you need to
consider what happens with a mature shrub. Will the root structure
interfere with the utility wire? If the utility company needs to do
repairs, will the shrub be damaged, or removed?
There are several companies that make fake boulders to cover up just the
thing you're asking about. Granted, a fake boulder by itself may stick out
like a sore thumb unless some other landscaping (other hardscape and
perennial flowers) were placed around it. But, lifting a fake boulder for
utility repairs may do less damage to your established garden/bed than a
more permanent shrub planting.
Also, depending upon the location and overall design of the garden/bed you
may consider using a sculpture, pedestal, birdbath, planter, bench etc. to
conceal the utility box.
FWIW, I've used a hollowed out stump to cover a well head pump and
surrounded it with smaller rocks and some perennial flowers. Cost...next to
nothing...I already had the stump, rocks, and perennials from another bed.
If the OP can build his own fibreglass rock, he could make it with
recesses and pockets into which he can sit pots of cactus or succulents
or a spreading succulent, so it has the appearance of a rock garden covering
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
However you hide the box, consider the cost of replacing the camouflage. You
appear to be in Ireland, but I assume the laws there are similar to in
America. The power company usually owns the box, and have an easement to the
property that allows them to access the box whenever they want.
Before you do anything expensive, call the power company and ask them what
the requirements are. I have a transformer in my front yard, and the power
company has the right to clear anything within a 5 ft radius of the box. It
might be once in 10 years they need access to it, but they always seem to
need to tear out the most expensive plants. Keep that in mind when you
design a screen for it.
Consider hiding it behind a few lava rocks, light cheap, easy to move
around. Perhaps a few inexpensive hedge or shrubs.
How about purchasing a wishing well (if there's a bottom just cut it out)
that could fit over the box? I've seen them made out of all sorts of
materials and in many different styles/diameters/heights. I see their price
range run between $100 (Target) and $300 (custom). Something structural is
easily movable and immune to damage should the utility company need to
excavate in the area. An old barrel is another idea and probably cheaper.
Hi! Have you thought of planting perennials or annuals tall enough to
hide it? You did not specify where it is located in the garden but if
it is in the front of a shrub bed make a flower display out of it. Sue
Paint it some colour that will blend in and plant fast growing shrubs or
small trees around it that will hide it (if possible) or at least break up
the square lines so they will be less obvious. Stuff that actually covers
the box is not a good idea, somebody will need to get in there some day and
you may want them to do it quickly.
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