How to Hide Utilities in Your Yard

It’s summertime, and you want to fix up your backyard to lounge and enjoy, but what if your not-so-glamorous utilities, such as air conditioning unit boxes or garbage cans, are stealing the views? Landscape planning is much easier when you have designated places to hide elements of your backyard that you wouldn’t want guests to see. Fortunately, there are several ways to create your dream yard while keeping less unattractive elements hidden.

Here, you’ll find out how to make some of the practical utilities in your yard disappear in the aesthetics! We’ll outline how to hide rain barrels and compost and how to draw your eye away from AC units.


How to Hide Utilities 

Do you need to hide anything unsightly like air-conditioning units, utilities, or garbage cans? The best way to hide utilities in your yard is to build outdoor utility covers such as a wooden cover for rain barrels or a shed for garbage cans. To disguise other utilities, plant tall ornamental grasses that take it out of the spotlight and brighten up your yard’s space simultaneously. 

It’s important to remember that sometimes the best method of disguise is planting features that draw your eye elsewhere, but if you really don’t like the color of your rain barrel or want your garbage bins contained, these are great options to help them blend in a bit better!


Shed for Garbage Cans 

Start by measuring your garbage cans. Lay one on its side on the ground in your yard to measure the width and height. The easiest way to get a shed is to order online from your nearest home store or build your own using an online guide with pieces of wood and a saw. To get creative, you can paint the wooden shed any color you like or cover the walls with trellises and vining plants.


Wooden Fence for Rain Barrels

The best way to hide a utility such as a rain barrel from your yard is to build a small fence around it! First, measure the width and height, then buy fence wood to get started. You can also place vines on the fence or plant small shrubs at the bottom for decoration. While this won’t completely remove it from sight, it will at least add some cohesion to your yard by covering bright plastic with natural-looking elements.


Platt Hill Nursery - air conditioning covered by gardenTall Grasses & Plants for Air-Conditioning Unit Box

Plant tall ornamental grasses or taller plants to hide your air conditioning unit box! As a reminder, growing this type of tall grass takes about two seasons to fully mature. However, their fast-growing rate makes them ideal for hiding utilities! It’s best to grow the tallest grass for the most coverage in your yard.

For example, Zebra grass is hardy in zones 4-9. It grows up to 7 feet tall at maturity with a medium to fast growth rate. Since it clumps, you can plant this grass in groups to efficiently cover your AC unit. This ornamental grass thrives in full sunlight, as its leaves won’t stay upright when it’s in too much shade.


Platt Hill Nursery - garbage can hut - subscribe button

Feather Reed grass is another option that grows quickly, as it matures at a height of 3 to 5 feet tall. With occasional maintenance, it lasts all year round. This grass is ideal for covering an AC unit by planting in front and on the sides, as you can plant them close together to fill any space gaps. In addition, the heads are green and feathered, then turn pink and purple in the summer.


Platt Hill Nursery - Creeping Arctic Willow _Creeping Arctic Willow for Hiding an Electrical Box 

Creeping Arctic Willow grows quickly and can efficiently hide electrical/cable utility boxes. Its bluish-green color blends in perfectly with your utility box, and its textured foliage adds interest to your yard. You can plant these shrubs in groups to ensure maximum coverage. It grows up to 4 feet tall with a spread of 5 feet to fill out the ground area. 


If you’re looking for plants to hide your utilities near you, visit Platt Hill Nursery today! There are a lot of plants that you can use at our nursery garden center near you to help your utilities blend in with the landscape or hide them altogether. 


Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.


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