Keeping your property looking its best is important to you; and it doesn’t require the cost of a professional landscaper to ensure your home’s first impression remains top-notch.  A manicured lawn, for example, can be a beautiful thing to behold; but what if there are eyesores on your property that take away from the pristine appearance you desire?


Garden hoses, air-conditioning units, trash and recycle containers, water meters and electrical boxes are only a small sampling of unsightly items that can minimize your home’s exterior ambiance.  The good news is, those blemishes can be easily hidden in attractive, creative ways.  With that being said, however, some items such as electrical boxes would require approval from local utility companies before being hidden or covered.  Here are a few ways to keep necessary imperfections hidden from view.


Air-Conditioning Units


AC units are bulky and hardly attractive; but covering these units isn’t a problem, in spite of their size.  Simply purchase wooden or vinyl lattice screening that would surround the unit on 2 or 3 sides, depending on the layout.  Keep in mind, AC units require 2 to 3 feet of room around them for air to successfully circulate. 


Lattice screens with attractive toppers can be purchased from home-improvement stores and are easily put together.  The open weave design would allow plenty of required airflow, but would still offer substantial camouflage.  Planting some low-lying plants around the base of the screening would add additional aesthetics.  With this simple beauty solution, this part of your property could look as if it received a noticeable facelift!


Garden Hoses


Garden hoses rolled up along the side or back of a home may look moderately neat; but why not go from ‘moderately neat’ to ‘fabulously cute’?  The solution is an easy one:  simple build or purchase a box-shaped wooden planter!  The boxed area would contain the coiled garden hose with a drilled hole in the back to feed the hose through.  The topper, or lid, for the box would be completely removable for easy access to the hose; but it could, also, be recessed to accommodate soil for planting flowers.  Voile`!  With very little effort, this small area of your home will take on a charming touch!


Propane Tanks


Propane tanks are not designed with beauty in mind; but hiding them is as easy as 1, 2, 3.  Planting attractive greenery or grasses around propane tanks is a wonderful way to conceal while adding optimal appeal.  Plants to consider would be New Zealand Wind Grass and Mint Bush which would provide a good deal of beauty and perennial heartiness and dependability.


New Zealand Wind Grass is gorgeous, fast-growing, highly-durable and elegant; and is a favorite of landscape designers.  Dense, fountain-like clumps will grow to about 3-feet tall and wide, and are drought and deer tolerant as well as requiring only the most basic of minimal care.


Mint Bush is another dynamic choice for hiding propane tanks; and it will serve as an erect evergreen shrub with a touchable, soft feel.  This little beauty will grow up to 6 feet tall; and will expand as much as 5 feet in width depending on which of the 90-plus varieties one might choose.  Aside from a pleasant aroma, small tubular flowers will bloom at the branch tips which contribute to this hearty plant’s denseness and ability to exquisitely hide anything unattractive behind it.


Vertical Piping


If your yard is embedded with one or more vertical pipes, you will be amazed at how easily you can make those permanent ’embellishments’ disappear!  Septic tank access pipes, for example, conspicuously protrude from the ground and remain unsightly.  That type of blemish can be effortlessly rectified:  simply cover these unwanted items with fake rocks which are open on the bottom end and come in a vast array of sizes – some as large as boulders.  Some faux rocks or boulders are designed to be staked into the ground to prevent being blown over by heavy winds.  




If your home’s downspouts don’t need replacing but just feel glaringly unattractive, cover them.  Vines of the petite variety, that aren’t weighty, are a beautiful solution for turning the downspout beast into a handsome prince.  Some varieties of petite vines are more advantageous than others since some will more easily withstand high winds and climb no more than a height of about 15 feet and not invade your roof space.  Some minimal pruning, however, may be required.


A few small-vine varieties that would be excellent candidates for covering downspouts would be Avalanche evergreen clematis, Blueberry Vine, Annual Sweet Pea and Cup and Saucer Vine.            


These clever design strategies can transform your home’s curb appeal from ‘adequate’ to ‘outstanding’, with little investment and minimal effort!

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