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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – October 23

As gardeners we’re often presented with visual problems. Faced with electric meters, irrigation equipment, or large asphalt driveways we contemplate our choices: cover up, cleverly disguise, or divert attention away from the difficulty.

Each situation may demand its own solution, and often people turn to plants. “What can I plant here to hide these meters?” is a frequent question from my consultation clients. In some cases I may recommend a shrub, but in many cases my answer is something like this: “You know, sometimes the best plant for the job is fence.”

Or some rocks, pots, or garden ornaments. After all, you don’t want place plants where they will get toasted from the very dryer vent they are supposed to hide. Nor is it smart to use shrubs to disguise a sprinkler head when those very bushes will block the irrigation system’s spray.

When faced with a visual problem we should first think about the function of that obstruction, and whether a plant will resolve the situation or just add another layer of difficulty.

Which is not a bad way to analyze other challenges in life as well. Will a proposed solution cleverly fix things, or cause more troubles down the road?

An irrigation spigot that is both protected and disguised by rocks...and these rocks don't interfere with the watering.

Well done! The fence hides the air conditioning unit, and the displays of ornaments and containers soften both the driveway and the fencing.


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