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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tootsie Tip #20 Hiding an Ugly Structure

Hiding the ugly...no...I'm not talking about me in the morning after going to bed with wet hair...I'm talking about the ugly that is hanging out in every garden. When it comes to the unsightly areas of a garden....we need to be very creative.
In every garden there is bound to be a pile of ugly...scraps of wood, junk, old and broken pots, branches and twigs, concrete scraps...you know...JUNK. Some of this junk can be recycled and used to make a creative display, but some is just rubble and needs to be hidden or removed. Many gardeners are not equipped with a 1/2 ton truck or trailer to haul this mess away, and will eventually need to hire someone to do the job for them. Until the time comes to hire out to said persons, why not hide the mess?
Now...you could be tempted to dig a hole and bury your rubble, but this is not the best of ideas. Eventually the pile will show it's ugly side again, and you will still have the same issues on your hands...only messier. So...why not...if only for the short term temporary fix, plant a fast growing climber beside the pile and allow the plant to grow over it and cover it up? A fast growing vine can hide a multitude of sins in our gardens.
So? What types of vines can we plant that will quickly handle this issue?
Clematis
Virginia Creeper

Hops
Climbing Roses
Morning Glory
Ivy
Some breeds of Grape Vine
Sweet Peas
Jasmine
Honeysuckle
Hyacinth Bean vine
and there are many others that grow fast, flower profusely and are just wonderful
Keep in mind that if your plant of choice will require and acidic soil, that you should remove concrete pieces from your pile to be hidden....concrete will degrade and neutralize the soil. If your pile happens to be of the "not so fresh" smelling variety...you might want to choose some plants that will perfume the area, and help you deal with such odors.

What do we do with an ugly fence or shed? We follow the same ideas as above...we hide the ugly.
Make sure the fence or shed in question is structurally sound, and if necessary, add a coat of paint or stain in the color of your choice.
Attach trellis, chicken wire or mesh netting for the plants to climb on, to the sides of the structure. Climbing plants will add natural beauty! If it is a garden shed or other building that you are trying to hide...and the roof on it is not good...and you do not think it is worthwhile to replace it...allow the vines to climb up and over the roof. I used to allow morning glory to climb up and over the roof of my greenhouse...it looked like a living building!

I once saw an idea for using eaves troughs as planters. A gardener could easily hide a structure by filling eaves troughs with soil, adding a few morning glory or sweet pea seeds and sitting back and watching a transformation take place. OR...what if you attached some eaves to the side of the building at different heights and planting trailing flowers to hang down all over in different colors....Oh I feel a project coming on...(can you feel my husband's eyes rolling?) lol

Keep in mind that allowing plants to grow on the roof will speed up the deterioration of the structure...so make sure to reserve this project for sheds and other structures that are well past their "best before" date.

Another alternative to hiding some ugliness in your yard and garden-if you don't want to plant permanent hedging bushes- might be some beautifully planted containers. I once saw a set of "bleachers" with containers filled with marvelous flowers creating a nice screen to a less attractive side of a yard. Simply lining up pots and propping them tat various heights works well too. I vary the height of my pots by setting one pot (empty of course) up side down and placing the "planted" one on top of it.

In most cases, when all else fails....flowers never let you down. They distract us all from those unsightly areas of the garden.
I do hope this helps inspire some creative alternatives for hiding the ugly in your garden!
I am planning a post soon to show some creative planting ideas that I have seen and been very inspired by...but for now...the scoop is all you get! lol (I know! a Tootsie post with no photos???the agony! )
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on planting climbers....
also...if you have not stopped by and met my little sister.... she will be thrilled you came by!

26 comments:

Lori Bee said...

How timely...trying to hide my ugly utility boxes! Thanks, Tootsie!

Justine said...

It just ain't right that you'd put this post up with no pics to explain your ideas. Nope. Now I'm mad.

Justine :o )

Jessica said...

Now what to do about my back neighbors not trimming their tree. There has been one ugly dead branch since the hurricane ( last September ) HELP it's killing my environment!!

Why do I see a picture of you here with a chainsaw and a ladder...lol.

♥ you!!

"Blossom" said...

Yes, Tootsie we have neighbors that like their property all grown up so they have some privacy.
But I think that is fine as long as you keep it neat and clean. Now in our back yard it is really woodsey!And we want to clean it out but it is 50 feet behind our lot and you can not see it until you are right in the back yard. It does not make anyone eles property look back. But we plan to clear it out next year.
Going over to see your sista.

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Great post! I thought I was creating privacy. But, the neighbor put up nothing in their backyard. It is so bare that I don't know how they can take it. Except for a ugly trampoline. I am sure they like their view of my backyard. But, I sure don't like theirs. I can't change my yard at this point. I can't stand it!! I'm off to meet your sister. Have a great day!

Darla said...

Good tips Tootsie! Going over to meet the little sister now.

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

I am in agreement with Justine! Girl you can't do this to us- we need pictures!! You know I am a visual learner! I have so many unsightly things in my yard- you could come and fix them all and then take the before and after pictures to put on your posts so Justine will not be mad at you anymore!! :)

blessings
mary

Domestic Designer said...

Thanks for all the ideas! Have a lovely day in the garden!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Well, I planted Ivy in front of a stump from a big old pine that the last snow storm took out and I couldn't get DH to remove the stump...he removed the tree......cause it was at the edge of the yard...near the woods "so it didn't bother anything" BUT me....grrrrrr....

trash talk said...

Girl, there is so much ugly in my back yard I would be planting nothing but vines!!! Actually, I am going to do as you suggest on a back building we have. I love purple hyacinth bean and I think I have some seeds from last year.
I went over and visited with Lilsista yesterday and I think she is a hoot!
Debbie

squawmama said...

Great ideas Tootsie.... Vines and climbing shrubs can hide a multitude of sins.... Love them!

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Happy To Be said...

Great post girl..don't know if I can handle all that ivy growing all over my face ha ha!! How have you been my friend...I am not doing so hot right mow..OUCH!! broke a tooth...I need lots of drugs I tell you ha ha!! May you have a great week my friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Jesikarena said...

Great tip!

Myrna said...

Hiya Tootsie! What a great blog YOU have! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your garden! I'll be back soon! ;-)
Blessings!
Myrna

lilsista said...

Hi! When are you going to make a morning glory playhouse for your kids? Just wondering. Okaaaaay...that's all. Why do I keep seeing peach colored cord pants upon the mention of a back yard? Wierd eh? Hee, Hee, Hee?;)!
No worries...just thought I'd raise your pulse a little:)! I'm not that type...?....no...I'm really not....?....nope, nope....definutely not! lol!
bye!

Shelia said...

Afternoon, Tootsie Wootsie! I'm so glad you popped in to see me! I have to agree with Justiney, I wanna see a hidden ugly structure! I'm sure your plants are coming along nicely!
Can't wait to see the reveal!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

Great ideas! Guess I need to just hide hubby, since he's the one that makes the messes & dumps stuff on the sides of the house! Well, either hide him or pitch a fit so he'll haul off the junk he left out there... ☺ Diane

Darla said...

Girl I am all over signing up for Friday!! You can count on me!!!

Linda/"Mom" said...

* Gee, it's been a WHILE since I've been "by to say hi", girlfriend! (YIKES!!! I've just GOTTA come over more often!!!).

And, "T*H*A*N*K*S", SWEETIE!!! I sooo appreciate "what you did"... and you, for "doing that"!

Love, Linda *

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

I needed this post. Hubs has a shed in our backyard that he's discussed camouflaging it with a mural which I think will scream "Look at me, the ugly shed!!!" I think this could definitely be applied to at least the side ( blaring white) walls.
Thanks for the tip!

Sweet wishes,
Sara

Erin said...

Love those ideas! Thanks for sharing...not that I have junk in my yard, you understand, but IF I did, I'd definitely being thinking about how I could stead some of your ideas...

Judi said...

Hi Tootsie
That was a great post even without pictures with great ideas. Really great ideas. thank you for sharing and have fun in your garden!

I hope your snow has stopped and melted long ago..and its great weather. It was 26C today...it was just the perfect kind of day...with a gentle breeze.. Tootsie why do we need snow??? we don't need snow..eh?
have a nice evening
Judi

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

http://mollyscountrycolorshomeplace.blogspot.com/
Tootsie this is a link to my main blog...the one you visit is my painting blog and I just don't seem to get much painting done any more. Maybe as soon as I finish redoing my house, I'll get to paint again...
Molly

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:10:00 PM

trash talk said...

Girl, it is no where near as pretty as yours, but what do I do? Heck, I'll try anything once and I aim to please!
Debbie

RainGardener said...

Maybe this will help hiding the phone and electric boxes - oops guess we can't do that as they need in them once in a while. Well, I have plenty of other uglies to hide at our place.
Sorry I haven't been around much - I just can't do everything outside and in here too - not as talented as the rest of you bloggers but I'm really working on it. Now I need a new system. I almost had one figured out and then we got good gardening weather!!!

Stephen Baird said...

tootsie love your headline photo ... i love to photograph gardens this beautiful.
nikonsniper