Hide Ugly Yard Fixtures: 8 Fun Landscape Ideas

a tall grey wall and ornamental trees hide ugly yard fixtures

No matter how hard you work to create a captivating landscape, there are always some ugly yard fixtures you just can’t get rid of. From unsightly HVAC units to utility meters and unruly garden hoses, these small things can take attention away from the rest of your beautiful yard.

Rather than simply working around them, enhance the beauty of your yard by cleverly hiding eyesores using these 8 creative landscape ideas.

1. Build a Cute Fence

This simple landscaping tip is great for hiding practically anything and is highly customizable. Whether you’re trying to conceal a clunky AC unit, an ugly pool filter, or trash bins, a simple wooden fence adds some charm while taking attention away from those eyesores.

2. Plant Raised Flower Beds

Are you trying to hide utility meters or obscure the view of an AC unit from the curb? A raised garden bed is a fun and practical landscape idea that can give your yard a unique, modern feel while concealing your least favorite aspects of your yard. Raised garden beds also add a splash of color to your yard and provide more vegetation for critical pollinators to take advantage of.

However, it’s important to pick your plants carefully. Ideally, you want to choose native flowers or plants that fit cohesively with the rest of your yard and add a stroke of beauty all year long.

3. Create a Distracting Focal Point

A distracting focal point can pull attention away from the negative aspects of your yard. This feature doesn’t have to be a luxury residential landscaping project, but it certainly can be. Fixtures like water fountains, birdbaths, retaining walls, small ponds, and statues all add a touch of luxury and elegance to an otherwise average yard.

When guests come to your house, they’ll be too distracted by the brilliant focal point to notice an ugly electrical box.

4. Consider Privacy Screens

We see these a lot in the Bay Area, especially the Burg, so this landscaping tip is likely old hat to locals. Privacy screens completely obscure the view of whatever they’re placed in front of, which is why they’re a popular choice for homeowners looking to conceal bulky AC units or trash bins.

There are several materials you can use to create a privacy screen. Whether you prefer a flower-filled trellis, a woven wooden wicker screen, or a basic screen with wooden slats, there is something to suit every sensibility.

5. Plant Tall Shrubs

You can create a natural fence or privacy wall of sorts by planting a row of tall shrubs. Some fast-growing and attractive shrubs you can plant for both privacy and to hide ugly yard fixtures include:

  • Arborvitae
  • Italian cypress
  • English laurel
  • Bougainvillea
  • Azaleas
  • Gardenia
  • Leyland cypress

These shrub varieties are relatively low maintenance and add natural vibrancy to any space. Everything from trash bins to garden tools and utility meters can easily be hidden by a wall of vegetation. This option is great for homeowners who love nature and want more privacy, but it may require the assistance of professional landscapers.

7. Add Garden Hose Storage

Many people overlook their garden hoses. But a tangled rubber mess sitting in your yard can make even a perfectly manicured lawn seem messy.

Luckily, garden hoses don’t have to be tucked out of sight; they can easily be stored in your yard without taking away from their beauty. A simple storage box or hose reel makes it easy to keep your hose tidy and out of the way.

Of course, you can disconnect and store your hose elsewhere if you prefer. But most people find it easier to just invest in storage, so you don’t have to disconnect and move it every time you use it.

8. Install Faux Rocks

This one may sound a little silly, but large faux rocks can be used to cover small utility towers and other unsightly fixtures in yards. This solution is impractical for larger fixtures but is a quick and easy fix for smaller eyesores that you just want to cover up and forget about.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before you make any final decisions, it’s important to consider functionality and access. Even though you want to pretend these ugly fixtures aren’t there, you don’t want to impede their ability to do their job.

AC units need plenty of room to properly ventilate, so they should never be completely enclosed. Additionally, water meters and electric panels still need to be accessible for servicing.

Some municipalities and utility companies have policies pertaining to covering up meters and other fixtures, so double-check with the proper local authorities before starting your project.

Use Local Residential Landscaping Services

Although there are some concealment projects you can complete yourself, it’s good to know your limits and call in the pros when you need them.

It’s simple enough to buy and install a garden hose wheel, but things like planting a shrubbery privacy wall or installing a focal water fountain are probably above your skillset. When you go with pros, you have access to more luxury residential landscaping services.

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