Thursday, June 17, 2021

New Plants Around Utility Boxes

I'm no stranger to hiding utility boxes with plants to not only make it more attractive but also make it easier to mow around. Before I did this utility box landscaping my neighbor said he was coming out with scissors to cut the grass in between the power box and internet box in the front yard. 

plants around utility boxes

utility box landscaping photos
Here is an After photo from October

At our old house, I had a great utility box combination of feather reedgrass, coneflower, iris, and asters. I wanted to try something a little different here because all of those plants die to the ground in the winter and only do a good job hiding the utility boxes for 7 months out of the year. So I wanted to do something evergreen this time but I didn't want to have to wait years for it to grow either. 

My compromise was to plant one emerald green arborvitae in the front that will eventually get 4 feet wide and hide most of the boxes from the front view, but in the meantime I wanted to hide the boxes from the side so I used one of my favorite ornamental grasses 'Northwind' switchgrass. 

'Northwind' switchgrass

I also got a few drought tolerant flowers called Gaillardia aristata 'Spintop Copper Sun' that won't really get tall enough to hide anything but they are blooming like crazy and don't need a lot of water. 

Gaillardia aristata 'Spintop Copper Sun'

I started by rounding up the grass in the shape of the bed using a hose as a guide for the shape. I waited about a week for the grass to fully die and added a very thick layer of mulch. I called 811 before the dig to mark the utility lines, but since my mulch was so thick I actually didn't even dig into the ground I just pushed the mulch aside, added topsoil and the plants are all planted above the clay soil in nice mounded topsoil and surrounded by mulch. 

arborvitae emerald green

I don't have anything in the back yet and I'd still like to add some coneflower, but for now at least I don't have to mow between the boxes and it looks a little better. The plants are so small that they aren't completely hiding anything really, not yet anyway.