Utility boxes are a part of life, despite their aesthetic. Fortunately, there are a few clever (and pretty) ways to hide them- or at least draw attention away from them so that your yard focuses on the intentional detail, not the unsightly but necessary metal boxes.
If the box itself is lacking safety information, it is a good idea to check in with your utility company before starting any landscaping activities around your utility box. Some have underground wires, some need airflow you wouldn’t want to obstruct, and some have a minimum offset distance you’ll need to keep in mind when starting your project. Once all of the important safety precautions have been taken, then you can let the creativity begin!
Potted plants are probably the simplest way to get something mobile set up around the area you are trying to hide. Even if the area is grass, setting your large potted plants onto wheeled holders will ensure that they can be moved quickly in the event workers ever need to access the area unexpectedly. Combining plants of differing sizes, shapes and colors will add contrast and dimension to the area, putting the focus on the plants and their decorative pots as opposed to what is hiding behind them.
Another option is a trellis. This will provide a lovely-looking barrier to your utility box that you can have some fun with. Place pots or container gardens of climbing plants at the base or let the kids paint the trellis to get them involved in the creative landscaping process! You could even add castors to the bottom of your trellis so that it can be moved out of the way if necessary. The downside to this is that it can be a wind trap, so be sure that you have ample weight at the base of your mobile trellis. Be sure that any footing placement is clear of potential underground wires if you are building a stationary trellis. Contact your utility company for information.
Using outcroppings and shallow garden beds to pull the eye away from utility boxes is another way to keep the focus on your landscaping. Include tall ornamental grasses, large rocks or boulders, and small shrubs with shallow root systems to create visual interest. This option makes for a natural flow from your home to your yard by way of including several cohesive outdoor design elements in a single space.
Although utility boxes do little to enhance the visual appeal of our outdoor spaces, they are necessary. So we need to find creative ways to integrate (or hide) them when considering landscaping options. Whether you choose something permanent or mobile, small or large, be sure to take the proper safety precautions and ask a professional about the potential hazards and risks associated with your design plans. We want to make sure that you are staying safe while making your yard all that it can be!