Monday, August 19, 2013

How to hide a drilled well pipe

I have come to accept the real me. I have come to love the real me. I now celebrate the real me. – Charice Pempengco 

Lilies, shasta daisies, poppies, gentian, bleeding heart, hosta, anemone,
sweet peas ...all rescued from the digger.

That quote holds a lot of significance for me. There are some things we all have to accept and build from there. It's like Don Quixote trying to joust with a windmill. It ain't gonna happen.

It also has the word “celebrate” in it, which makes sense to use as an intro because I’m going to talk about something no one thinks to celebrate. I wish I had seen this post before I wrote it. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it.

What I mean is I wish that the info in this post was available to us when I went looking for solutions to a un-celebratory property problem: the drilled well pipe. You know, the pipe that sticks at least 18” out of the ground after you water well has been put in.

A lot of people want solutions to hide it. Luckily, after a well is drilled, the ground for yards around is fair game. It’s obliterated. Unluckily for us we had to run our pipe to the house right.through.our.flower.bed. Yup. Half of it – gone. 

And we only had recused it from the weeds this year. Sigh...

If you go looking for solutions to hide this metal and plastic monstrosity you don’t find much that’s – shall we say – classy. There’s hollow windmills to put over it, or fake wishing wells, or even hollow fake plastic rocks. Shudder.

10 feet at the widest point.
You have to be careful what you do to it because you can’t just bury it. And whatever you do has to have ready access or can be easily removed. It has to be available for servicing if the pump ever needs replacing.

So what do you do? Well fear not. Here’s a solution that not only hides the blasted thing but also makes it a feature. If you have a pimple, put some eyeliner on it and make it a beauty mark.

Our solution? Make a low rock wall around it, fill it with dirt and plant it. Its a simple as that. It won’t hide it four-seasons if you’re in our climate, but it will for the length of time you constantly use your yard. It also serves as a "distraction," giving you something else to look at.

Fo ours, I made a nautilus shaped spiral out of “found” rock about 10-12 inches high with the dirt a few inches lower inside. There’s still plenty of pipe above ground. Over the pipe I put a metal garden trellis where I have planted perennial sweet peas. So not only will the pipe be covered, but it will be in full flower.

You don’t have to make a spiral. Make a circle, oval or square, or whatever shape you want. Tie the rock into something existing. The point is to have plants growing up around it to make it less noticeable.

This is the sunny side. I moved five lavenders to a position against it.

Interestingly, this little structure also creates a slight microclimate. So if you have any borderline zone plants tuck them up against the rocks where they’ll appreciate the shelter and extra heat. I moved out lavender to the sunny side of the wall.

The pictures of my creation are a little sad because the plants are what we salvaged before the well digger came in. They have been sitting in water for over a week. They needed planting. In a few days I expect to see either some life or new growth on many of them.

Cost? I scavenged the rock, the dirt was out back and the plants were saved. I tally that as 0 dollars. A little sweat equity, but not much.

So there’s my solution. Don’t hide it. Celebrate it. It's better than trying to fight something you can't.


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