Beautifying a covered porch & air conditioner - Knowledgebase Question

Scottsdale, Ar
Question by keelreisinge
February 4, 2010
Hi expert!
My back door leads to a covered concrete porch (opens to back yard) with air conditioner on the side in the grass. (no direct sun for plants in pots on porch). How can I beautify the porch with color and hide the air conditioner keeping in mind the harsh climate here? Thanks!!

Answer from NGA
February 4, 2010


If grass is growing near the air conditioner, you must have sunshine there. If so, you can plant an evergreen vine and build a short trellis so it can climb. I have a similar situation in my garden and have driven 3 rebar rods into the ground 12" deep and 2' apart, with about 4' of height above ground. Then I attached galvanized wire fencing (or you could use hogwire) to the rebar to make a fence. I planted Hardenbergia violacea (happy wanderer lilac vine) on the outside of the trellis. It grows up and slightly over the trellis to hide the heat pump. I find it a well behaved viney shrub that takes the Phoenix heat, remains evergreen and provides attractive winter flowers. You'll find these plants in garden centers now - in bloom. After the plant finishes blooming I prune it back by about a third (to just about 3' in height). It hides the heat pump all summer and puts out new growth in late summer, develops flower buds and sits patiently for January when it bursts into bloom again.

For some color in the shady part of your porch, try corkscrew vine, Duranta (golden dewdrop), desert rose, daylily, kangaroo paw, gold coin, heavenly bamboo (nandina) and bower vine.

Best wishes with your colorful garden!

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