Ask a Question forum: Need recommendation for a small evergreen to hide a utility meter

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Nov 29, 2017 8:08 AM CST
Would appreciate recommendations for an evergreen bush that grows no larger than 48" that would do well in partial sun location to hide an unsightly gas meter. Thanks for your help!
Thumb of 2017-11-29/idreos/f3f9f9

Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Nov 29, 2017 8:13 AM CST
My fear would be digging around the gas meter. Would you consider either a pretty piece of trellis or a custom made piece to hide the pipes? You could grow a clematis, like Nelly Moser, on the trellis as it doesn't get overwhelming.
Name: Trudy
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 9b)
Nov 29, 2017 8:17 AM CST
I think a lemon Cypress would be stunning. Buy it small so there's not a large hole to dig.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Nov 29, 2017 9:09 AM CST
Some boxwoods. Make a pretty hedge, but need yearly trimming.
Butt, then, anything that grows, will need maintenance.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Nov 29, 2017 1:08 PM CST
You may also check with the utility people, sometimes they don't want things growing around their stuff, or want a certain amount of elbow room. I have about a 10' deep perennial garden in front of my electric meter and have put up a trellis with honeysuckle growing on it, BUT I find I need to keep it trimmed regularly (I've cut out a square of the trellis to fit the meter) so the meter reader can easily see the dial directly in front of the meter. I've found some of the meter readers just stomp through my garden bed, whereas others are more thoughtful. I did put some strategic stepping rocks leading to the meter, but I guess some of them must get a kick out of exerting their 'power.' I actually think they can read the meter from the sidewalk, but oh well. Plants recover. That said, it is a good idea to have a forgiving and easily regrown plant to use for screening in the event any work needs to be done around the utility. We recently did an electrical upgrade, and I just cut the honeysuckle completely down to the ground during the remodel, and then let it recover when we were done. It looks fine, and may have gotten a jolt of rejuvenation from the severe pruning.

We also have a large transformer electrical box in our front field, maybe 3' square and about a foot tall. I checked with the power people and they would prefer to have about a 6" clearing around that because some plants try to sneak up into the box itself and can create a hazard. I try to remember to weedwack and lay down sand, but don't always think about it. The surrounding plants are all pasture grasses and I don't think any of them are very aggressive as far as poking around where they don't belong.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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