I seem to go everywhere
Be it somewhere high or somewhere low
It is like one of the seven deadly sins
It’s the garbage can invasion
Extract from ‘Garbage Can Invasion’
Yes, we all recycle these days and we have multiple garbage cans to make this possible. However, they are quite ugly and certainly don’t improve the look of our homes or our garden. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a little corner where you can get those ugly big lumps out of sight. However, most of us will not be so lucky. So what can you do to hide your trash cans? Checking your garbage cans is a simple do-it-yourself job, and there are several ways to do it, from a simple screen to the more advanced option of building a garbage can storage unit or chest. You can even have planters installed. If all of this seems difficult for your DIY skills, you can buy one finished garbage can shop. There are many options so you can choose the right size for the number of garbage cans. You can even add things like planters to make them look really pretty.
Wheelie Bin Plant Screen
It’s easiest to plant a small hedge in front of your garbage cans. You need to choose your plants carefully. Ideally, the plant must be evergreen so that there is an effective sieve in every season. You want it to grow tall enough to block the trash cans, but not too wide as you need space to access the trash cans and maneuver them when the trash cans come. If you choose a broadly growing plant, it must be able to tolerate a good cut as you will have to shorten it to maintain access. Do not choose anything prickly like a holly, as you are likely to injure yourself when maneuvering your trash can. Here are some good plants to choose from;
1) Thuja. This great evergreen coniferous plant is used worldwide for dense, easy-care hedges. Read here how to plant a thuja hedge.
2) Pittosporum is a good evergreen choice for those of you who don’t like the look or smell of conifers like thuja. They have beautiful, oval, shiny dark leaves. There are many varieties, so you can choose one with a particular trait that you like; Pittosporum tobira has fragrant flowers, ‘Tom Thumb’ purple foliage or ‘Irene Paterson’ for silver leaves.
3) Osmanthus delavayi is another option without conifers. It’s easy to care for and has glossy green leaves, but best in spring it’s covered with fragrant little white flowers that are bee-friendly.
4) Vibrant wicker fence. The willow is not evergreen, but can grow densely so that the branches offer effective screening even in winter. Very low maintenance and very compact for rooms with a small width – a living wicker fence is a great solution. Read here how to plant and hold one.
5) Hornbeam and beech. We think an evergreen hedge is best, but the many intertwined branches of other plant species can provide an effective strainer even without leaves. We’ve already talked about Willow, but other good options are Hornbeam and Beech.
Wheelie bin screen
If your containers are on concrete, very little soil or the conditions are too difficult for plants, you can build an artificial sieve. A simple option is to place one or two fence panels in front of the containers. You need to emphasize the posts and then just insert the fence panels. Here is a video that illustrates the basic steps.
You can paint fence panels in any color you want. Instead of fence panels, you can also use a grid or woven wicker panels. This creates a more interesting finish. All of these panels can be used to support climbing plants such as roses and clematis, which can add extra color and attractive fragrance. This downloadable PDF is convenient to print out as it guides you through the steps required to properly attach fence posts. There is more than one type of post. This PDF explains the differences in installation.
Wheelie bin storage unit
When your carpentry skills are advanced, you can build a closed storage unit for your garbage cans. Here are some ways to do it.
You don’t need a lot of tools – just a decent drilling and wood cutting tool. The material requirements are also fairly low, especially if you have a source of waste wood or pallets. Make sure the posts and frame are made of high quality wood as it is difficult to replace. You can fill the sides and top with older or cheaper wood and replace it relatively easily on a regular basis. Again, you don’t have to fill the frame with solid wood. You can use grids, braided wicker, or wooden panels with fairly large gaps.
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