Camouflaging Techniques in the Landscape

Posted November 14, 2019 in Landscape Design

Every hunter wears camouflage to blend into the scenery. Why, camo has even become a neutral wardrobe essential like leopard prints and pinstripes, according to Nicole Miller and Valentino! Using a bit of design insight from fashion designers, we can use the ‘camouflage technique’ to reimagine outdoor areas that have been neglected or have become an eyesore. With our inventive landscape design expertise, we aim to address problem areas within the backyard to create comprehensive and beautiful outdoor living spaces to please the eyes and the soul!

Landscape Solutions

Now you see it; Now you don’t

Dealing with things like AC units, propane tanks, or utility poles can discourage a homeowner to give up. Don’t despair; there is a creative way to address all unique outdoor issues, and our custom 3D full-color modeling lets our clients view and understand the reasoning behind our choices in a comprehensive master plan!

AC units and generators are connected directly to the house, but no one really wants to look at them when trying to enjoy an afternoon outside. Simple design solutions can be implemented to keep the beauty of the outdoors in shape.  Low maintenance vinyl fencing acts as an aesthetic barrier to block out equipment like compressors, generators and even pool equipment.  Perennial and evergreen plantings can be incorporated in front of the fence to soften the structure and add much-needed color against the white backdrop.

Be wary if someone offers the solution of landscaping only, positioned too close to the existing equipment you are trying to hide.  Plants always want to grow, and if they are not maintained on a schedule, they can grow into the equipment or block off air circulation, severely prohibiting proper function and creating more issues than you would like to deal with!

Not every home is blessed with the electrical connection to their home hidden underground, but homeowners don’t necessarily have to stare at a utility pole when having fun outside.  For those facing this inconvenient view, have you ever considered disguising a utility pole with trees? Not much room for a massive wide-canopy tree? Several evergreens grow tall and narrow for these spots. Try Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ (Emerald Green Arborvitae) or Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’ (Degroot’s Spire Arborvitae) which reaches 20 feet in height and 5 feet in width for an all-round seasonal camouflage. Beautiful specimen trees with lots of fall colors can be placed in front of these spots to distract the eye, as well. Enjoy the chartreuse leaves in summer with magical yellow fall color of the Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’ or try Acer palmatum ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’ (Twombly’s Red Sentinel Japanese Maple) with its bright red foliage turning to a brilliant scarlet as the temperatures wain in the fall. Their barren stems are also a sight to appreciate with the darkening to blood-red in the winter. In addition, this specimen is the perfect addition for those narrow spaces to take your mind off the trouble-spots and add color in the landscape for every season.

Solutions for Noise and Privacy

Home developers sometimes crowd homes together leaving privacy at a minimum, but there are simple yet custom ways to add in privacy after the problem is noticed.  Privacy and noise reduction is often a commodity we are able to provide with clever design solutions. While most home contractors are masters of their home building craft, landscape designers provide the same expertise and careful craftsmanship on the outside!

To start, adding lush hedges and specimen plant material coinciding with screening and fencing in a planned outdoor living area will reduce road noise and protect your privacy while spending valuable time outside with friends and family.  Water features are also very helpful when trying to mask traffic or neighborly nuisances.  Not only does the trickling water block out the unwanted sounds, but provides a calming atmosphere and a lovely focal point to your outdoor living space!

Barren Spots in the Landscape

Often, homeowners will complain of barren spots in the landscape where nothing will grow. Be it not enough light or a soil issue, these spaces could have a lot of potential…perhaps this particular spot calls for a seating area. Contrary to popular thought, not all seating has to be right next to the house. Exploring your landscape and enjoying its features lends itself to taking in different vantage points. Using this otherwise uninspiring location can give way to another creative focal point. Open your mind to suggestions for lounging, sunbathing, or getting away from it all! Remember, don’t just rely on moonlight to light the way. If it’s a distance to walk, add subtle landscape lighting to brighten the way and create an ambiance in this corner of your fresh oasis. Subtle reflections of light pick up plant textures and lighter flowering plants to be enjoyed well into the evenings.

When It’s Not Enough or Too Much

Different parts of our landscape can either drain too fast or not enough, leaving us with dilemmas to ponder. These issues are, more often than not, easy for an experienced and dedicated landscape professional to troubleshoot and correct. Often, soil can be remedied of poor drainage with organic materials and a proper drainage system. Underground or surface solutions are options to keep the flow away from your home. Keeping water out of your basement or around your foundation takes expert knowledge of how stormwater flows and how to redirect it. While redirecting a simple water issue, we can take advantage of the use of precipitation to add beautiful spots in the garden and landscape. For instance, a water feature can be added for such times with a dry river creek bed tucked throughout with water-loving, lush perennials or colorful, vibrant rain gardens that attract pollinators to the garden.

Where water is in short demand, a rock garden full of lush succulents that retain water with their thickened, fleshy leaves can be mixed with low growing conifers. Most junipers can take the heat with minimal water in these spots in your garden that have you baffled for ideas. Add Yarrow (Achillea spp.), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and Lavender (Lavandula) to bring about color, texture, and a pollinator feast.

Contact MasterPLAN for Landscape Solutions

Making the best choices for these trouble-spots in the garden with proven and stylish camouflage solutions shouldn’t be a painful process! MasterPLAN Outdoor Living loves a challenge and dedicating time to solve your outdoor dilemmas. We’d love to partner with you to transform your property to showcase its full potential, eliminating trouble spots so you can take full advantage of all it has to offer. If you’re ready to be rid of isolated places that seem out of reach to fix or would like to fully transform your space, our experts would love to help you find the best solution for your home for your family to enjoy for many years to come.

Serving the Poconos, Lehigh Valley through the Main Line of Philadelphia and western New Jersey, MasterPLAN understands that a backyard is much more than a pool, patio or deck, it is the backdrop to your life, and we would love to experience the backyard transformation journey with you.  When you are ready to open a conversation about your own outdoor living space, reach out to MasterPLAN, we would love to hear from you!



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