If you live in a rural area, your well is the source of drinking water in your home. In most cases, well water tastes better and is cooler than water pumped through city systems, but they do have some drawbacks. One is the disruption in your landscape when you must deal with well pipes, pump houses or other portions of the well that are not easily hidden. Well pipes can also be a hazard when performing yard maintenance as they are easy to overlook. Damage to your well head can lead to significant repair costs. Therefore, using decorative means to hide your well can also protect it from damage while you are maintaining your yard. These five simple tips can help you disguise your well and protect it from damage.
Surround your well cap with a seasonal flower bed. Be sure to use a variety of species so that the flower bed is attractive throughout the year. Low evergreen plants keep their color in the winter and make a nice backdrop for bright flowers in the spring, summer and fall. You can purchase bird baths or other decorative items that are designed to fit over the well cap. A birdbath and colorful flowers will attract many species of bird, adding to the beauty of your yard.
Surround the well cap with large rocks, burying each about one-third in the ground so that it looks natural. Place soil in and around the rocks as well as smaller rocks in random patterns. Plants like two-row stonecrop, known as “dragon’s blood,” can be planted between the rocks. The creeping plant is hardy and is rated for zones three through nine. As the plant grows, it will creep through and over the rocks, creating the look of a stone forest setting.
If you have a pump house, you can make the structure look more attractive with just a few simple additions. An old window attached to the outside of the house with a window box full of bright flowers can give the pump house the feel of a small cottage. Place gardening tables or a small bench for relaxation as an added touch. If your well access is above ground and covered by a short wooden structure, consider building a small pump house. You can create a pump house that looks like your home or create one that adds to the landscaping, such as a small church or pagoda. You can make a simple structure out of lattice with planted vines for a simple solution to an unsightly pump cover.
If your well pipes are above-ground and there are more than just a well cap, one easy method for hiding the unsightly pipes is to repurpose old shingles. Paint the shingles in a color that complements your home and connect them in the center with hinges. Simply place them in front of the pipes and secure them in the ground. Plant flowers or vines for a splash of additional color.
Wishing wells are a common method for hiding well caps and pipes in your yard. You can purchase ready-made wishing wells at many garden centers or you can build one yourself. There are also barrels and pumps that simulate old-fashioned hand pumps that can be placed over your well cap or pipes.
It is important to remember that you should never plant trees near your well as roots can damage the well casing. Be sure that whatever you place over or around your well can be removed easily for repair or water testing by a company like Water Systems Council. Obviously, utility is of foremost importance, but why can’t your well be aesthetically pleasing as well?