How to hide a small shed

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Many homeowners deem garden sheds necessary for housing lawnmowers and various garden implements, but they can sometimes be eyesores that detract from the appearance of the garden. Older sheds in particular can become rundown, lending an unkempt appearance to the entire yard. There are several different ways that you can hide a small shed. Some are permanent while others will provide cover during the summer months only. You will need to decide which method of screening the shed suits your individual landscaping needs.

Select the shrub you want to grow for your living screen. For example, for year-long protection, you will want to choose an evergreen shrub. However, for colour, you could grow a rose of Sharon shrub or another flowering shrub, such as lilac or honeysuckle. Pay attention to the sunlight requirements for each type of shrub before planting. If the shrub is going on the north or east side of the shed, it will need to be a shade-loving variety. If it is going on the south or west side of the shed, it will need to be a full-sun variety.

Dig holes around each side of the shed, minus the door. These holes should be approximately 1ft. in length and between 3 and 6 ft.apart, depending on the type of shrub you have chosen. Check the growing instructions specific to the shrubs to confirm how far apart your holes should be.

Plant the shrubs. Set each plant's root ball firmly in the ground and pack the loose soil around it. This will help the shrub stay upright as it grows and provide it with a firm surface in which to establish its root system.

Water the soil after planting and periodically as needed.

Prune the shrubs as necessary. While you do want to hide the shed, if you selected a shrub that grows more than 6ft. tall at maturity, it will need to be pruned back every year. Shrubs should be pruned in the fall. Cut them back to a little below the desired height each time.

Install a post on each corner of the shed. This will be used to help secure the trellis. The posts should be planted at least 2ft. deep into the soil. Steel posts work well for this application, but wooden posts can also be used for a more natural appearance.

Using fencing wire, string a trellis between the two posts arranged on each side of the shed. The ends of the wire should be secured to the posts. Start at the bottom of the trellis and work upward, placing a wire approximately every 2 to 3 inches. This support will ensure that the trellis stays put, even in adverse weather.

Plant your vinelike plants underneath the trellis. Vines such as morning glories or nasturtium will need very little training to establish on the trellis. Plant the vine to the depth of the container that it is in. For example, if the container is 3 inches deep, this is how far into the ground the plant will need to be placed. Space your plantings out between 18 to 36 inches as desired; placing them closer together will create a denser screen.

Train the vines. As the vines grow, they may need to be trained to climb the trellis. To train, wrap the plants' tendrils around the trellis once they get long enough to reach. This should only need to be done once. If necessary, you can lightly secure the tendrils in place with twist ties; however, be sure to leave enough room for the tendril to grow.

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