Eyesores in the Garden




The pleasant view across my front yard lavender garden comes to an abrupt halt at an ugly utilitarian object --- a 300 gallon horizontal propane tank. The only comfort I can take is that, since I painted it brown, it is somewhat less ugly than its original puice, the reason we still refer to it as “the yellow submarine.”

This hideous blot on the otherwise pleasing view supplies us with gas to cook our food and keeps us snug and warm in the winter. It was originally placed to one side of the front yard because our north-facing driveway is treacherous in winter and difficult for the delivery truck to negotiate. It could not be moved back any further because of trees and a precipitous ledge behind it. The trees were taken down, but the ledge remains.

Its location right outside the window is a constant irritant and it continues to be the one functional object for which we have not found a landscaping solution. Last summer, we looked into leveling off the ground in order to move the tank farther back and found that it would be prohibitively expensive, so we’re still searching for another way.

We’ve discussed faux sheds, full sheds, screening fences, low rock walls, screening plants, vines, creating a faux animal shape (what North American animal is nine feet long but only three feet tall?), ruins, follies, artistic painting, etc. Few of these alternatives address the issue of the overview of this monstrosity from the window and most would call more attention to it. Some of them would look silly because of the scale and location in the yard.

We can neither move nor eliminate our eyesore, so the answer seems to be some type of screening that hasn’t yet occurred to us, or creating a distraction. Right now we are leaning toward putting a tall arbor behind it that would create a framed view of the lake across the way in winter and a vertical display of climbing roses or other vines when the trees are leafed out. For this strategy to work, Dan will have to extend the deer fence or the vines won’t survive. We would also need to address problems associated with building such a structure on the ledge. However, even this does not resolve the view from the window.

The tank will be scraped and repainted soon, but it will still be an eyesore. Any suggestions?

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