Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 16, 2008

From: Peoria, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants to hide utility boxes
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What are suggestions for plants to plant around utilities boxes (3 of them clustered together) to effectively camouflage them but be attractive. We will outline a larger area in brick, plant evergreens behind the boxes and something in front. Looking for a couple perennials and an alternative to ornamental grass?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is assuming you want herbaceous plants rather woody (shrubs or trees), or at least small shrubs.  If so, here are a few with attractive flowers:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

You can find more possibilities for commercially available landscaping plants for Illinois by visiting our Recommended Species page and selecting 'Illinois' from the map there. 


Asclepias tuberosa

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Echinacea purpurea

Euphorbia corollata

Hypericum prolificum

Monarda fistulosa
 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Need Fast-Growing Screening Shrub for Arlington, TX
March 16, 2011 - What fast growing shrub/tree could be planted along side a fence to provide additional privacy? We have a pool in our backyard and the view behind our house is less than enjoyable. We would like to ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Collin County, Texas
May 26, 2010 - I am looking for a shrub or tree that will serve as a privacy screen. I would like it to grow very tall and be thick to help provide some privacy. I live in Collin County, and the area where the tre...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plans in Kyle TX
February 12, 2012 - I am starting from scratch in a backyard (approx. 52'x25')in Central Texas (Kyle). The backyard is on the north side of the single story house. I would like to have plants and trees that attract and...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.