Today we’re sharing our experience with hiding pool equipment in our backyard! We’ve got ideas on how to hide pool equipment in a variety of ways, plus how we attempted hiding our pool equipment with plants before working with, not against, our wall!
Our story starts 7 years ago when we moved into our big California fixer-upper with the smokin’ fine backyard! (OK, well…it wasn’t smokin’ hot yet—as you can see in our first backyard tour—but Matt and I saw its potential!) In fact, the backyard was what sold us on this house.
Soon after we moved in, I wanted to hit the landscape hard. Mature landscaping is gorgeous and increases your property value…
…and it’s EXPENSIVE! But if you start it early enough and give it time, it’ll get more mature faster. (As one landscape designer I know said to me once, “Sometimes plants grow faster than money.”) And so I wanted to get into making our tropical backyard as lush as possible, as soon as possible!
HOW TO HIDE POOL EQUIPMENT
Hiding Pool Equipment: First Attempts That Didn’t Work!
Of all the things I wanted to landscape (including around our backyard view of the mountains), hiding this wall was high on my list:
Can you see it there behind the trees? 🙂
What is this wall, anyway? Several people who came to see our house in the early days asked if it was another patio. No no. Unfortunately not. It’s one of those walls that California builders put up to hide…(drumroll)…
…the pool equipment!
Sometimes the builders hide it around the side of the house, but not in this property’s case. They planted a plant in front of it and called it good.
Unfortunately, 30 years later that plant had grown into a large, droopy tree that not only didn’t hide the pool equipment wall anymore but
- Dropped leaves into the jacuzzi and pool like it got paid to do it.
- Drooped over most of that rounded bench seat so no one could sit on it.
While we typically avoid removing any mature plants (because of the reasons above!), we decided within the first year that it had to go!
Here’s that same area after we cleared out the overgrown plants:
Take the tour of our backyard when we bought this house!
LANDSCAPING IDEAs TO HIDE pOOL eQUIPMENT
Hiding Pool Equipment With Plants
When that was done, I started by buying some giant, beautiful split-leaf philodendrons to put in front of it. These are one of my favorite tropical plants and have gained popularity in recent years as an indoor plant (often referred to as a “monstera,” which you might have heard before—certainly a lot less of a mouthful than “split leaf philodendron”!).
Unfortunately, as we went through a hot summer, I realized this would be a terrible spot for philodendrons because they’re shade-lovers! Some sun is okay, but not intense California almost-all-day summer sun!
Our local nursery recommended some hedge plants that would grow tall and were supposed to do well in full sun, so we bought several to create a kind of “hedge” in front of the pool wall but again, our afternoon sun destroyed them.
Here you can see the two that survived (but later died) and the two Giant Birds of Paradise I planted in their places to see how those would do. They’re a beautiful tropical plant that does better in full sun, but still you can see here in the hottest part of summer how much they’re all struggling!
Fast-forward to after we ripped up our backyard to remodel the backyard. We did not include any major changes with the pool wall at that point, as I was still convinced we could hide it with some lush tropical plants!
In the below two photos you can see the progression of changes to the accessibility—the entrance to the pool equipment. Since we were trying to make it disappear, I did a landscape design that continued with our ficus hedge to form a “hidden entryway” to the pool equipment.
Above you get a peek at the concrete change. Matt didn’t like the bricks along the top and, after removing them, added concrete along the top and rounded it off (this is before he planned to paint it).
But still, these plants weren’t working the way we’d hoped they would!
iDEAS FOR hIDING pOOL eQUIPMENT
The Skies Part and I See The Light.
I suppose we could thank my second-born daughter’s afternoon nap struggle for helping the skies part and my seeing the light. It was because I spent at least an hour every day pacing with her that I had so much time to study this backyard pool area.
Until then, I’d never just sat, stared at our backyard, and really thought about how to hide that pool equipment wall. I’d never taken the time…
With 90s hip hop bumpin’ on the speakers and my baby strapped into the Moby wrap on my front (the only way I could find to get her to sleep in that phase of her baby life!), I kept myself from going insaaaaaane in the Mama mem-brain by staring out those windows and deciding I was going to finally figure out the most spectacular solution to hiding that pool equipment wall!
That was what I was going to focus on—and not the fact that I was mentally and physically exhausted. I wasn’t going to get mad at my baby; I was going to funnel my focus into dancing around while I paced, and exercising my mental muscles!
hIDING pOOL eQUIPMENT WITH PLANTS
Plants to Hide Pool Equipment
Before I get into sharing what I decided to do with that pool wall, I want to share some good examples of plants for hiding pool equipment:
IDEAS FOR hIDING pOOL eQUIPMENT
3 Tips On What Works Best!
Idea #1: Plants!
If hiding pool equipment with plants, make sure they’re plants that do well in the conditions they’re in—whether full shade, full sun, or a bit of both!
As mentioned earlier, I would have loved to do one continuous hedge like the below!
WALL TO hIDE pOOL eQUIPMENT
Idea #2: A wall!
If hiding with a wall, don’t overdo it! Try to make your pool wall blend in as much as possible and not stick out, especially if it’s in a high visibility location!
You can do a stone or stucco wall like ours, or DIY one out of wood like the below:
HIDING POOL EQUIPMENT
Idea #3: A box!
I tried to talk Matt into this at one point to go along with what we ultimately did to hide our pool equipment, but he didn’t think it was necessary since we’d already hidden it.
Regardless, this is another option that’s great when plants or a wall aren’t best!
HIDING POOL EQUIPMENT
BONUS IDEA #4: Do what we did!
I’d say “we turned ours into a bar” but you really need to see the photos to fully understand how we hide our pool equipment wall in the best way possible (in our opinion 🙂 )!
HOW TO HIDE POOL EQUIPMENT
Bonus Tip #1: Keep it accessible!
Whether hiding pool equipment with landscape or building materials, remember to keep it easily accessible! A pool needs near-daily attention and you don’t want to hide your equipment so well that it’s a pain to get into!
Bonus Tip #2: Accept some noise!
Don’t worry too much about trying to hide the noise. The fact is that pool equipment makes noise…period. If you can muffle it a bit, great, but focus more on making it
- aesthetically-pleasing, especially for resale!
So what did we end up doing to hide our pool equipment? Answer: “The Sunset Bar!” 🙂 See how it looks today!
See the completed “hide the pool equipment wall!” 🙂
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