You are probably saying to yourself, so what is a well head? A well head is a big ugly pipe sticking out of the ground about 2 feet high with a large metal wellhead cover cap on it. If you use a drilled well for private well water supply you will know what I am talking about. When we installed the well on our farm many years ago I really didn’t know what to expect. I’d never had my own water well before, water always just came out of my taps like magic.
When you drill a well the pipe ends above ground level as a wellhead, where it is locked and can be opened to service your well. Wells are drilled within a reasonable distance to your house to reduce the cost of piping the water supply into your home. At the time the placement looked just fine to me as everything was a blank slate. A lone house on many acres of nothing appears small and distances are extremely deceiving. As we began to landscape and create our gardens however, the well head was soon right in the middle of one of my proposed perennial garden beds. It stuck up like a sore thumb and annoyed me every time I walked by it. People always asked, what’s that weird pipe in your flower bed? I finally decided it was time to do something about it, but what? Must hide well pipe!
It would have been nice to just plant a few permanent shrubs or perennials around it but that was not an option. Should you need to access this pipe to repair your well and believe me that time will come sooner than you think, many men with big boots will be stomping around the area. Trust me when I say the area around the well head will be trashed. That left me with annuals or seasonal plantings. I tried this for a year or two but nothing really seemed to work, most of the time it was still sticking out and of course in winter it was once again in full ugly view.
I decided the best approach would be, if you can’t beat them join them. I gathered up a collection of twigs and constructed a cover for it, it looks rather like an oil derrick. Placed over the top of the pipe your eye goes to the twig sculpture and not the pipe. It hides inside very well and of course this can be taken off very easily to access the head if needed. I then planted by seed rudbeckia around the entire area and allow it to reseed itself each year. The result is a very colorful, easy care area with the well head very well camouflaged. Even in winter it looks quite acceptable.
As an option some years I plant an annual vine like beans or morning glory around the base of my twig structure to further add color and camouflage. They grow nicely up the sides of my oil derrick and spill over the top. I chose the oil derrick shape as I found it to be easy, but you can make any shape you want as long as the head pipe can go up inside it.
I nailed my twigs together with small 1 inch nails and after many seasons of wear it is still holding up very well. Best of all it really cost me next to nothing, just a few nails and a couple of packages of seeds. To add to the rustic look I gathered up 2 old rusted rings from previous wood barrels. Once used for containers the barrels had long ago rotted out and when I tore them apart I saved the metal binding rings. I somehow knew they would come in handy one day. I attached them to my bamboo pole fence behind the well head for added interest and eye distraction from the dreaded pipe.
All in all I feel this has been quite successful. I will probably need to replace my twig tower in a year or so and I plan to create the shape of a small pyramid. This should be easy as it is similar to a teepee. The well head will fit nicely up inside it.
Sharing with “The Prairie Homstead Barn Hop” / see blog roll