Unsightly drain covers in gardens can take away from beautiful aesthetics and enjoyment.
While these are necessary for wastewater systems, there are some ways in which you can disguise them to give your garden a better look.
To disguise a drain cover, consider using the following:
- Bird accessories
- Firepit (non-sewer drains)
- Moveable pond
- Faux rock boulder cover
- Landscaping rocks
- Sunken lid with gravel
- Customised drain cover
- Mosaic drain cover
- Painted drain cover
- Faux grass
Drain disguises can be done with artificial, natural, and camouflaged options. Read on to learn more about these choices.
11 Ways To Disguise Drain Covers In Gardens
Drains are essential in preventing environmental contamination. Drains either remove excess rainwater or are connected to the sewer system. Sewer manhole covers prevent toxic wastewater gases from being released into the air.
Keep in mind that public drain covers must be accessible and building over or blocking them may be against local regulations.
Check with your local water authority before covering a drain cover. Public drains typically have information on them stating the ownership.
Generally, garden drains are for removing rainwater to prevent flooding. Private drains are the responsibility of the property owner. For those that have communal gardens, you should check with your landlord first.
If in doubt, it is better to check first to avoid potential legal and financial issues.
Ideally, the drain should still be accessible, allowing for the flow of excess water. Drain disguises that sit on top of drains, should be able to be freely moved to inspect them for repairs or maintenance.
Never fully remove a drain cover, since it keeps pets, children, and people safe from the hole.
If a drain cover is raised, several of these methods will help disguise it, as well as prevent people from tripping over it.
Plant tall plants around the drain, such as a potted Acer tree, to camouflage the drain.
Use a variety of plants that create a layered look or opt for a large one that has a width to fill in any visual gaps. Choose plants that have broad or hanging leaves.
Perennial plants will thrive each year, or annual ones can allow you to change the look yearly.
You could also place potted plants in front of the drain to block the view of it. Potted plants, in particular, are very easy to lift and move to inspect the drain as needed.
2. Bird Accessories
You can enjoy some wildlife in your garden while hiding a drain cover.
Bird baths and bird feeding tables can be placed in front of or over a drain. Make sure the bottoms of these items do not prevent water from flowing.
Opt for a bird bath that has an open design on the bottom of the pedestal to allow water through.
Only use this if you have a water drain, and not a sewer one with toxic, flammable fumes.
If your garden has room for people to sit and enjoy a warming fire, you can place a firepit over the drain.
The firepit should be moveable with legs and an open bottom.
4. Small Moveable Pond
A small portable pond can help to camouflage or block the sight of the drain.
This can be used in conjunction with landscaping rocks and plants if you desire to create a focal point in your garden.
The pond must be able to be moved and should not entirely cover a drain.
5. Faux Rock Boulder Cover
Cover the drain with a plastic hollow rock boulder. Make sure it doesn’t completely cover the drain blocking water from entering it where the rock touches the ground.
Check drainage by pouring some water near the edge of the bottom of the rock and observe if it drains away.
6. Landscaping Rocks
Place down larger landscaping rocks, approximately 7 to 15 centimetres in size.
Organise them to look like a rock garden over the drain, leaving some space between to allow water to flow through.
7. Sunken Lid With Matching Gravel
Switch out the drain lid with one that can be sunken into the garden. You may wish to leave this as is if you cannot see it once it is below the surface level.
Additionally, if your garden has gravel mulch, you can loosely layer matching gravel over the sunken lid.
Check the drain to ensure that water can still flow through.
8. Customised Drain Cover
Landscaping companies may offer a drain cover that looks like rock or stone pavers or have a different design.
Rock designs offer a more natural look to the drain, helping it to add to the beauty of your garden, rather than distract from it.
9. Mosaic Drain Cover
A landscaping company or commercial products may offer a pre-made mosaic drain cover. Or, you can make one yourself.
If you make a mosaic lid to cover a drain, make sure that you incorporate drainage holes into the design.
This strategy brings attention to the drain, yet it is more pleasing to look at. Onlookers may not even realise it is a drain, and rather think it’s a beautiful piece of garden art decor.
10. Painted Drain Cover
This method also brings attention to the drain, yet it makes it better to look at. You could also choose paints that camouflage it with the surrounding materials’ colours.
Choose paint that is appropriate for use on the material your drain is made out of. Paint can wear away over time, and therefore likely will need maintenance.
11. Faux Grass
Faux grass lids, mats, or covers can be used on drain covers if it blends in with the way your garden is designed. Fake grass can be trimmed down to the size you desire.
Since this grass is fake, it may fade or look drastically different from the surrounding grass over time.
Artificial turf is designed to drain, but you can test it out after placing it down. You could also poke some holes through the material to ensure water goes through.
Gardens offer a place for relaxation and beauty. An unsightly drain cover can interrupt that.
You can use art decor, natural plants, customised drain covers, and other items to camouflage, block, or accessorise your drain cover.
Before altering or hiding a drain cover, it is important that you know what kind of drain you have and if you have permission to do the work.
Drains should still function and be accessible for maintenance and repair.