Let’s face it, privacy is important to most of us. We do not particularly want to see, at all times what the neighbor is doing in his or her pajamas early in the morning. If they are somewhat untidy and seem to think mowing the lawn is, only when they get the urge and the lawn looks like someone’s pasture. We will very quickly decide what sort of privacy we can place between the two houses.
The hedge, border of shrubs, affords more privacy than other plants. Evergreens will continue providing privacy throughout the year. Deciduous shrubs of course will be dormant in the winter without leaves and will only give a certain amount of seclusion.
A formal hedge is pleasing to the eye, however be ready to share some of your time, as in trimming, to keep it narrow and formal in appearance. Informal can be all one kind or mixed plants and will often spread up to 8 ft. They are low maintenance and can offer fruit and flowers, as well as beautiful seasonal colors and have different interesting shapes.
Choosing hedge plants should take time and consideration as to size, maintenance, and amount of property available for planting.
This sort of hedge will need good light and air circulation on each side. Property lines will need to be considered and each plant will need to be set half of the mature plants width from the neighbor’s line.
Set the plants straight remember, you will have to live with them for years, use a string line. Trench out a hole at least as deep as the root systems of the plants. Prepare the soil, and lay plastic to control weeds, set the plants in holes of the plastic. The measurement in the width of the shrubs will vary according to the particular plants, check with your nursery.
Let’s look at a few possible choices, these are only a few of many:
Yew, needled evergreen 3-20 ft. tall, the soil is average to below-average well-drained. Works in sun or shade. Trouble-free dense dark green, with red berries in fall. Many shapes to choose from. Maybe clipped or informal.
Arborvitae, columnar evergreen grows up to 60 ft tall. Likes rich and moist soil, with medium shade to full sun. Grows slow, clips well thus making a good formal hedge. Bright to dark green and yellow-green. The yellow-green turns an unattractive color in winter. Watch for bagworm.
Viburnum, mostly deciduous plant growing in heights of up to 12 ft. Likes moist well-drained, and slightly acid soil. Prefers sun. Easy to grow works well in a mixed border. Has whitish flowers that are small and in round clusters in May, and green summer foliage. Fall color is scarlet with red, yellow blue, or blackberries that last into the winter.
Rose, deciduous grows up to 15 ft. on height; likes average to rich well-drained soil. Needs sun, and late afternoon shade. Very common and most well-known plant in the world. Comes in vine or shrub forms and is good for informal hedges. Choose shrub or species roses, as they are tougher and easy to grow. The fragrance is wonderful and most have fall color.
Barberry, evergreen and deciduous, grow up to 9 ft., likes average soil, and needs sun. These are dense spiny shrubs for barrier or hedge. Small yellow flowers, single, or clusters will put on many flowers. Will produce berries red, purple, or black. Can last into the winter, and have red fall color.
Honeysuckle, deciduous to semi-evergreen, grows up to 15 feet in height. Needs average to dry soil and prefers full sun. Many varieties to choose from and are fast-growing. Tartarian varieties with upright arcing habit will be the best choice for a hedge. The flowers are white or pink and very fragrant. Lacks fall color.