Recommendation on Hedge to Screen

pondbucketMay 14, 2010

I have a unique situation that invites many questions so I thought I would post here (first time posting on Landscape Design).

Most of my landscaping is borders with edging and low plants except for fountain grasses and trees. I try to add color with annuals otherwise it is only a rose bed or two that add colors other than greens.


I'm interested in adding a shrub hedge in a very narrow strip of yard between my short gravel drive/parking that comes off a busy street and my ornamental lily pond that is almost directly in front of the parking and at the side of the cottage/house. I have a small stone-lined rim around the lily pond currently and this is where I wish to place the hedge to screen a part of the lily pond. (Actually, I'm more interested in screening the car's front bumper from the pond).


So, I'm curious for suggestions.

Other data:

Near Kansas City, USDA zone 5, some zone 6 plants overwinter esp. near buildings.

Sun: an ever enlarging canopy from a nearby maple tree is stealing direct sun. Right now it's high shade in the area. Some direct at sunrise and sunset but not more than 2 hrs.

Adjacent garden soil: 7 - 7.5 pH (recently tested, this is reasonable as most of the soils around here are fertile but high pH)

Current Soil: raised due to pond edge and loose-laid stone walk; very rocky underneath but I will remove and ammend as needed.

Width: Need something NARROW. There's only about 3.5' to work with to keep a little circulation around a parked car or pond edge.

Height: looking for somthing that is atleast 3' and maybe taller if it can keep its dense-ness. Something 4-5' would work too, I plan to trim.

I think it would be best if it was something that could keep form and leaves/branches year 'round for screening purposes... so maybe evergreen, I know that I have boxwood shrubs in the front yard's garden and they do very well except the sun is different.

I've thought about a holly but worry about the fullness especially as it grows taller. Boxwoods, I wonder if there is enough sun. Laurels, do they do okay in high shade? I think most Junipers, which grow gangbusters around here, are too big. Other evergreens too spreading/arching for the location.

What would you suggest?

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:43PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

There are many questions that come here that would be best directed to your local nursery, master gardeners, or even garden writers, because climate matters, and because something I suggest might not even be available in your area even if it will grow for you. This may be one of them. That said, people from other zones can give you suggestions and then you can check if they might work for you.

One of my favourite plants is Ilex "Mariesii." I like this plant so much that I am hard pressed not to buy it again every time I see it although I already have it. It has nothing to offer but form and foliage interest, which is really my ideal sort of plant, and it might work in this setting. Mine grows as a narrow perfect tree, but I have seen multi-stemmed specimens and I imagine it can be pruned to suit. I do not know if it would provide the density you want (or if it works in your zone) but it is certainly attractive enough to distract you from your car's bumper even if you can see through it.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 7:08PM
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Ilex crenata ÂMariesiiÂ

Sounds like it could work. USDA zone 5 - 7, 8.

Certainly will stay moist enough around our pond.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 11:16AM
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I think a light touch would serve you. Better than a solid green unchanging mass looming over that lovely pond, you could get seasonal changes with a mixture of plants and a section of trellis. Rhamnus frangula Fine Line is narrow and pretty and mine does well with only a couple hours' sun. The right climbing hydrangea could work for the trellis. Red-twig dogwood can be kept very narrow. Though they're all deciduous, they still provide structure, screening and color.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 2:53PM
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I'm going to look into the plants you have suggested, mbright. Other than the climbing hydrangea, those are all new to me.

Thank you for responding!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 2:23AM
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