Native shrub suggestions for mid-atlantic hedge to conceal

shadysite(8)August 18, 2012

I work with a community garden situated on the grounds of a church rectory We have gotten agreement to have a composting bin but it must be hidden by a native shrub hedge, aka living fence with one ungated opening to act as doorway. The parish rectory gardens would have responsibility for the upkeep of said hedge and want something native, at least 4-5 feet higheventually and six feet long, EASY CARE with a nice growing habit and attractive through the winter. Flowers, bees, butterflies, and food would be a bonus. Raspberry or blackberry not acceptable, might possibly persuade to evergreenblueberry.

I am looking for three or four suggestions that meet midatlantic, native, evergreen, easy care. Soil is high in clay but has been put to shrubs for years -- ripping out forsythia which has covered a third of the lawn and Japanese honeysuckle.]



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Inkberry holly -- they get leggy with time, but they're readily available and not expensive, so they're reasonable to replace.

Northern or southern bayberry might work.

Most of the better hedging plants for this area IMO are not evergreen.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

If you have deer in your area, keep in mind that they will EAT your privacy.
That has happened to me in N. CA. so be sure you plant what they don't like to eat. Min

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:40AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

You'll probably have a broader selection of plants to choose from if you don't limit yourself to only native plants.

But if that is a carved in stone criteria and you don't have deer concerns then possibly a vaccinium or viburnum might be a consideration.

Just for the fun of it, below is a photo of a well planted and artistically concealed trash enclosure that I saw recently in Singapore.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:42PM
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I would encourage this group of community gardeners to acquaint themselves with the interesting subject of plants native to America. Ann Leighton's book titled "American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century" is an accurate and enjoyable historical read on the subject.

The native shrub Mt. Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) meets the conditions described as needed to conceal a compost pile. Evergreen, remains dense grown in shade, quite maintenance free, grows 5-8' at maturity, spring blooms.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Kalmia is a good suggestion -- but, in my experience, it can be fussy about soil conditions in this area. It's a bit hot for its taste in the coastal plain unless the soil and light conditions are just right.

The viburnums are by and large not evergreen -- nor are other excellent hedging plants like ninebark.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Because I'm on the left side of the country, I don't have any of William Cullina's books about gardening with natives, but they are highly regarded. You might look at the book "Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: A Guide to Using, Growing, and Propagating North American Woody Plants". Cullina has also written books on gardening with native wildflowers, and on gardening with native ferns, mosses and grasses.

Best wishes with your project.


Here is a link that might be useful: Some books from the New England Wildflower Society

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:48PM
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