Need advice for shrubs along driveway

NeenerzMay 17, 2014

I have a neighbor who keeps an untidy yard, so I'd like to plant some shrubs along the side of my driveway to help block some of his yard from view. Does anyone have some advice for what to plant?

I live in Northern Virginia and I would like something that is evergreen. I don't need anything too tall, maybe up to about 4 ft in height; I only have about 5 ft width from the edge of my driveway to the property line. I'd prefer a plant that is fast growing and low maintenance.

I was thinking boxwoods, but I've never cared for boxwoods before. Are they high maintenance or prone to disease?

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

There are a great many evergreen plants that would meet your needs in your zone. Go to a good local nursery and ask for some advice--not a big box store.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

nothing will magically stop growing at some given height...

depending on what you choose.. eventually.. you will be shearing it.. two or 3 times per year ... due to your restricted space.. and presuming you will not let it overgrow their property ...

and dont forget... that a car parked on the drive.. needs 3 to 4 feet.. to swing the door open and get in and out of the car.. that means.... you will be planting.. a foot or two.. from the lot line ... and that means.. a pruning/shearing nightmare ...

what about a wood fence???


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:53AM
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shadeyplace(7) in summer not in winter. or rhododendrons, daphnephylum, slow growing conifers.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:57AM
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I understand that I will need to shear whatever I plant there, but I don't want to choose a plant that naturally grows to >20 ft in height and constantly hack at it with hedge trimmers. By low maintenance, I meant an evergreen that is resistant to disease, pests (including deer), and our sometimes harsh summers and winters.

My HOA doesn't allow fences on the front elevation of the house. Plus, I think a green hedge would be prettier. :)

Thanks for the suggestion of Viburnum, I'll look into that!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

dont forget to park the car over on the edge of the drive.. and swing the door open... and figure out.. exactly how much space you really have ...

good luck


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 4:52PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Possibly Dwarf Burford holly -- kept judiciously pruned might meet your need. I would think you'd want something EVERGREEN for year-round screening. Deer have left mine alone, but deer are different in every area.

'Conoy' viburnum is a really handsome evergreen variety that can be maintained smaller with pruning maybe twice a season.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 10:02AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

How about a Woodward Globe Arborvitae?

I have one and it's really nice....also, they are very tough. With all of the burning on conifers this past winter, I don't have any problems with these!

Here's a link to the conifer forum discussing hedges...notice Wisconsitom's comments.

For something more narrow, there's also the Fineline Buckthorn that gets about 2' wide, 6' tall. Non invasive.

Other non-conifer ideas: Fothergilla or Ogon Margaret Roach's blog ...I think she discusses both of these shrubs which don't need much care at all and get to about 5', although I'm still trying to get the "real user" height info on my Fothergilla Blue Shadow.

Here is a link that might be useful: conifer hedge discussion

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:57PM
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