Shrub 5 ft by 1 ft to hide garbage cans

ginjjAugust 1, 2012

I would love some suggestions on what to plant along a 3' picket fence to hide my neighbors big garbage cans on the other side.

The area is mostly shaded except for a little warm afternoon sun, I mean a little, maybe one hour max and even then not direct sun. The shade is not dark shade however.

I need to keep it to 1 1/2 feet wide as I have a path there. One spot is maybe 4 feet long, the other only 2 feet. I'd like to keep them to 6ft max.

I would love something quite dense to really put up a small wall between us at that particular spot.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.



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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What part of California?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 12:24AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

in my world.. the maintenance to keep anything one foot wide..

and the challenge to grow it 5 feet high ... at the same time..

would be a pruning and shearing nightmare.. for the rest of my life..

i would get a section of pvc fencing.. and install it..

or lattice.. and grow vines on it ... but not euonomys ... however you spell it..


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:53AM
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I live in San Jose.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Ginny - the tough thing here is that you have both a very narrow space and not much light. I can come up with several plants that might work: you could espalier citrus, or there are fastigate evergreens such as Cephalotaxus h. 'Fastigata' that stay very narrow and achieve enough height for you. But they all require more sun than your spot receives.

If you followed Ken's suggestion above, you might try something like Clematis 'Armandii' that should do ok in a shady spot and is evergreen. Again, most vines need sun (and many are deciduous).

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 2:31PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am still defaulting to a wood fence section ...

no matter what you do out there.. its going to take years for it to grow to size ... and actually hide the cans ...


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Opps, I was wrong in the amount of sun that area gets. In looking at it more closely today I see it gets afternoon sun for about 4 hours. Sorry.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:35PM
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I don't know plants for your area, but in general, I'm with F&F - a vine on a structure, either a fence or a wide, flat trellis is your best solution since you have such a narrow area. While you wait for your vine to get large enough, consider a stretch of lightweight bamboo fencing to give you screening.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The Cephalotaxus would get much too tall and wide unless pruned yearly, kept from developing fully.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I feel your pain. Close proximity in CA is a b*tch. I too had been looking for narrow shrubs to hide an unsightly aspect of my neighbor's yard. Don't know the sun requirements off hand, but green spire euonymus and sky pencil Japanese holly are 2 of the narrowest I've come across. Best solution is probably to add a taller fence or lattice in that area and cover it with something like star jasmine vine. That's what I did next to my patio where I only had a foot between the fence and the sidewalk. It's been great. Very pretty and smells great in bloom, attractive green year round, easy care and pest free for me. Blooms in the spring, but this year it still has flowers even now! I have it in a few places in my yard, in all sun conditions except deep shade and it's happy through out my garden.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 3:21PM
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