Choosing plants for a privacy hedge

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privacy hedge
A thick privacy hedge is beautiful and effective.
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Living fences made out of plants can create a privacy hedge for your backyard.

Many of us are now opting to spend our leisure and vacation time in our backyards rather than traveling to some distant locale. Time, gasoline and money restraints are keeping us closer to home, which is all the more reason why you should concentrate on creating your own backyard oasis, where you can relax, cook-out, eat, swim and visit with family and friends. If you do not want to erect a fence or the cost of doing such is prohibitive you can create a secluded space by choosing plants for a privacy hedge.


One of your options is the dwarf burning bush hedge, which is a wonderful living fence, that thrives in both the sun and shade. The burning bush grows to four- or five feet in height and is green during the summer and then turns fiery red in the fall. The bush looks like a hedge of fire. This plant also features corky ridges on the bark and tiny yellow green flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall. This bush rarely needs clipping and tolerates almost any soil.


Another method of creating a spectacular barrier is achieved by choosing plants for a privacy hedge and opting for the hardy Privet hedge plant, which is the largest hedge plant in American. It grows quickly and lives for a long time. This is what you want if you are partial to a formally trimmed hedge. You can shear the hardy privet into any shape.



The ultimate height of your hedge will be 12- to 15 feet if left untrimmed; however, you can trim it to the height that you desire. Plant the hardy privets one foot apart. This hedge is far cheaper than a fence and requires very little care. It will grow in full sun or partial shade.


It is also possible to make a privacy hedge out of Rose of Sharon bushes. These bushes sport beautiful red, purple or white hibiscus shaped flowers in the early summer. The Rose of Sharon bush is hardy and is an erect bush that grows five- to 10 feet in height. Plant the bushes five- to 10 feet apart to create a hedge. Trim as needed. Rose of Sharon likes being in full or partial sun and can tolerate drought. Some will have single blooms while others will have double blooms.


If you are partial to yellow, forsythia is the hedge for you. The forsythia is the earliest blooming shrub in the spring. It can grow to 11 feet in height, is very hardy and fast-growing. Forsythia makes a good living fence, foundation plantings and borders. If you want a dense hedge, plant them four feet apart. If you want a loose hedge, plant then eight feet apart.


Hybrid willows are a great way to create privacy as well as good for soil conservation and wind protection. These willows can grow up to 20 feet in height in just one season. Willow trees are disease resistant.  These trees make excellent privacy screens as well as good dust and sound barriers.  The hybrid willow has a life span of 70 years and will thrive in dry soil.


The Canadian Hemlock is an evergreen hedge that is a great way to add beauty and privacy to your yard. Plant the hemlock hedges two- to three feet apart in sunlight, although hemlock will grow in the shade. Make sure it is regularly watered. The hemlock will grow one- to three feet annually. Ten plants will make a 20- to 30 foot hedge.


Another great option when choosing plants for a privacy hedge is the dense and fast growing Rosy Red Robin Hood Rose, which will create permanent fencing. Colorful carmine-red roses will bloom up to six months a year. The foliage is deep green and dense. The rose bushes can grow as tall as six feet and will thrive both in hot weather and sub zero climates. This living fence costs much less to own and maintain than a wooden or chain link fence.



Direct Gardening: Garden Planner

House of Wesley: Hedges

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