As a result, many of your clients are asking for your help to create beautiful garden space retreats that provide a break from the growing congestion. They may also be looking for some guidance on how to improve privacy and mitigate the feeling that neighbors are getting a little too close.
Hedge and screen plants for privacy and beautyUsing plants in your landscape design to create an integrated privacy solution is something to consider. Incorporating hedge or barrier plants with great texture, form, and color into a successful landscape design involves more than simply arranging plants in a row.
When done well, a living hedge or integrated privacy solution can provide calming solitude in a garden. It can also deliver many ecological and aesthetic benefits including:
- | Defining property lines
- | Highlighting paths + walkways
- | Directing attention to a garden component
- | Providing ideal bird habitat
- | Reducing noise + dust pollution
- | Attracting pollinators
- | Sequestering carbon
- | Enhancing architecture
- | And much more
Choosing the right plants for their horticultural and practical properties to provide privacy can also increase the value of just about any landscape environment.
How to choose the right plants for a privacy screenWith so many options to choose from, how do you choose the right plants for a hedge or privacy screen? A good place to start is considering plants that have these attributes:
- | Dense foliage
- | Moderate growth
- | Moderate size
- | Water wise
- | CA Natives
Your choice of plants should be guided by the style and aesthetics of the hedge that you or your client is looking for.
Like trees, hedges can provide dense shade that can cool areas that have heavy sun exposure. Planting a hedge can also improve both the attractiveness and function of a garden area.
Hedge and screen plant guidelines to considerWe recommend choosing hearty, pest and disease-resistant plants that suit your climate and specific garden conditions. It’s also important to make plant choices that are low maintenance. Slow and moderate growing plants may fare better in many situations as rapid growers will require more frequent upkeep after installation.
Because a hedge is a living barrier that grows, you can accommodate tighter budgets by integrating smaller specimens and letting time work to your advantage. With a little extra patience and care, nurturing smaller shrubs into a big, beautiful hedge can be both economical and visually rewarding.
Here are some helpful guidelines for plant growth:
Consider mature height of hedge and screen plants
Formal hedges, with a solid architectural form, can frame a garden or create individual rooms or sections within it.
You can also use flowering plants of various heights to create a hedge or privacy screen with an informal layered effect. Flowering shrubs can also create a visually attractive, aromatic, and green barrier that an ordinary fence could never replicate.
One of the most important attributes to consider for your hedge is the mature height of the plants that you’ll be using. Choose wisely as plants that aren’t tall enough to screen for privacy or that are too tall for a location could be a disappointment to your clients.
A perennial bloomer like Camellia or California native Ceanothus loses its flowers but offers fresh, green spring foliage and blossoms in stunning colors. Flowering hedges can also attract birds and pollinators to a garden
However, we’ve assembled some of the most handsome, popular, and California natives that have a variety of mature heights. Bay Area Landscape Professionals that we work with often use these plants for privacy screens and green barriers.
Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’
Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’
Ficus microcarpa nitida
Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’
Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’ is a slower-growing variety of species. It’s an evergreen dense, compact shrub with thick, round, waxy leaves that are glossy green above and whitish underneath. Fragrant bee-attracting white flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and are followed by blue-black berries. It prefers sun or light shade with regular water. It can also be trained to nearly any shape. So if you’re looking for evergreen hedge and screen plants, this is a great option.
Osmanthus fortunei ‘San Jose’
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Gulftide’
Populus nigra ‘Italica’
Prunus laurocerasus is an evergreen species of Prunus, native to regions in southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe. As an evergreen shrub or small to medium-sized tree, it can grow to nearly 50′. The leaves are dark green, leathery, shiny, with a finely serrated margin. As one of our favorite hedge and screen plants, it’s available in a bush and sometimes column form.
Rhamnus alaternus ‘John Edwards’
Rhamnus alaternus John Edwards is a fast-growing, vertical, broadleaf, evergreen shrub with attractive 1.5″ glossy green leaves. It’s a great solution for a vertical evergreen screen that doesn’t require a lot of room at the base. It requires mostly sun in moderately moist soil and delivers a growth rate of 2′ per year. Under optimal conditions, it can double in size in about 3 years. It’s an excellent choice for a privacy screen is the column form.
Taxus baccata ‘stricta’
Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’
Want to know more about hedge plants + privacy screen options?If you want to discuss or learn more about hedge plants + privacy screen options for your project, feel free to contact any of our experts at Pacific Nurseries or call 650.755.2330.
As both a grower and a plant broker, we’re ready to work with you to provide just the right plants that will make your landscape location a private sanctuary with attractive green barriers. We can also provide an Estimate for any item just by attaching your plant list to our convenient online estimate form.
What’s your favorite privacy screen plant?Have you recently installed a great hedge or privacy screen plant? Share your success with our community of Bay Area landscape pros and leave a comment below. We look forward to learning what’s worked well for you.
As President of Pacific Nurseries, Don Baldocchi gets satisfaction knowing the Bay Area is greener and more beautiful by helping landscape professionals succeed. Email Don or give him a call at 650.755.2330.