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Hedging/Shrub Options to Block Out that Pesky Neighbor

I’ve got the answer to that annoying neighbor … it’s a fence. Not the one that’s made of wood or iron. This one grows in the ground and can be just as useful. It may take some time for the hedge to fully display its prowess, but when it does, the secluded area can become whatever you want it to be. Nip and tuck the hedge to screen off as much of your yard as you want. Some of these shrubs will grow as tall as 15 feet, and obviously, you’ll need to trim it back to keep them healthy. But over time, as your hedge matures, it will be more than adequate as an accepted divider between you and your pesky neighbor.

Dogwood shrubs provide adequate cover. It grows in sun or shade and covers a large area. In drought years, the leaves will develop black spots, but this is more unsightly than anything else. Trim the dogwood in early spring and its leaf growth will become thicker.

Burning Bush is a very traditional hedge. Its dense foliage provides only a partial screen to anyone trying to see through it. During the fall, this hedge turns a bright red and can grow 10 feet tall if left untrimmed.

Privet and Gold Privet grows to around 8-feet in height, although it does better near the coast; inland this hedge is stunted in growth. Though susceptible to cold winters and snowfall, it produces a yellow flower and is very colorful in summer.

Star Magnolia is for a taller hedge. It can reach 15 feet in height and provides good cover with thick branches and leaves. The Star Magnolia produces a white flower and usually thrives in rich earth, although it can survive in poor soil, too.

Lilacs are very good screens and they provide a sweet fragrance with their purple flowers. A unique hedge plant that will survive in shade, it will not flower unless it has some exposure to sunlight. Trimming it back will keep it healthy; if not, it has a tendency to get thin and leggy.

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