Perhaps your outdoor space is spoiled by a view of something you’d rather not see. Or
maybe you’d like to block some of the sound coming from the road or nearby neighbors.
The solution? Planting a hedge as a privacy screen. Hedges are also great for framing a
nice view, marking your property boundary, creating a windbreak or a snow fence in
winter, and filtering air pollution.
An effective hedge should have dense foliage, be attractive, and be fast-growing. Avoid
plants that may be considered invasives. Check the state’s invasive plants list before
spending money on something you might have to remove. Horticulturalists say the
following are good privacy hedge choices.
Arborvitae grows to 15 feet tall and 4 feet wide, making a tall column of greenery.
Boxwood grows to a height and width of 3-4 feet, needs little pruning, resists winter
burn, and performs best in full sun. Most are evergreen, but some are deciduous.
Juniper grows 15 feet tall but only 2 feet wide, so it’s best for small areas.
Note: If deer are a problem, avoid yews, arborvitae, and holly. Boxwood, juniper, and
hemlock have a better chance of survival.
DECIDUOUS PLANTS—These lose their leaves in winter but can be good screens.
Forsythia has bright yellow flowers in the spring, creates an impenetrable hedge, and
likes full sun to part shade.
Wygela has pink flowers and grows to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide, does best in full sun to
Miss Kim and Palibin Lilacs are smaller and more compact than regular lilacs and
lend themselves to pruning, best done right after flowering.
Rose of Sharon blooms in late summer and forms a thick hedge when planted 2-3 feet
apart in a double row.
Rosa rugosa forms a thorny hedge that is fairly deer-proof.
Quince has fiery pink flowers in the spring and creates a thorny, dense hedge whether
it’s pruned or left natural.
EDIBLE HEDGES—These offer fruit as well as flowers.
Highbush blueberries have spring flowers, summer berries, and gorgeous fall foliage.
Most grow to 6 feet tall and form a dense hedge planted 3 feet apart.
Gooseberries and Currants, planted 2-4 feet apart, thrive in a few years to form thick,
thorny hedges. Buy hybrids that are resistant to hosting white pine blister rust.
Jostaberries, a cross between gooseberries and currants, bear larger fruit on a
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