The Q&A Archives: Planting a Privacy Hedge

Question: My neighbor's backyard (to the southeast) sets aproximately 4' above mine. Stones are set as a retaining wall, and I have a steel fence. I feel as though I'm living in a fishbowl in summer! I'm looking for the perfect hedge/bushes. What I require: Fast-growing! Nonpoisonous to animals. Won't spread out too far (my yard is narrow). Top height of 12'-15'. Can plant myself. Thick enough to provide total privacy. Is there anything growing that fits this description? I've never planted anything like this before. Thanks! Sheilah Sackfield-Bivens Muscatine, IA

Answer: For good shrubs that will block out your neightbor, try these evergreens; Arborvitae, yews and junipers. There are column versions of all these that should be available at your local garden center or nursery. The column version are tall, let only 4-5 feet wide at maturity. That would be your best bet for a permanent hedge.

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