The Q&A Archives: Dense Shrubs

Question: I am looking to plant dense shrubs against a fence. We want the shrubs to act as a barriers to keep the dogs away from the fence and from barking at the neighbor dog through the fence. We also would like the shrubs to grow 10 to 15 feet. We have clay soil. Any suggestions?

Answer: There are a number of evergreen plants suitable for hedging. Of the broadleaf evergreens, you might consider glossy Abelia, Callistemon (bottlebrush), Escallonia, Grevillea, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Tecoma capensis or Viburnum tinus. These shrubs produce flowers in the spring or summer and your decision to plant one of the selections might be based upon flower color. (Complete descriptions and growing requirements can be found in Sunset Western Garden Book). If you're more interested in a coniferous evergreen, I'd suggest Thuja (arborvitae), or spruce. These are well-behaved evergreens, drop very little litter, and do not need regular pruning to keep their size under control. Hope one of the above plants is just right for your landscape.

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