The Q&A Archives: Bushy Shrub for damp clay soil-sunny area

Question: We would like to know what we can plant to give us some privacy in our backyard. A bushy shrub that would grow attractively in somewhat clay soil that is damp and the area is sunny all day. Some parts of our back yard stays damp for a very long time. Development behind us has created this problem for us. Thank you, PRAZZI

Answer: There are several shrubs you might consider. The shrub dogwoods such as Cornus stolonifera and Cornus sericea and Cornus alba all thrive in damp soil and full sun. They are also dense and quick growing. Aronia arbutifolia is another shrub that does well in damp soil and full sun. It turns a superb red in fall and produces bright red fruit for winter interest. It is slower growing than the shrub dogwoods. You might also consider Ilex verticillata, it is a deciduous holly with terrific red berries in winter; it is a somewhat slower grower, however. Another possibility if you need an evergreen might be the inkberry holly, Ilex glabra. This is a shrubby holly with smaller rounded leaves. It needs an acidic soil and does fine in damp to wet locations. Your local county extension and/or local professionally trained and certified nurseryman may have different or additional suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the planting site and your design goals. Good luck with your screening!

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