Question: Hello! I am having a bit of a problem finding an appropriate plant for my area of concern, and as of yet have not had any luck. I have a chain link fence that separates our yard from a neighbor, and I need to plant some sort of privacy hedge (preferably 6' minimum). The problem is that this area has a lot of tall, wide spaced trees in the neighbor's yard immediately on the other side if the fence, which shades this area quite a bit (but allows ample sun in winter). I am not able to place a privacy fence here, but I am able to plant. I am not really concerned about evergreen issues! I have tried Wax Myrtles which are not doing so well (very sporadic growth..need more sun?) and Mountain Laurels and despite TLC nothing has worked! I live in Cary (near Raleigh), NC in zone 7b (now 8 according to the new Arbor Day maps) and have well amended, acidic clay soil that been built up with a lot of organic matter to improve drainage. Any help and/or suggestions would be greatly, greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Answer: The site you describe presents some challenges, but I think you'll be happy with Viburnum, Pieris, Kalmia, Cotinus, Kerria, Aronia, deciduous hollies (Ilex), Spruce, Junipers, Lindera benzoin (native spicebush), Iteas, boxwood, Hamamelis, or Chionanthus. As an added bonus, these plants are reasonably deer resistant (if that is an issue). All will grow well under shady conditions.
Best wishes with your landscape!
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