The Q&A Archives: What to plant on a country lane as a border to my yard??

Question: I have about a 50 yard area that separates the lane to the neighbors from my yard. I have grown Northern privot hedges for the past 25 years in this area. I just pulled them all out, they became unsightly and too high manteainence. They grew about 15 feet tall and I couldn't keep up with the trimming. I wish to plant somethng evergreen or colorful, about 4-8 feet tall and low maintenence. I have willows trees and walnut trees bordering the hedge area so it is partly shady in some areas and full sun in others. Nothing seems to do well by the Walnut trees however. I replaced my privets with Lilly of the Valley shrubs two summers ago and now they appear dead this spring. I live in Bothwell Utah, very Northern Utah. My soil has quite a bit of clay, however I have mulched this area for years. Our soil is also very rocky. Could you please advise me on what would look the best, grow well, and be the most hardy and low maintenance also? Thanks! Cathy

Answer: Have you considered Nandina (heavenly bamboo)? The dwarf forms can be maintained at 4-5' with very little pruning. Nandina produces insignificant flowers and red berries but their beauty is in the red foliage they develop during the winter months. The foliage remains on the plants and turns green again when the weather warms.

Best wishes with your new hedge!

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