Suggestions For A Narrow Evergreen Hedge? - Knowledgebase Question

Forest Hills, NY
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Question by johnclark
March 25, 2002
I would like to know if you would have suggestions for an evergreen hedge or vine for my back patio.

The patio is surrounded by 4 feet wide garden, that in turn is surrounded by a chain link fence. The garden receives sun in the morning to early afternoon.

At present the garden is planted with decidous privet along the fenceline that has gotten very sparse. In front of the privet I have various low to mid-sized flowers. Ideally the new hedge would be about 4 feet high and 2 feet deep, sufficient to block the fence and allow some privacy from neighbor's patio, but leaving room for flowers or low bushes in front.

My preferences is for a bush with leaves, such as the noble privet.

Alternatively, I was thinking of training vines along the fence, and was wondering whether you had any suggestions.

Thank you for your assistance.

Answer from NGA
March 25, 2002
Unfortunately, two feet is rather narrow for most shrubs. You might be able to train yew or a euonymous such as Manhattan to the dimensions you need.

The privet could also be renovated without too much trouble, and March would be the time to do that. Cut it off at the base and allow it to resprout from the roots. Shear it off by an inch or so neatly every time it grows about six to twelve inches to encourage additional branching. Shear the sides as needed to keep them growing at an angle, the angle starting wide at the base and narrowing as you go upward. This sort of triangular shaped hedge will allow sun to reach the base and keep it dense all the way down. Two feet would be a bit narrow for the privet, however.

Another alternative might be to install a solid fence or trellis panels about four feet high and stain it a soft mossy green and then allow clematis or other light weight vines to adorn it and provide summer color. The fence would be better in some ways for the flowers in the beds because hedges tend to be very greedy in terms of stealing moisture and nutrients from neighboring plants.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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