Ideas needed for side yard.... - Knowledgebase Question

Enon Valley, Pe
Question by kraftykat211
April 2, 2010
We live on a farm and I have a side yard that blends in with our pasture. I want to plant a row of trees or bushes, not sure which yet, that is easy to maintain or dont get to high. Any ideas would be appreciated. I thought about emerald green arborvitae since they stay green all year. I also thought about forsythia bushes to but dont know. It is a mostly sunny area but does receive some shade to


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Answer from NGA
April 2, 2010

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Forsythia are deciduous so you'll see bare wood all winter long. Wintergreen Barberry (Berberis julianae) is a broadleaf evergreen, often used as a tall hedge or border planting with other less-structured plants in front of it. An upright plant with rather stiff stems, this evergreen is frequently pruned quite heavily, but it can reach a height of 6 to 10 feet and width of 4 to 5 feet. The plant will tolerate a wide range of soils but requires a well‑drained site. During severe winters it may drop most of its leaves, but it should recover without
permanent damage.

Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is another popular broadleaf evergreen. It looks nice in mass plantings, as a hedge, in topiary designs, and in formal gardens where a structured clipped plant is needed. A dense, multistemed shrub, this boxwood should be kept trimmed at 4 to 6 feet. It can reach heights of 10 to 12 feet, however, and spread 6 to 8 feet. The plant can be grown in full sunlight or light shade, but it must be planted in a warm, moist, well‑drained soil that is slightly acid. It should also be mulched to protect its shallow root system from extreme winds and cold. Although this evergreen does not produce attractive flowers or fruit, its glossy green leaves last all year.

Hollygrape (Mahonia aquifolium) makes a nice background planting for smaller shrubs. Individual plants can be maintained at heights of 3 to 6 feet with a spread of 3 to 4 feet. The center area of the plant will fill in with periodic pruning of the longer stems. Hollygrape tends to spread by underground stems. The large compound leaves (up to 6 inches long) with five to nine leaflets each are a glossy dark green. These leaves are rather stiff and leathery in appearance. Young leaves have a reddish cast; in the fall they take on purple tones. Bright yellow flower clusters, about 2 inches in diameter, are produced in late April. The fruit is spherical, about ?? inches in diameter, and blue‑black. This plant will grow under a variety of conditions but prefers a moist, well‑drained, slightly acidic soil for best results. It does quite well in half shade. There are two cultivars: ??Atropurpureum??, which develops dark reddish‑purple leaves in winter, and ??Compactum??, a hardy dwarf form with dark green foliage.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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