Landscape Design forum: Multipurpse Living fences / hedges

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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
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UrbanWild
Sep 8, 2017 8:20 AM CST
My small lot has decades of built-in "issues". I am trying to convert my urban space to combo food production/wildlife habitat. To that end, I have a 6 ft tall boxwood hedge that runs about 25 ft long. Also, an American holly at each end. All of the above have roots that endanger the foundation. So, I am looking to replace it with something to cover multiple purposes. On the surface, it would be ideal to find an evergreen (6b) alternative as it helps screen. I hate to remove the hollies because they provide much needed winter berriesfor birds. So, an evergreen which provides foor for birds (if not also us) would be great. Lastly, the space is somewhat constrained. Therefore we don't want to take out the old roots that threaten the foundation just to replace it withe same issue. So... taproots would be preferred.

Are there such beasts? Thoughts?
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Sep 13, 2017 7:32 PM CST
Do you need tall and narrow plants or is there space for something bushier? If you want to keep hollies but need them narrower there is the Sky Pencil Holly.

As for taproots, roses usually don't have thick roots that spread out. They have the main roots towards the center then lots of fine feeder roots. Get ones that set rose hips and you will have food for the birds. Just make sure to research cultivars if you go that route to make sure you don't end up with something that could become too much for your space.

Dogwoods might also be another good choice. They aren't evergreen but they can break up the view to the house once they get some size to them plus provide colorful stems (red or yellow). They also set berries so you will have happy birds.

Viburnums could also work if again you are willing to give up evergreen for something that could hit the other sweet spots. I highly recommend checking out this site and calling the owners and talking to them if you are interested in having some. They will know exactly what will work in your space.

http://www.classicviburnums.co...

Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
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UrbanWild
Oct 15, 2017 10:24 AM CST
We have been experimenting with a single sky pencil holly but already are seeing them flop a bit in heavy winds and rain. My guess is that snow will make them look all... If we ever get snow again.

The evergreen aspect is for our desire to hide the porch from view a bit... and to camouflage the stone and concrete as the paint is peeling.

We thought about viburnums and dogwoods, filberts, harry lauders, etc., but the roots would still be a concern.

The rose hips on my lot and a couple of others on my block don't seem to be used by anything. Possibly, there are better options and we haven't had a severe winter in a number of years.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
NJ (Zone 7a)
So many weeds
Invaded
Nov 18, 2017 1:33 PM CST
I think your fears about the roots might be overblown. A fibrous rooted plant I don't think would be a threat to your foundation. I live in a 100+ year old house with a rubble stone foundation and when i moved in there were several 3-4" caliper silver maples within 20ft and a big 18" black locust right next to the house, within 4ft of the foundation, without any apparent damage. I had them removed to avoid trees falling on the house in the future, but there was no evidence of damage to the house before then. There is still currently a HUGE sycamore tree 20ft from the house, the trunk has to be 4ft in diameter. On the other side there is a mulberry with a 12" diameter trunk 25ft away. I've dug a mulberry stump up and those roots are huge. Now I'm not saying to plant trees right next to your house, but if you have a block or poured foundation, I wouldn't be worried about the shrubs. Did you have an engineer or home inspector express these concerns to you?
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Nov 27, 2017 11:30 AM CST
How close are they to your foundation?
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
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UrbanWild
Dec 7, 2017 10:23 PM CST
Within a foot or two...hollies and 6.5' boxwood hedges
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Sandy
Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Region: Tennessee Birds Annuals Garden Photography
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Lakeside
Dec 7, 2017 11:04 PM CST
Blueberries make nice informal hedges. No idea if the roots would be a problem, though.
"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." ~ Iris Murdoch
Mount Orab, Ohio, zone 6a
cnichols38
Jan 9, 2018 11:47 AM CST
We just planted clumping bamboo, northern bayberry and spicebush, our hopes are that the bayberry will have berries in the winter, the spicebush berries in the fall and the bamboo will hide our neighbors view because we don't like them.
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
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csandt
Jan 9, 2018 11:58 AM CST
Bamboo! In my rural neighborhood, bamboo has escaped cultivation and taken over large areas like a jungle! You can't even see through it, much less walk through it.
Carol H. Sandt

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein
Mount Orab, Ohio, zone 6a
cnichols38
Jan 9, 2018 1:56 PM CST
clumping bamboo is different than spreading bamboo, the rhizomes grow vertically instead of horizontally so the bamboo does not spread like forest bamboo, it is generally smaller as well the canes do not get more than 3/4 inch to 1 inch. clumping bamboo is more like a bush, spreading bamboo is more like a tree
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
csandt
Jan 9, 2018 2:00 PM CST
The bamboo near me is definitely tree-like in height and an inch in diameter.
Carol H. Sandt

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein
[Last edited by csandt - Jan 11, 2018 8:18 AM (+)]
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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
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UrbanWild
Jan 10, 2018 10:07 PM CST
My neighbor has a clumping bamboo on a shared fence with me. While it is not the spreader forest bamboo is, it is not without its transgressions. They don't particularly care for it and have hacked it back by 2/3. I'd love it if they continued to wipe it out as I'd rather not deal with it any more.

I am a big lover of spicebush. Great plant. Great swallowtail foodplant. Provides berries. Flowers very early when not much else is in flower. Decent tea plant. Easy plant to care for, at least in most of its range. I've used it quite a bit in wildlife plantings.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
csandt
Jan 17, 2018 1:52 PM CST
The bamboo near me is definitely tree-like in height and an inch in diameter.
Carol H. Sandt

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein
[Last edited by csandt - Jun 6, 2018 7:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
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bloominholes2fill
Jun 6, 2018 6:55 AM CST
@UrbanWild have you considered Black Tower Elderberry? We're in the city as well, so my research has been extensive. There's also a tall and narrow form of barberry, but the name escapes me! D'Oh! As for evergreens, not sure how much room you have, but I've installed dwarf Mugo Pine, 2 years ago, (which can get large, for city gardens, but I intend to keep their size under control ......I only have 3 specimens, though) and an Alberta Spruce which are slow growing, but they'll reach up to about 7 ft. tall by 5 ft. in diameter. I also have a good many of Sky Rocket Holly. Their leaves resemble that of boxwood leaves, but they don't provide the holly berries like their sister hollies do.

There are dwarf versions of a good variety of evergreens. The Kigi Nursery site offers a great selection of dwarf evergreens. IMO they are very expensive, for a decent size specimen, their shipping is outrageous, and some things are hard to find elsewhere, but they are a great source for ideas. Smiling https://kiginursery.com

Happy gardening, my friend! Smiling

"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
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[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Jun 6, 2018 7:10 AM (+)]
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