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The green screen hedge

Click here to see my suggestion (with photos) for a green screen hedge ...

For privacy, and to hide an unpleasant sight, you need to plant a hedge that is impenetrable to prying eyes in all seasons.

Here is a list of evergreen shrubs suitable for hedges. It is necessary to pay attention to the contrast in foliage. It is equally essential to plant some deciduous decorative shrubs staggered in the interior of the hedge to aid its biological balance :

  • Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora) : A semi-evergreen, plant with other species for an average sized hedge of 1,50 m. Good decorative quality, abundant pink and white fragrant tubular flowers are borne from July to November. Plant in the sun and sheltered from cold winds .
  • Arbutus (Arbutus unedo) : Also called The Strawberry Tree for its fruits at the end of the year, very decorative with its red bark. It prefers an acidic soil and sun. It doesn't like excessive moisture. Ideal as a green screen provided that you leave it space.
  • Aucuba (Aucuba japonica) : This shrub is dioecious (unisexual), and plants of both sexes need to be planted to produce berries. It has green, or green and yellow variegated leaves. It grows slowly in an acidic, but well-drained soil for preference. It doesn't like excessive moisture or direct sun. This shrub of Japanese origin likes partial shade.
  • Berberis (Berberis darwinii x stenophylla) : This is a spiny shrub, careful of the thorns if you have children. Ideal as a defensive hedge this hardy shrub tolerates both shade and sun.
  • Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) : This shrub is widely grown for an evergreen hedge. The varities 'Rotundifolia' and 'Angustifolia' reach a height of 2 m in 8 years.
  • Ceanothus (Ceanothus impressus and thysiflorus) : This shrub with blue flowers enjoys a mild climate and a light, rich soil. Take care to choose a hardy variety. It is necessary to prune old wood.
  • Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster franchetii and Cotoneaster lactea) : Best used in a free growing hedge of 1,50 m to 2 m for cotoneaster lacteus . Cotoneaster franchetii can be trimmed in a line . Cutting into shape is necessary during the first 2 years.
  • Elaeagnus (Elaeagnus x ebbingei) : This is a fast growing shrub and forms an impenetrable hedge, it extends horizontally and then tumbles down. This shrub with a captivating fragrance prefers a light and acidic soil for a rapid and sustained growth.
  • Escallonia (Escallonia macrantha and punctata) : This shrub is sensitive to frost (-15°) it is only appropriate for temporary green screens because it is semi-evergreen. Flowers from May to September in ordinary garden soil.
  • Spindle Tree (Euonymus japonicus) : This shrub with its pretty leaves is sensitive to the cold. It is susceptible to diseases and parasites (powdery mildew and aphids). Best planted with other species.
  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium and Ilex x meservae) : This shrub is extensively used for hedging. If it is planted in good conditions it grows 50 cm per year. Hardy it prefers a rich soil.
  • Yew (Taxus baccata) : Use in a trimmed hedge, also suitable for topiary work. This tree grows slowly in a humus-rich soil and adaptes to all situations except if too wet.
  • Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica) : Not to be confused with bay laurel ! For use in a free growing hedge of 2 m, plant in a sunny position. It can tolerate temperatures of - 20°.
  • Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) : Magnificent in a free growing or trimmed hedge, it rapidly forms a compact visual scren on condition it is left space ! It is sensitive to cold winds.
  • Mexican Orange (Choisya ternata) : Ideal for an average sized hedge of 1,50 m. This magnificent shrub with its delicate fragrance prefers a well-drained soil, it needs to be sheltered from cold winds (-20°). Protect from frost damage in winter. It will tolerate a chalky soil.
  • Osmanthus (Osmanthus burkwoodii and Osmanthus heterophyllus) : This is a rapidly growing shrub with pretty foliage. Suitable for an average sized hedge, 1,50 m to 2 m. Plant in a light and well-drained garden soil in the sun or partial shade.
  • Photinia 'Red Robin' (Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin') : This shub has an attractive red foliage, trim back in the spring to encourage it to branch. Use as a touch of colour in an evergreen hedge.
  • Pyracantha (Pyracantha hybrides) : The firethorn ! This shrub grows rapidly, it can be trained along a wall or as a defensive hedge. It thrives in a sunny position in a well-drained fertile soil. Susceptible to aphides and fireblight.
  • Skimmia (Skimmia japonica) : Considered wrongly as a heathland shrub it prefers a well-drained soil. Plant in a free growing hedge with other species.
  • Privet (Ligustrum vulgare, ovalifolium, lucidum, japonicum and sinense) : Ideal for hedgerows it tolerates all soil types and positions. Severe cutting back is necessary on new growth each successive year to promote a good strong bushy base.
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