Privacy is important in your yard or garden, and it's great to enjoy the fruits of your labors, but you don't always want the whole world watching while you do it! Luckily, you can plant your garden to serve as its own barrier, growing living fences around the border. These are our top 5 shrubs for screening. 1. Holly - Hollies are fantastic plants for border screens, particularly in snowy areas. Evergreen and hardy to USDA zone 5, hollies should stay green and full through the winter, also producing striking red berries. Many varieties top out at 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide, growing straight up in a way that makes a row of them perfect for a natural screen. 2. Camellia - This is an evergreen family of shrubs that can reach 10 feet tall and produces vibrant, spectacular blossoms. Camellia grows well in the sun or shade, and depending upon the variety will give you flowers in a wide range of pinks at different times throughout summer and fall. 3. Juniper - Another evergreen, juniper can grow very tall and narrow, with some varieties reaching 15 feet in height and only 4 feet in width. These plants are very drought tolerant and look great planted tightly in a row. 4. Bamboo - Although not really a shrub, bamboo is a very popular screen. Make sure to get a clumping, rather than running variety, or your screen will quickly expand into a thicket and beyond. 5. Red Twig Dogwood - This is another good choice for wintry areas. Planted close together, red twig dogwood shrubs can make for a beautiful opaque hedge as tall as 8 feet. In the winter, the leaves will drop and the hedge will thin, but you'll be left with beautiful bright red branches all the way until spring.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.
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