I need some advice and am hoping that some of you very knowledgeable folks
can give me a little help.
We need a living privacy fence.
Here are the perameters we are working with:
* grows less than 20' high
* grows rapidly in the South (we're in Charleston, SC)
* not horribly expensive
Am I asking for the moon?
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
Nope, what you are looking for is Southern Waxmyrtle, Myrica cerifera.
Native evergreen, robust, fast grower and should be fairly common, therefore
relatively inexpensive. The species may exceed your height restriction over
time, but there are named cultivars that have a range of mature heights.
pam - gardengal
Thanks for this excellent suggestion. From a little research on the Net, it
seems that if we don't shape it into a tree, it will remain a tall shrub? Is
Is it dense enough to buffer sound?
Bamboo can be amazingly effective in reducing traffic noise, something
i would not have suspected. you ask what kind you should consider. you
ought to be getting your bamboo grown as close to where you live as
possible, there are growers in your area. if you want to see pictures
and investigate low temperature tolerances, try looking at
endangeredspecies.com which is our website. BUT i think you will be
able to find what you like in your own state.
Our listed temperature tolerances come from actual people who have
grown bamboo, most of them are not taken from books. and we are always
conservative to avoid death of plants. as for what you SHOULD grow,
there is an astonishing palette available to you, even if you restrict
yourself to the genus Phyllostachys!
Provided that you install sub soil barriers to keep it in bounds, the
ideal living fence is BAMBOO. The sub soil barriers we suggest are
very much like the footings one would normally install before
constructing a concrete block wall, for example. There is no plant
which will become a living privacy fence as quickly as certain
bamboos, and they will thrive in your climate.
A proper subsoil barrier contains bamboo. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.
Consider the Japanese whose classic architecture is a frail paper and
wood house; the landscape indoors in atriums and outdoors in tiny
gardens with one of the largest running invasive bamboos on earth.
It is just a form of gardening which is not really much done outside
of Asia, but it is certainly containable and has much else to
There can onlyh be one living privacy fence for the south
Sorry, but it will do the job and then some ;-)
Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com
Opinions expressed are those of my wifes,
I had no input whatsoever.
Remove "nospam" from email addy.
<LOL> Thanks, Roy. Actually, you're not far from the truth, but if I
introduced kudzu into my neighborhood, my neighbors would tar and feather me
and run me out of town on a rail. ;-)
I also like your tagline leaving all responsibility for what you say on your
spouse' door. Might try that one myself. <g>
You might like our website: www.metalschmidt.com. It's not fleshed out
yet, but you can see some samples of our work. My husband is a rather
amazing sculptor, metalworker, inventor and mechanic (I call him "The
Machine Whisperer"). He's been doing this stuff since he was a tyke. I'm
just learning. My latest passion, when I have time, is the "found objects"
Wax myrtle is a good suggestion, but there are many good evergreen hedging
plants in the south. There are various kinds of euonymus, there are tea
olives (including the holly-leafed version), there are burford hollies,
carolina laurel, viburnums (lauretinus for instance), even camellias. If you
don't require uniformity, you could plant a variety of dense evergreens, and
have neat flowers or wonderful scented things at various times of the year.
Many of these things are not particularly expensive when small, but a few
(like camellias) might take 5-10 years to reach the height you want.
I agree with Greg's suggestions, and I'd like to add to them,
mainly by mentioning shrubs that I have planted successfully
here in Beaufort, a bit further north in zone 8. These are
mostly in a mixed large-shrub border giving us privacy from
our neighbors. As Greg said, by mixing different plants, you
can have flowers at different times. Disadvantages of using
everything the same are that if there is disease, it may kill
them all; and height differences among plants are more
noticeable when they're all the same kind.
Wax myrtle grows fast, smells nice, and is attractive, but
it's quite subject to wind damage in storms. It also sends up
many suckers, which if you want neatness or have limited space
may be undesirable. Birds like the fruit.
Of the viburnums, consider V. odoratissimum (which does well
here in Beaufort and should do even better in Charleston) and
the related V. awabuki 'Chindo', whose glossy leaves make it
look like a small Southern magnolia. Both are evergreen,
reasonably fast growing, and rugged. V. odoratissimum spreads
more, so would make a better screen.
Like Greg, I like V. tinus (laurustinus), but many of the
varieties are dwarfs, so they might not meet your need for
privacy. V. bracteatum 'Emerald Lustre' is not evergreen, but
the stems are thickly set so they would provide some
screening, the leaves are beautiful and shiny and provide some
fall color, and it flowers attractively in mid-spring. Birds
like fruit of all viburnums.
Of camellias, the sasanquas flower beautifully this time of
year and are sturdy plants and well suited to our area, if
slower growing than some other choices. I find they do better
than C. japonica. Some grow tall and some spread; be sure
which you are buying. Most are fragrant. We find they attract
hummingbirds. A particular favorite of mine is C. x 'Two
Marthas', which starts flowering in August and doesn't finish
until late December or January.
Other ideas for a mixed shrub border are Osmanthus fragrans
(one of the tea olives Greg mentioned), with gorgeous
fragrance; perhaps a few Nandina domestica thrown in for fall
and winter color (they are short); perhaps Ligustrum japonicum
(privet), if you don't mind the strong sweet fragrance in
spring; one of the many attractive Loropetalum varieties,
which are colorful and rugged; and even crape myrtle
(Lagerstroemia), some varieties of which don't grow tall and
which flower all summer long.
You could also plant gardenias (G. jasminoides), but make sure
you don't get a dwarf variety. This also tends to grow as
wide as tall, which you might not have room for, and they are
relativel slow growing.
If you have lots of room, another choice is Eleagnus x
ebengii, which is rugged, grows quickly to about 10 ft h by
wide (even in poor soil), has berries that attract birds, and
has very fragrant but inconspicuous flowers for several weeks
in September or October. I don't think this would mix well
with other plants because of its agressive growth, and also it
sends out tall shoots that you will have to prune if you like
Well, you can see I've had fun planting in our area, and I
hope you do, too. Consider getting from your library (or
buying) Michael Dirr's book, "Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm
Climates: An Illustrated Encyclopedia." It has cultural
requirements (type of soil, sun or shade, amount of water) for
all these plants and will give you plenty of more ideas.
One final tip: most plants bought in a 3-gal pot will be
bigger in 3-5 years than plants put in from a 5-gal pot at the
same time. The smaller plants seem to establish better.
On Wed, 29 Oct 2003 21:15:41 -0800, "gregpresley"
Beaufort, NC (on the coast in zone 8a)
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