Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:02 pm
Location: Long Island

Need bush suggestion

Just moved into a raised ranch with porch in front. We need suggestions on what to palnt in front of porch so we can block underneath area from view.
Live in zone 6b
Western facing
Need sometning which will screen even in winter
Should be about 5 ft high ( or trimmable) Area is about 12 ft wide

Thought about some type of holly but not sure... Wife likes ornamental grass but I'm afraid it will not be effective in Winter
Thanks, Joe

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

evergreen shrub suggestions

I love the broad leaf evergreens (as opposed to conifers, etc). Some great possibilities for your zone and size include azaleas, rhodendrons, mountain laurel, camellia (the newer cold hardy hybrids, you have to look for this specifically), boxwood, barberry (it's more ever-red than evergreen, but does keep its leaves and add color year round), carolina allspice. Look them up if you aren't familiar.

Senior Member
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA (zone 7)

Great suggestions from rainbowgardener... I would also add ligustrum to the list. I didn't know what those were, but our builder planted them as foundation plants. At the time I wasn't into gardening and I never watered, fertilized, weeded, or anything. But two years later, those ligustrum were 6 feet tall and absolutely gorgeous! You can prune them once a year to keep them a little more compact, but they look fantastic unpruned. They are evergreen, will hide the area beneath the porch beautifully, and are obviously low-to-no-maintenance.

We have several other foundation plants but the ligustrum are by far my favorite. I recently added three Wine & Roses Weigela, which are absolutely gorgeous. We also have some barberry which rainbow mentioned... love that too, and the colors of those three shrubs play off each other gorgeously. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those.

eta: Skip the Weigela suggestion for the location you're thinking... I just double-checked and it's NOT evergreen. Sorry 'bout that.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

ligustrum -- privet

In english ligustrum is commonly known as privet hedge. It is a very hardy adaptable foundation planting bush in zones 5-8.

Here's a little article about it:

and here's a little piece from that article about the downside of privet:

Caveats in Planting Privet Hedges:

Despite the strong arguments just made for using privet shrubs to form hedges, privet shrubs do not come without drawbacks. First of all, they are poisonous. Secondly, since they are not evergreen in the North, privet hedges are attractive for only a portion of the year there. Finally, privet shrubs are invasive plants; many choose not to grow them for this reason alone.

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