Privacy Hedges in Urban Backyard

Newburyport, MA

Hi Everyone!

I live in a small city with a small yard and want to set up hedges going around my yard for some privacy. I have a 6 foot fence going all the way around the yard and would like to have the hedges a few feet above the fence. I've been reading all about hedges and have decided, for New England weather, a Privet Hedge might be my best option. I've found great prices for Amur North River Privets. My concern is that if left untrimmed, they get enormous. I would like to plant them less than two feet away from my fence so that it doesn't cut down my actual yard space (grass area) too much. Has anyone had these hedges or similar hedges that they have trimmed to a foot depth rather than the 8 foot depth that it describes untrimmed? I don't want to plant all these hedges without knowing that it is possible and won't just run a muck and ruin my fence.

Thank you so much in advance!

(Zone 9b)

I wish I knew more to help you. The one thing I have learned the hard way is if you put a plant whose natural state will not work in your given space, it will not end well no matter how much you love the plant and want it to work. Sure you can deal with it for awhile but eventually its given nature will win out. It is just a constant uphill fight. I think a 1 foot wide hedge might be hard to do.

I would also want something that has various looks in a couple of seasons like flowers in spring or summer, berries in winter, maybe spring new growth or fall colors.

I just had a thought. I wonder if there are any vines that would fit your bill better. If you topped your fence with a lattice to give you more height. There was a house I would walk by that had an ivy hedge. The owner would shear it right to bare wood every spring so it was naked for a couple of weeks but soon would sprout new bright green growth all over. It looked really lush and green most of the year and was amazingly well behaved.

Just a thought.

If you have a really good local nursery, they might be able to give you some ideas you have not thought of. Also as you go about your day, look at all the yards around you to see if anyone in a similar situation has found a good solution. If you take a photo close up of the leaves, your nursery should be able to ID it so you can do some research.

Good luck.

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