How to mask the bottom non-green Japanese privet hedge in SF?
We have a Japanese privet hedge that is probably 50 or more years old. I clipped it (and am willing to clip it further) to about half its heights and it got nice and green foliage at the top now, but the bottom foot and a half or so are still thick stalks with no leaves.
What can I plant under it to make it look better? A row of impatiences (does not seem tall enough)? A row of lavander (seems too tall)? I prefer something flowering. There is only a foot-wide strip along the south-facing house wall in mid-foggy part of San Francisco (the hedge is planted right against the house). While it gets quite a bit of sun, there are also trees that create some shade.and buildings that block early morning and early afternoon sun.
I am not especially attached to privet, I am just too scared of the amount of work to just dig it all up and I need some kind of hedge there that would be about 4-5 feet tall fast, so privet works.
If it is a native plant, so much the better.