Best quick growing privacy shrubs

southerncanuck(6a)March 16, 2013

First post here, I'm over on the homeowners forums, and need your expertise as planting time is getting close.

A bit of background info. My neighbour to the east of us took down a row of pines that bordered our fence line in the fall. A few had seen better days and she had them all (10) cut down last fall. She was nice enough to ask what I though even though she didn't have to, I told her entirely her decision. What I didn't realize until they were all down was the privacy these trees provided as well as the wonderful morning doves singing that are no longer there to wake me in the morning.

We are in a high wind area with waterfront on the north shore of Lake Erie.

The fence line is in a shaded area between the 2 cottages.

Only have 8 feet between the fence and my cottage.

I want to plant something that will give some privacy and grow quickly. I don't want to plant any tall growing trees as the fence will be affected by roots, Some type of bushes , shrubs that I can easily trim is what I am thinking.

Dear wife suggests Rose of Sharron which we have and seem to grow like weeds and have done well in the same light and wind conditions as well as thinking maybe some Lilac which seem to be fast growers mingled in with the Rose of Sharron.

Any suggestion from you greenthumbers is much appreciated and thanks in advance.

By the way I'm no gardener by any means, keeping it simple and cheap is a goal. I have seen the price of some shrubs, wow!

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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

Rugosa roses come to mind for me. I'm on the south shore of Lake Ontario and can relate to the wind. I'm about to give up on arborvitea, they are getting REALLY beat up by the winter winds. I just planted my (species) rugosa hedge so I can't say how fast it will grow, only that they are listed as a fast growth rate. They are also known as Beach Roses, and are wind tolerant. You're lucky enough to be in Canada so you can talk to the folks at Pickering Nurseries in Port Hope (they can no longer ship to the US). They are THORNY though. But you have the additional benefit of the flowers followed by the hips in the fall.

Perhaps also Privet.

I don't find lilacs to be very fast growing. I planted some bare root lilacs about 10-12 years ago at a different house, they are now about 8-10' tall, but that's not "fast" to me.

Rose Of Sharon might also work. We have a hedgerow of them here. I have NO idea how long they've been here though. They must be rather wind tolerant to have lived here as long as they have.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pickering's URL

This post was edited by eclecticcottage on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 14:03

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:58PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

No offense meant to you, eclectic cottage, but we have rugosa roses growing on our property (I have only myself to blame), and they have become pests! They don't provide much of a screen because they tend to die back at the top in winter; they get absolutely covered with Japanese beetles in the summer, and the spines are terrible.
We also have Rose of Sharon, which is pretty when it's blooming, but not all that attractive otherwise. The lilac, on the other hand, is fairly attractive even when it's not blooming; it smells heavenly when it is; it spreads at a decent rate and in the winter, though it loses it's leaves, it still makes a dense hedge of branches. Oh, and nothing much seems to bother them, including the deer - it's a win-win situation!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:01AM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

That's funny, my lilac hedge is more of sticks that don't do much for privacy in summer or winter. They do smell wonderful for their short bloom period though. Must be a difference in location? Below is a link to a hedge of rugosa (A hybrid, Charles Albanel) in bloom...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 3:17PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Wow! That's a stunning rugosa hedge, eclectic!!! If mine would look like that, I'd be more forgiving! :)
Yeah, it must be the difference in location and soils for both the rugosa and lilac.
Southern Canuck, you should probably take a drive around your area and see what's growing in other people's yards. If you can catch someone outside, maybe you can just ask them for their opinion on what works in your area. I've wheedled cuttings out of people with this tactic, but as I'm small and non-threatening looking, I get away with alot. LOL

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Of course it depends on just what do you want to look at as a hedge....flowery perennials or an evergreen that is there all the time.

If the choice is for an evergreen, white cedar is your answer.
It grows --you buy it at the 3 ft - 4 ft high --usually the height its available at---fast once it gets settled.
As for privacy, none better...its compact---depending on how many plants you put in but for 8 ft...3 plants would be fine.
Cedar hedging will grow ....and grow...needs clipping annually. It will gain 6 ft in no time, 8 ft in a couple years and if not clipped....the sky's the limit.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Thank you everyone for your help. I haven't forgotten you like some posters on the Home sites do,ask a question, people take time to answer and then the OP's just disappear.

I said lilac because we planted 2 at Mom and Dads 4 years ago and they are 8' now but as someone said here all they are all sticks in the winter, same as Rose of Sharon. I will be looking at white cedar if it isn't costly or some type of cedar. None of my perennials have cost penny one, all adopted from family, friends and neighbours. I have freinds out here that have farmland and cedars grow wild, I bet a bottle of homemade wine, some pasta sauce and a shovel and I am Jim dandy.

Those roses sure are beautiful but not having that green thumb when I see roses all I think of is complicated tending. How complicated and how much tending is required? How do they do in full shade which is what we have there, I see yours look to be in full sun.

As Arnold once said, I'll be baaack.

edit: Eclectic, I showed the Ragusa variety to my wife this morning and she thinks they are what she might enjoy. I followed the link provided, thank you, and there are dozens of varieties available from Pickering (not a drive I am willing to make, 4 hours from here on a good traffic day through the mess they call Toronto). I will check with the many nurseries that are within an hour from us, too many to count which is great, and check availability. I can also get into some wholesalers only places. Good to know landscapers. I need to really check on sunlight requirements.

This post was edited by SouthernCanuck on Thu, May 2, 13 at 4:50

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:16AM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

I should have been more clear, the hedge isn't mine, I just bought some bare root "sticks" from a near by county. I found that photo while searching for pics of rugosa hedges when considering doing it here. I'm waiting for mine to start breaking their buds and get to growing! Of course, being right next to the lake, it's not as warm here as inland, I don't think it's been warmer than MAYBE 60, but probably in the 50's still.

Ha, I hear you regarding Toronto traffic. The QEW makes my hair stand on end. We got a wild hair last year to drive around the lake (Ontario) one day, don't ask me why...but the traffic in that particular area certainly contributed to making for a LONG day. Won't be doing THAT again!

Rugosa are pretty tough from my understanding as far as growing conditions, they're also called Beach Roses because they'll grow in sand. They don't like being sprayed or fussed at from what I've heard so they aren't what you're thinking of as a "typical" rose. I have some well established Damask here that are the same way-I know for at least 10 years no one watered, trimmed, mulched, sprayed or even weeded around them. They wouldn't make a good hedge I don't think though.

I tried finding Rugosa at nurseries around us, and only one, about an hour away had them. We were int he area so I stopped in-they couldn't even tell me if they were species or a hybrid, and they wanted $25 per plant. Since there are pretty variable heights and bloom times, I opted to wait. Luckily I found out the one county has a sale every spring with various bare root shrubs and trees, so I picked them up from them (10 for $10). I'm not sure all of them will end up viable or not, but it was less for 10 tries knowing they were the species than 1 unknown plant. If not for the winds, I'd try a BUNCH of Queen O The Lakes (just because I love that name) or other easier roses (I have a Queen O the Lakes and it was fine with no spraying, etc last year-I just planted Peace, hopefully it will be like my Peace at my old house and also not need much fussing)-or some other way easier to find rose variety. Hopefully my rugosa fill in and look like that hedge though!

This post was edited by eclecticcottage on Thu, May 2, 13 at 16:47

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 4:36PM
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I planted 15 Cedars yesterday along that fenceline. Cost $00000.00000000.Whorah.

Thanks to all that took the time to help.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:37AM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

Awesome, true cottage style (free)!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 7:51AM
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