Shrubs grow in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, and taller and wider shrubs make ideal landscape barriers. Evergreen shrubs keep their needles and color all year long, making a perfect natural screen. Planted side-by-side, shrubs create maximum privacy along a backyard patio or porch to envelop the space for your very own private retreat.
Blue Moss Cypress
Blue moss cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard') is an evergreen shrub that grows 6 to 20 feet tall to provide a private barrier in the landscape. As an evergreen shrub, blue moss cypress shrubs also retain their foliage and color all year long, creating year-round protection. Ideal as a windbreak along the side of a home or flanking a backyard patio, blue moss cypress shrubs have a moderate growth rate and fine texture. The upright, pyramidal shape of the blue moss cypress shrub is symmetrical and dense. Growing 3 feet wide, blue moss cypress shrubs have silver to bluish-green leaves that light up the landscape with color. The curved leaves on the blue moss cypress come to a point and grow less than 1 inch long to cast a bronze color in winter. Heat-tolerant blue moss cypress trees require full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Plant these trees in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.
Ideal planted in masses along the landscape to create maximum privacy and protection, bloodtwig dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) shrubs grow 6 to 15 feet tall and wide. Bloodtwig dogwood is a deciduous shrub with a moderate growth rate and medium to course texture. The dense, rounded shrub has a wild appearance and dark green leaves. Growing up to 3 inches long, the simple leaves turn purple in fall to add a deep burst of color to the garden. The white, flat-topped flowers on the bloodtwig dogwood emerge in summer and shoot up and over the foliage. A bloodtwig dogwood shrub requires full sun to part shade and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, making for an adaptable shrub. Plant this shrub in Zones 4 to 7.
False holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus) is an evergreen shrub that grows 8 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide. Grown as a barrier screen, false holly shrubs have a slow to moderate growth rate. The dense, oval false holly shrub produces small, fragrant white flowers in fall. The leather-like leaves on the false holly bush are dark green and grow 1 to 2 1/2 inches long. Drought- and heat-tolerant, false holly bushes prefer full sun to partial shade and fertile, well-drained soils that are acidic. Plant this shrub in Zones 6 to 9.