Plant a hedge to add privacy to your yard. In addition to privacy, a hedge also creates boundaries around garden areas. Hedges can be used to direct traffic and to restrict pedestrians to the walkways. Hedges keep animals and children in or out of an area. Some hedges protect the yard from wind and reduce noise. Finally, hedges provide a background for some planting beds.
Privet (Ligustrum) is often used as a hedge because it grows fast and is evergreen. Because of the fast growth, it often needs to be cut back severely. Fortunately, privet tolerates heavy pruning. Privet produces very fragrant white flowers in early summer that have an undesirable scent. In the early fall, dark berries appear. Privet grows 5 to 30 feet tall.
Spirea varieties range from 18 inches to 5 feet tall. The flowers are white or deep pink and appear in June. Spireas are often used as borders for beds. Spireas are popular because they have dense foliage that responds well to harsh pruning.
Barberry (Berberis) grows to 5 feet tall and has stems with spines. The spines appear in groups of threes and make the hedge impenetrable. Often barberry is used to increase security under residential windows and around property lines. Barberry is semi-evergreen and loses leaves very late in the season. Yellow to red berries are produced. Barberry is used medicinally to treat stomach ailments, inflammation and fever and to boost the immune system.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera) grows to 10 feet in an irregular manner. Honeysuckle is described as twiggy, but will spread to 10 feet. The flowers are pink or white and often scented. Red berries appear around June. Honeysuckle is often considered an invasive plant.
Junipers (Juniperus) are planted for their tendency to grow up to 10 feet wide. The foliage is gray-blue or dark green. Junipers do not require much pruning other than once early in spring and once in mid-summer.