If good fences make good neighbors, planting a hedge will do wonders for your popularity in the neighborhood. Instead of chain-link or rotten boards, a beautiful row of shrubs can provide privacy as well as beauty. A number of shrubs are well-suited to hedging.
If you are looking for security as well as privacy, you might consider the thorn-laden hawthorn. This is a shrub that will tolerate neglect and thrives in acidic soil. Plant it in the sun or partial shade and it will bloom in pale, pink flowers from spring to fall. The red berries and blossoms of Hawthorn attract critters such as bees, birds, butterflies and deer. It's hardy to USDA Zones 7a to 11.
This is the classic hedge plant and the one that you will see carved into different animal shapes. There are over 70 species of boxwood which is an evergreen shrub. Some will stop growing at 3 feet, others can get as tall as 15 feet. Boxwood prefers a shady location and moist, well-drained soil. It has a shallow root system so you must add a 3-inch layer of mulch every year. It's hardy to USDA Zones 5 to 8.
Mountain Laurel blooms with beautiful white to pink flowers from May to July. This is not a good plant, however, if you have children or pets that might chew on the leaves as all parts of the plant are highly toxic. It is an evergreen shrub that will provide a nice-sized hedge as it grows 7 to 10 feet. Provide the mountain laurel with moist, acidic soil and shade from the hot sun. It is hardy to USDA Zones 5 to 9.
Burning Bush Shrub
If you've ever seen a burning bush shrub in the fall you know that it is aptly named; the foliage turns bright, flaming red. This deciduous plant (hardy to USDA Zones 4-9) needs lots of sunshine and it will grow to six feet in height. This plant is considered invasive and prohibited in certain states, so check with your state's Department of Agriculture for any regulations.