En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 01, 2009

From: East Wenatchee, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Dog and kid barrier in East Wenatchee WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have about a 8 foot section between my driveway and the neighbor's yard, and their kids and dogs like to run through it! I would like to plant a non-invasive 4-6 foot growing shrub/bush of some sort that stays dense all season, I am in central Washington state, and we can get really cold winters! Thank you!

ANSWER:

This was a little tricky, finding an evergreen, dense shrub native to Washington and hardy in Central Washington. Most of Douglas County is USDA Hardiness Zone 6b, with minimum average annual temperatures of -10 to -5 deg. F. Two of these shrubs are a little stickery, we hope none of the childen or dogs get scratched. You might want to consider the fact that these plants will be pretty small when purchased at the nursery, and could get jumped over, or jumped on or run around, possibly damaging the young plants in transit. You didn't say what distance you wanted the barrier to extend, but you might find it expensive buying enough small shrubs to cover this distance, and they won't grow into their mature size for several years. You could consider a small picket fence that would discourage running through without needing soil, pruning, water and fertilizer. These shrubs are evergreen, and all mature to about 3 to 6 feet tall.

Native shrubs for Douglas County, WA

Mahonia aquifolium (hollyleaved barberry) - glossy leaves armed with spiny teeth, blooms yellow March to May, low water use, part shade or shade

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita) - blooms pink April to June, medium water use, sun

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper) - awl-shaped needles form sharp points. More information and pictures

 

From the Image Gallery


Holly-leaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Holly-leaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Greenleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula

Greenleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula

More Privacy Screening Questions

Screen plants to replace non-native Chinese raintrees in Marble Falls, TX
February 15, 2010 - Five four year old Koelreuteria bipinnata (Chinese Rain) trees were mistakenly cut to the ground. They were planted fairly close together, perhaps ten feet apart. The purpose for them was to provide a...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
August 02, 2014 - I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being d...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing hedge for North Carolina.
February 17, 2009 - I am looking for a fast-grownig evergreen hedge that can be kept no taller than 6 feet. It will be grown in partal sun facing north
view the full question and answer

Dog-safe Privacy Screen for Ocala, FL
June 25, 2015 - Am desperately searching for fast growing privacy that would be non toxic to dogs in Ocala, Florida (zone 9 I think). Wanted Leland cypress but due to toxicity it won't work.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for screening from Austin
March 25, 2012 - Is there an evergreen, fruit shrub which grows 8 to 10 feet high, having about 6 to 8 hours of sun which could be trimmed to serve as a screen in front of pool equipment on the side of our house?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center