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

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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

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