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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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Tuesday - November 24, 2009

From: Oceanside, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy screen for pool in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, We have new neighbors overlooking our pool and peering into our house. We want to put up a privacy screen along our back fence that runs the length of the pool, but the border running along the pool is only 2 feet wide. Is there something we can plant that will grow tall but won't be invasive to our pool? The planting area is about 2-3 feet from our pool. We were thinking of a trumpet vine. Is that invasive and do you have any other suggestions? Are there any tree-like privacy screens that aren't invasive? (I do not like junipers) Thank you very much!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants wouldn't recommend Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) since it isn't native to Southern California.  There are records of it from Northern California, but not in your area.  There are other vines native native to your area, but few are evergreen—I am assuming you want something evergreen. There are, however, evergreen trees/shrubs that aren't junipers.    Shrubs/trees have the disadvantage of being wider than your 2 foot area, but most can be pruned to fit the space available.  Here are some recommendations:

EVERGREEN TREES/SHRUBS:

Arctostaphylos densiflora (vine hill manzanita) is evergreen.  Here are more photos.

Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany) is semi-evergreen.

Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius (Catalina ironwood) evergreen and here are photos.

Prunus ilicifolia (hollyleaf cherry) is evergreen and here are photos. This one makes a good narrow pruned screen.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) is evergreen.

Garrya elliptica (wavyleaf silktassel) is evergreen and here are photos and more information.

Malosma laurina (laurel sumac) is evergreen and here are photos.

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) is evergreen and here are photos.

Dendromecon harfordii (Harford's tree poppy) is evergreen and here are more photos and information.

Malacothamnus fasciculatus (Mendocino bushmallow) is evergreen and here are photos and more information.

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) is semi-evergreen.

VINES:

Calystegia macrostegia (California morning glory) should remain evergreen with adequate summer water.

Clematis lasiantha (pipestem clematis) is deciduous.

Clematis ligusticifolia (western white clematis) is deciduous.

Keckiella cordifolia (heartleaf keckiella) should be evergreen in San Diego County.  Here are photos.

Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle) is deciduous.  Here are more photos and information.

Vitis californica (California wild grape) is deciduous.  Here are photos and information about Roger's Red cultivar.

Here are a few photos from our Image Gallery:


Cercocarpus montanus

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Simmondsia chinensis

Clematis lasiantha

Clematis ligusticifolia

Lonicera hispidula

 

 

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