En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Shrubs for a fenceline in NY

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 16, 2011

From: Rochester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for a fenceline in NY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Need to replace shrubs along a fence. Currently have Honeysuckle and they are very old. Would like to have something different with more color & interest during winter months. The line of shrubs are half in sunshine, half in shade. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

On first glance at your question, my reaction was, "oh boy, there are so many great shrubs to recommend" but then I saw "color and interest during winter months". 

You do know that you live in Rochester so your color choices are limited to white, grey and brown during the winter months?

Actually, they are not.  There are a number of plants that are interesting to look at and provide wildlife benefits during the winter months such as:

Amelanchier arborea (Common serviceberry) which as you can see from the photos, blooms in late winter

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick) this is a short evergreen groundcover with red berries that persist into winter.  It is very festive looking until it gets covered with snow!

Cornus sericea (Redosier dogwood) whose conspicuous red twigs look great against a background of snow or tan grasses.  It also has great fall color and produces flowers that attract butterflies and berries that attract birds

Ilex glabra (Inkberry) this is a broadleaved evergreen that will retain its shiny dark green foliage through winter and provide cover for winter birds, who enjoy the dark blue/black berries that give the plant its common name

Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry) this plant can be a winter show-stopper with its bright red berries, attached singly along arching branches persisting well into winter

Lindera benzoin (Northern spicebush) although this plant doesn't "look like much" during the summer, its fragrant pale yellow flowers break the monotony of late winter. It is also an important butterfly larval food source.

Mahonia aquifolium (Holly-leaf oregon-grape) also has yellow flowers in late winter.  It's disctinctive glossy everygreen foliage turns maroon during the cold months.

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac) the distinctive fuzzy red fruit produced by this plant persist through winter and are useful in dried seasonal arrangements.  The incredible fall color and intricate foliage provide textural interest in a hedgerow

Symphoricarpos albus (Common snowberry) whose white berries persist after the foliage drops are quite noticeable until they are camouflaged by a background of snow

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberry bush) the clusters of red berries (images)on this plant are very noticeable and sometimes last all winter before the birds consume them all.  It also has attractive flowers and great fall color

So, you can replace your scraggly old overgrown honeysuckle hedge with a mixed hedgerow that will delight you year round and provide enough interest in your winter garden to keep you from dreaming of a tropical vacation!

Here are some photos from our Image Gallery:


Amelanchier arborea


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi


Cornus sericea


Ilex glabra


Ilex verticillata


Lindera benzoin

 


Rhus glabra


Symphoricarpos albus


Viburnum opulus var. americanum

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Replacing non-native boxwood in Austin
October 03, 2011 - I have a large maze garden, possibly boxwood, originally planted in the 1950's, in Austin, Texas. About 1/3 of it has died out, probably due to drought, heat and age. Should I attempt to replant ju...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife and bird friendly hedgerow for Chicago suburb
November 30, 2013 - Want to plant a wildlife/bird friendly hedgerow in suburban Chicago. Looking for a recommended mix of understory trees as well a shrubs and grasses. Site is part shade with average to wet soil and tr...
view the full question and answer

Low cost landscaping in Federicksburg VA
February 22, 2009 - Hello, I live in Fredericksburg Va and I rent a townhome with a small yard. My back yard is almost completely mud and my front yard has a hideous square shrub. So my question is do you have any plant ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for backyard in Michigan
March 12, 2009 - I am an inexperienced gardener but would love to know the best plants/bushes to plant in my backyard. I would love floral and fragrant. I am in Southwest Michigan, near New Buffalo and since this is...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for pot in Manhattan
June 23, 2009 - What is the best evergreen shrub or waxy leaved woody evergeen plant to use in a large concrete container in front of a doorman building in manhattan. Our building faces west and is directly on Rivers...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center