Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

From: Blaine, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Soils, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen hedge for constant rain
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing the dead ones. Need a better solution, the soil has clay a foot or two below surface. We need this for privacy and a little sound barrier wouldn't hurt. Prefer evergreen. Was even told to try bamboo, but its invasive, neighbors are noisy and a pain but wouldn't want to over take both yards with it.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants definitely wouldn't recommend using bamboo since it is not native to North America and what we are all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes". We do, however, have some suggestions for evergreens that should do very well in your constant rain.

Gaultheria shallon (salal) This is an understory tree that works well in landscaping in the Northwest. In full sun it stays small (1-3 feet), but in shade it will grow much taller (up to 16 feet). Here is more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron) also grows taller in the shade. Here is more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Vaccinium ovatum (California huckleberry) with photos and more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Morella californica (syn. Myrica californica) (California wax myrtle) with photos and more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.


Gaultheria shallon

Rhododendron macrophyllum

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Native vine for a privacy fence in Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I have a vacant lot in Greenshores that has two 6' iron fences. Neighbor planted some sort of vine that grows up and along fence for privacy, white flowers when in bloom, I assume its Jasmine? On ne...
view the full question and answer

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen pet-safe shrubs for house and screening in McKinney TX
April 15, 2010 - Looking for shrub, preferably evergreen, to plant near the house that can handle wet ground and is pet (dog, cat, horse) safe. The area became boggy after we had an underground water leak that is now ...
view the full question and answer

Screening plant for wall in Florida
February 26, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I live near Tampa, FL and I want to put a line of privacy plants/hedges along a brick wall. The wall is 6' high with openings in the top 3' of the wall. The length of the w...
view the full question and answer

White flowers to plant in front of evergreen tree screen in Altoona PA
June 15, 2010 - I have planted about 30 evergreen trees (as a screen). I would like to plant a row of low maintenance whitish flowering bushes or low maintenance large flowering plants in front of this row. Any sug...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.