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
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

Trees for privacy screen in California
May 31, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smartypants, We are first-time home-buyers of a cute little house and a relatively large lot in Pacific Grove, CA. Unfortunately the neighbors to the north have built a second story with a nic...
view the full question and answer

Alternate native plants for bamboo as a privacy screen in Austin, TX.
July 26, 2011 - Can you recommend a bamboo that I can plant, acting as a privacy screen, reaching at least 10'-12'? We are looking for a bamboo that does not spread, and can take the afternoon sun. It will be pla...
view the full question and answer

Looking for shrubs to replace Photinia as a privacy screen in Arlington, VA.
February 08, 2011 - Suggestions to replace diseased red tipped photinia. Looking for hardy privacy screen type of evergreen, not too deep with height of approx. 10-12' Thank you
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant shrub for privacy screen
November 23, 2007 - Is there some kind of drought resistant bush or thorny plant we can rim our property with to stop all the foot traffic through our yard? We don't care if it's pretty, just something thick and/or th...
view the full question and answer

Sources for Ilex shrubs from Boca Raton FL
April 29, 2013 - Where can I find Ilex plants in the Boca Raton, FL area? I would like to use them for hedges.
view the full question and answer

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