Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Saturday - September 04, 2010

From: Santa Ana, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Hedge to cover chain link fence
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I would like to hide 250 feet of 6' tall chain link fence on a western facing, sloped, very rocky soiled back yard I had to use a jack hammer to dig the holes. Esthetically I would like to be able to trim the hedge very straight to match my very contemporary style home. Irrigation is not a problem. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Well, I hope you have a least a little bit of soil on top of the rock or you are going to have a bit of a problem getting anything to grow there.  Here are some possibilities—all are evergreen and all native to Orange County:

Arctostaphylos densiflora (Vine Hill manzanita) and here are photos and more information.

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber [syn. Cercocarpus betuloides] (birchleaf mountain mahogany) and here is more information.

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn) and here is more information.

Ceanothus tomentosus var. olivaceous (woolyleaf ceanothus) and here is more information.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) and here is more information.

Lycium californicum (California boxthorn) and here is more information.

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

Malosma laurina (laurel sumac) and here is more information.

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) and here is more information.

 

From the Image Gallery


Smooth mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber

Chaparral whitethorn
Ceanothus leucodermis

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

Jojoba
Simmondsia chinensis

More Privacy Screening Questions

Thorny plants for a security perimeter in Austin TX
October 16, 2013 - Hello, I am trying to establish a security perimeter around my property that incorporates thorny or otherwise deterrent shrubs and vines. Can you recommend some attractive native plants that would su...
view the full question and answer

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

Privacy Hedge for Maryland Porch
July 03, 2014 - I am working on a screen/fence, which is a barrier hedge between our house and our next door neighbor's house to add privacy to our screen porch and dining area, especially in winter. The fence would...
view the full question and answer

Noise reduction hedge from Austin
April 17, 2013 - Noise reduction hedge row in Austin. We back up to a very busy street and need a fast growing noise barrier. In a similar post for the Houston area, you recommended Gordonia lasianthus -loblolly bay. ...
view the full question and answer

Low-Maintenance Hedge for Massachusetts
February 17, 2014 - I want to put in a native low-maintenance hedge in a sunny spot with plants that can take dry soil. I would like the plants to grow to less than 4 feet wide. It can be an informal hedge, but I don't ...
view the full question and answer

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