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Screening Plants

Using screening plants to interrupt views can be wonderful for drawing the eye towards a specific feature. It can also be used for blocking an awful view. Whatever the reason, it is important to take the time to choose the best plants for right purpose.

Considerations for your Screening Plants

Before you plan your screen, it is always important to make note of the soil type you are working with. This will affect your selection. Soils can, of course, be improved, but if it is clay, sandy or chalky, some shrubs will be more suitable than others.

Think about the height you will need and look at plants that will now outgrow the space. A shelterbelt or windbreak is also something that should be considered so the screening plants remain protected. The ground should also be prepared for planting, as you will need to add plenty of organic matter into the planting to give them the best start. Finally, think about your clients’ ability to maintain any fast-growing evergreens. You may need to help them narrow down their options to something they can handle.

Legal Considerations

Any new tree or hedge planting, adjacent to or near a public right of way or highway, may need consent from the local council. It is important to check the covenants attached to the property before going ahead with large plants. It is also a good idea to check if the property is in a conservation area. If so, your client will need to apply for permission before the work can continue.


A handy way to use large shrubs as tree substitutes is to clear lower branches. This is so as they grow, the space underneath is maximised, and plants below receive the right amount of light. This is particularly effective with screening above a 1.8m standard boundary fence.

Evergreens and Trees

Arborvitae – You will find this to be a common plant for privacy as it grows tall and narrow. The more popular variety of this plant can grow between 10 and 15 feet tall, and 3 to 4 feet wide.

Boxwood – Boxwood is wonderful for sculpting and work best as a medium sized hedge. Varieties of this plant can grow between 1 and 6 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide.

Japanese Maple – Due to its unique foliage colour, Japanese Maple is a very popular choice for many gardens. They come in a wide range of colours and are perfect for those who are after some shading or a full sun setting. Japanese Maples can grow between 6 and 20 feet tall.

Deciduous Perennials

Dogwood – With many varieties to choose from, dogwood shrubs come with beautiful foliage and white flowers that bloom and attract butterflies. They are perfect for privacy and offer a winter interest. They can grow between 8 and 10 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide.

Burning Bush – The most popular form of burning bush has a dark green foliage colour. It can survive in full sun as well as the shade. When in full sun, however, the foliage can turn a fiery red in autumn. In shade, the leaves will drop in autumn. They can grow between 6 and 10 feet tall and wide.


Trumpet Vine – When using a fence or trellis, trumpet vine will grow as a curtain of green foliage and beautiful trumpet-like flowers that colourfully bloom. They can climb up to 30 feet.

Clematis – Like trumpet vine, clematis can grow along a fence or trellis to be used as a screen. The flowers form unique shapes and are very colourful. They can climb up to 10 feet.

Climbing Hydrangea – Like the shrub version, climbing hydrangea have beautiful flowers. With lacy white clumping flowers along a dark green vine, they can grow up to 30 feet tall. They can climb up fence lining, tree trunks or trellises to make a beautiful outdoor curtain.

Talk to Ladybrook Nursery

Whatever you and your client are after in terms of garden screening, you need to see your options before you make a final decision. With 13 acres of plants to choose from, Ladybrook nursery are here for all your landscaping needs. Take a look at our stock to see what is currently available or get in touch for more information.

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