Privacy screening has always been a critical feature of landscape design, and now more than ever. Meadows Farms works with our suppliers to provide abundant numbers of the most popular screening plants, in the most preferred sizes, installed at prices that often match the cash and carry prices of other local garden centers.
Our landscape architects and designers are well qualified to recommend the ideal evergreen for your property, or to suggest a mixture of evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs.
Green Giant arborvitae is the most popular large evergreen for privacy screens. Green Giants are fast growing, deer resistant (though resistance varies per location), and rarely bothered by pests. They require part to full sun and little or no pruning to maintain fullness. The primary sizes we plant are from six to twelve feet tall, with special purchases of six feet tall Green Giants available through most of the year. Green Giants can be planted as close as six feet apart if an immediate screen is required, but spacing of ten to twelve feet apart is more appropriate for their mature size.
Emerald Green arborvitae grows much more narrow than Green Giant, and to a fraction of the height. Emerald Green is most effective used for privacy on smaller properties, or when a taller plant is not required. Because they grow more narrow, more plants must be used to provide an effective screen. Often, Emerald Greens are planted as close as three to four feet apart when immediate privacy is required. As with most needled evergreens, Emerald Green grows best in part to full sun.
Nellie Stevens holly is a landscape staple because of its uniform growth, dark green leaves, and red berries. Hollies tolerate a range of conditions from part shade to full sun. In shadier circumstances, growth will be more open, and we caution against planting where there is heavy root competition. Nellie Stevens grows to twenty to twenty five feet tall at a much more moderate pace than Green Giant arborvitae. Nellie Stevens and other broad leaf evergreens are susceptible to deer damage, in particular through the winter when foliage is more scarce. We recommend spraying a repellent beginning early November through March for protection in areas of heavy deer infestations. The hollies’ broad pyramidal shape is very effective as a medium sized privacy screen. Nellie Stevens and other hollies can be planted as close as six feet apart, but eight to ten feet spacing is most ideal.
Emily Bruner holly is similar in appearance and in growth to Nellie Stevens, with a slightly lighter green leaf. Emily Bruner is reputed to tolerate shade better than other hollies. The current special purchase hollies (above) are exceptionally wide and full.
Dragon Lady holly is extremely cold hardy, growing with slightly narrower form than Nellie Stevens. Its leaves are more spiny than other hollies, so it is more deer resistant.
Cryptomeria is an excellent screening evergreen with an interesting texture and a moderate growth rate, though it will grow nearly as tall as Green Giant arborvitae at maturity.
Schip laurel is an excellent choice as a hedge. It is easily maintained at any height, and if allowed to grow without shearing it will grow eight to ten feet tall, and nearly as wide. Laurels must not planted in soil that is regularly moist, and in clay soils irrigation must be monitored so that soil dries out between watering.