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3 Unexpected Plants to Use as Evergreen Hedges

Hedges serve several purposes in landscape design. Using hedges to create a privacy screen is a key factor in planting shrubs side-by-side. Hedges also create a wind break or help direct drifting snow. I like using hedges in landscape design to fill a blank wall or to create living fence. Using evergreen shrubs for hedges creates a year-round display contributing to great curb appeal. Step away from the customary evergreen hedge plants like boxwood or holly. Consider one of these unexpected plants to use as an evergreen hedge in your landscape design.


Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is valued for its fragrant buds. I grow the 'Hidcote Blue' variety of lavender, which reaches about 18 inches tall and produces buds that I use to create small sachets. Depending on the variety, lavender can grow up to 3 feet tall. Plant lavender in full sun. Lavender is cold hardy in USDA planting zones 5B through 8. Lavender is a good substitute for boxwood in landscape design. Imagine lining the walkway to your house with an 18-inch tall variety of this perennial. Guests will enjoy the lovely scent. Encourage guests to break off some stems of the lavender to take home.


The dark green leaves of camellia (Camellia japonica) provide an excellent backdrop for blooms of pink, white, or varying shades of red of this evergreen shrub. What I like most about camellia is that the blooms appear in late winter to early spring-sometimes when snow is still on the ground. In warmer zones, the blooms may display a second time in late fall. I like to clip blooms to use as floating floral displays. Camellia is cold hardy in USDA planting zones 7 through 9 and grows best in partial shade. Camellia can reach about 10 feet tall and wide, making it a good choice for a privacy fence. I have found that camellia can withstand heavy pruning and will grow back.


Rhododendron (Rhododendron) grows 3 to 10 feet tall and up to 8 feet wide, depending on the variety. Look for spring blooms of pink, blue, or white on this evergreen shrub that is cold hardy as far north as USDA planting zone 5. Rhododendron grows best in dappled sunlight. Create a hedge of rhododendron to define a property line, to edge a wooded setting, or use rhododendron as foundation plants. For variety, include azalea in your rhododendron hedge lineup.

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