Albeit the weather has been mostly nice, we are in desperate need of rain, and I don’t mind the slight dip in temperatures.  In fact, I welcome it.  Even though we have not officially entered Summer’s sultry domain, and have not felt the full force of the season’s oppression, I look upon these cooler, rainy days as gifts, as oases in the vast and unforgiving environment of humidity and heat.  Our landscapes welcome it too.

Have you noticed how quickly the landscape changes from week to week?  New blooms, new buds, new colors while early spring bloomers fade and exit the stage to make way for summer bloomers?  I am always amazed how differently the yard and garden look from week to week, and in some instances, day-to-day.  Nature’s busy.  Heck, she’s always busy and endlessly inspiring.

As you traipse through your well-loved, and well maintained yard or relax upon your deck or patio, are you bothered by unsightly trash cans, A/C units, or perhaps even neighbors?  Allay your suffering and eye-searing sights with privacy screens and hedges.  There are many capable shrubs and trees that not only block unsightly views but can act as noise buffers, and aid in creating privacy.  They are not solely utilitarian but look lovely as well.

  Woodward Arborvitae

Globe-shaped evergreen with dark green foliage will keep its shape without pruning.  Works well as a hedge or as a foundation planting.  Grows 6-8′ tall and 12-15 wide.  Drought tolerant and low maintenance.

  Crimson Pygmy Barberry

Smaller, dwarf version with dark, crimson red foliage that maintains its fiery hue until frost.  Works great as a low growing hedge or border or “barbed fence” when planted close together.  It will maintain its rounded shape without pruning.  Does well in moist, well-drained soil and reaches 18-24″ tall and 24-36″ wide.

  Dwarf Korean Lilac

Dwarf Korean Lilac can be used as a deciduous hedge or foundation planting. In mid to late Spring, dense clusters of tiny, pink, fragrant flowers emerge surrounded by glossy, dark green foliage.  Does well in moist, well-drained soil and grows 4-6′ high and 6-8′ wide.

  Autumn Jazz Arrowwood Viburnum

Great as a tall hedge or screen, the Autumn Jazz Viburnum is an upright, vase-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with glossy, dark green foliage and white flowers that emerge in late Spring, followed by bluish-black berries that wildlife seemingly adore.  In Fall, the foliage changes to shades of yellow, orange and burgundy.  This Viburnum also, does well in moist, well-drained soil and can grow 8-12′ high by 8-12′ wide.

  Double Mock Orange

Truly and sadly under used, the Mock Orange produces large, double, snow-white flowers in early Summer with a sweet, strong, citrusy scent upon slender, gracefully erect branches.  Works well as a hedge, privacy screen, or as an individual featured shrub in the garden.  Grows 4-6′ high and 4-6′ wide.

  Easy Elegance Yellow Submarine Rose

Considered low maintenance and absolutely stunning, the Easy Elegance Yellow Submarine Rose produces clusters of bright, lemon colored blossoms that mature to a pale yellow and finally a soft, creamy white.  They are exceptionally hardy, disease resistant, and recurrent bloomers.  Grows 2-3′ tall and 3-4′ wide.

  Endless Summer Blushing Bride Hydrangea

A mop head Hydrangea, Endless Summer Blushing Bride provides beautiful flowers all summer long into mid-Fall.  The large, magnificent white flower clusters are delicately tinged with soft pink and held atop sturdy, upright stems.  Beautiful, hardy, and stands up well to heat.  Grows 3-4′ tall and 3-4′ wide.

  Chicagoland Green Boxwood

An excellent Boxwood for the Midwest with superior color retention throughout the winter. Compact growth makes an excellent small formal hedge. Dark green glossy foliage.  Grows 3-4′ high and 3-4′ wide.

As you can see, there are a myriad of shrubs and small trees that can help screen eye-sores, provide buffers and/or privacy while adding beauty and interest to the landscape.  As always, Sweeney’s is here to help with all of your landscaping needs.  So if you’re simply not sure which plants to use or where, simply reach out.  We want you to love and enjoy your yard.

“Love your neighbor; yet don’t pull down your hedge.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney