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Old 12-30-2017, 04:52 PM
 
Location: California
295 posts, read 580,282 times
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I am thinking of planting cherry laurel in front of my "blinding" white vinyl fence. This fence faces west with lots of heat and sun most of the day. Does this shrub reseed alot, will I find sprouts elsewhere in the garden? Are the berries messy? Do the spring flowers attract a lot of bees? Any other suggestions for a fast growing shrub perhaps more suitable....I just want greenery.
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:36 PM
 
1,465 posts, read 775,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalTwinkie View Post
I am thinking of planting cherry laurel in front of my "blinding" white vinyl fence. This fence faces west with lots of heat and sun most of the day. Does this shrub reseed alot, will I find sprouts elsewhere in the garden? Are the berries messy? Do the spring flowers attract a lot of bees? Any other suggestions for a fast growing shrub perhaps more suitable....I just want greenery.


don't think "cherry laurel" (assume you mean an evergreen prunus of some sort) would really enjoy SoCal full heat and sun without lots of water during the summer. it can produce seed and spread when birds eat the seed IF there is available water as in an irrigated landscape. not a sprouter except when cut back to the base and then only from the stump. callistemon/bottlebrush might be better adapted and can have very showy red, pink, or violet flowers depending on variety. plants like cistus (rock rose), grevillea, hakea, some forms of baccharis (coyote brush) and myrtus (myrtle), caesalpinia pulchrima (bird of paradise shrub), calliandra (fairy duster), melaleuca (honey myrtle), westringia ("coast myrtle") and leptospermum (tea tree) are also got heat and drought tolerant shrubs (once established) that might be useful. you might consider some of the more moderate sized cultivars of phormium (New Zealand flax) which can make good barrier plants and can come with interestingly colored leaves.


hope this helps.
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:07 PM
 
Location: NC
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Those are great suggestions. Bottle brush would be so cool against that backdrop. What about ceanothus?
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:30 PM
 
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"luv4horses" various ceanothus (California lilac) species and hybrids can indeed be excellent in "mediterrnean" type dry summer climates like southern California but sometimes they can be difficult to prune for a dense hedge or screen---generally allowing only light pruning and often dying back if pruned too hard. I would also add to the list one California native "cherry laurel" prunus ilicifolia (holly leaf cherry) which when established is quite tolerant of heat and drought (once established) and can withstand regular pruning/shearing to make a hedge.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 12-30-2017 at 08:43 PM..
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:32 AM
 
Location: NC
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Just to clarify, does the greenery need to be in the form of a hedge? I was imagining something more freeform.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:59 AM
 
1,465 posts, read 775,944 times
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who knows? think the OP didn't specify what kind of plantings was desired. I merely mentioned tolerance of pruning as an option---I'm personally not a fan of "formal" hedges (I used to care for 100's of feet of formal boxwood hedges in a display garden) and the pruning/maintenance/work necessary to keep them looking good. more informal screen type plantings that require less maintenance and hopefully allow the plant to keep it's natural shape are aces for yours truly. many of the plants mentioned (including ceanothus would work rather well without much regular care at all to "soften" or conceal a fence---after initial establishment (which in many cases would involve some watering for at least the first summer after planting and perhaps some mulch around the plants to help keep the root zone cool and moist the first couple of years or so.


FWIW, the "Carolina cherry laurel" (prunus caroliniana) mentioned by the OP has a form "compacta" which is naturally more dense and compact than the typical species and might be suitable for the fence area but it supposedly can tolerate only short periods of drought so would do best in an irrigated area which may or may not be suitable for the situation.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 01-01-2018 at 11:12 AM..
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