Tagawa Gardens Blog

Want to plant for more privacy in your back yard? Let Tagawa Gardens show you how!

Have you been spending more time in your own yard lately? Or do you have a home with more house than yard? Whatever the reason, the crew at Tagawa’s is getting a lot of questions from our guests on how they can increase the privacy in their yards, especially their back yards. We get it!

So this seemed like a good time to offer some suggestions on a few trees, shrubs, and perennials you might want to consider planting to make your yard more your own.  I’ve asked some of our staff to offer their ideas.

Fine Line buckthorn

is not a shrub I was familiar with, but I’m so glad that Mike, our Nursery Supervisor, put it on my list. It doesn’t look that unusual from a distance, but get closer… and feel that soft lovely foliage!

The finely-cut foliage on this buckthorn gives it a wispy appearance and adds some lovely texture to the landscape. It almost seems fern-like.

Traits of Fine Line buckthorn:

  • multi-stemmed shrub; matures to 7′ tall x 3′ wide; suitable for growing under powerlines
  • prefers sun to part shade; tolerates dry or wet soil (never soggy)
  • foliage turns yellow in fall; can be lightly shaped in late winter
  • “hardy and adaptable;” mulch around roots for winter protection

Purple Pillar rose of Sharon

is another plant that Mike recommends for creating privacy.  This rose of Sharon (a.k.a. “hibiscus,”) grows to be tall and narrow as the name “pillar” implies.

purple pillar rose of sharon at tagawa gardens centennial colorado denver

The soft lavender flowers are lovely in an old-fashioned kind of way and appear long the entire upright summer through fall.

Traits of Purple Pillar rose of Sharon:

  • grows to 12 or more feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide
  • prefers full sun; heat and drought tolerant; requires excellent drainage
  • dies back to the ground each winter
  • honey bee-friendly and generally deer resistant

Sweet Autumn clematis

is a beautiful beast of a plant, given how luxuriously it grows when it’s happy. It comes highly recommended as a privacy screen by Ginger, Tagawa’s Perennials Supervisor.

The way Sweet Autumn grows on this arbor is a good indication of how it can perform on a strong trellis or growing up and along a fence. The vine itself is pretty, but it’s the flowers that steal the show!

The creamy white star-shaped blossoms appear late in the season as the name implies, but their fragrance is so worth waiting for!

Traits of Sweet Autumn clematis:

  • vines can grow to 20′ long and 24″ wide
  • prefers morning sun or part shade; the base of vines should be mulched or shaded by other shorter plants to keep the roots cool
  • blooms on new wood; should be pruned back close to the ground each spring
  • excellent for hummingbirds

Boston ivy

is also on Ginger’s list of plants recommended for creating a screen.

This tough and adaptable vine has been creating privacy for decades in American landscapes, and it’s still one of the most popular plants used to grow as a screen.

The full beauty of this plant comes in the fall when Boston ivy puts on its autumn best.

red fall boston ivy at tagawa gardens centennial colorado denver

Even a short run of Boston ivy on a wall or trellis is a real head turner come autumn!

Traits of Boston ivy:

  • vines can grow up to 40′ long and 23″ wide
  • does best grown in morning sun only; is “self-clinging,” trellises may not be needed depending on the growing surface
  • grows quickly; moderately dry to moist soil is fine
  • produces small dark berries in the fall

Alleghany viburnum 

is a plant recommended by Chuck, of Tagawa’s Management Team. He grows it in his own backyard to create privacy. Chuck says this is one tough plant!

Alleghany viburnum is a dense, multi-stemmed shrub. Along the Colorado Front Range, these plants will hold onto their leaves through much of winter. The true star of the shrub is the abundant flower clusters that bloom in mid-spring.

alleghany viburnum at tagawa gardens centennial colorado denver

The flowers produce thousands of bright red berries in mid-to late-summer.  As the berries age, they become darker, turning maroon or purple, then black.  The berries are very attractive to birds.

Traits of Alleghany viburnum:

  • matures to 10′ high and wide; appropriate for planting under powerlines
  • prefers full sun or part shade
  • prefers average to moist soil; should not be allowed to dry out completely; tolerant of clay soil
  • leaves often turn dark purple in winter and hold on for months
  • generally not browsed by deer

Hedge cotoneaster

can be a true show stopper in the fall!  And as a bonus for mountain gardeners, this shrub is generally hardy up to 8500 feet!

hedge cotoneaster at tagawa gardens centennial colorado denver

Hedge cotoneaster can be grown fairly short, pruned to perhaps just four feet tall, or it can be grown up to its mature size of eight to ten feet tall and eight feet wide. It’s generally viewed as one of the best shrubs for a privacy screen. And then there’s that brilliant fall color!

hedge cotoneaster red fall at tagawa gardens centennial colorado denver

As the weather cools and days get shorter, the leaves of Hedge cotoneaster begin to morph into a rainbow of autumn colors… reds, yellows, and oranges. It makes for a stunning display!

Traits of Hedge cotoneaster:

  • prefers full sun or part shade
  • appropriate for planting under powerlines
  • prefers will-draining soil, never soggy
  • in addition to use as a screen, can be planted here and there in a landscape for a “pop” of color

For additional information, here is our How-To video about Planting for Privacy!

Privacy in front and back yards is rapidly gaining in popularity!

If having a yard that feels more like an “outdoor room” appeals to you, come see the great folks in Tagawa’s Tree & Shrub Nursery Department. If you’re interested in a specific plant, feel free to call ahead to check on our inventory. We’d love to help you create the yard of your dreams!

And don’t forget Tagawa’s personalized Garden Coaching service. Our Garden Coaches can suggest a variety of plants that will be just what you need! Full details are on the Tagawa website HERE. Registration is online only.

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Luan Akin
About 
Luan Akin
Tagawa Gardens Outreach Ambassador

After 30 years as a news reporter for KCNC TV in Denver, Luan Akin was ready for a change. In 2008, she came to Tagawa Gardens and offered to create a brand new position: Garden Outreach Ambassador.

Luan had trained and volunteered as a Douglas County Master Gardener for ten years. In addition to her duties as a news reporter, working primarily out of the Channel 4 News helicopter, Luan also produced and presented a long-running series of stories called “Gardening Together.”

All these years later, Luan now works year ‘round, presenting a variety of gardening and nature-related topics to hundreds of children, HOA’s, gardening clubs, church groups, small businesses and other organizations.

She is an avid gardener, a beekeeper and a proud mom to four dogs who have trained her well.

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