Clients and DIY hardscape folks succumb too soon to despair when their patio, driveway, or porch is all they ever wanted, but the garden shrubbery is being a spoilsport. Shrubs & hedges can take a while to grow and tame, but they are worth every twig of privacy and safety provided.
Now, there are fast-growing hedge plants, but the time scales vary from a year to two till maturity; some even take three (like the mountain laurel) and require good moist or drained soils. A responsible client should first ensure that the hedge is suited to the local soil and weather and that it is not an invasive species. As residents of Emmaus, PA, we are luckier than most when it comes to native shrubs.
Here are a few species of hedge shrubs that will make your day.
1. Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia):
This shrub makes a good hardscape foundation choice. It may require slightly acidic soil but can grow fast enough in the space of a year to provide shade and privacy. It attracts a lot of pollinating insects and is low maintenance.
2. Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum):
While this shrub is definitely not an overnight-hedge solution, it does reward much in the way of visuals, treats, and fall foliage if given a couple of years and good care. This shrub can adapt to many soil types for a native plant, and the best part is that once spring is over, the characteristic white flowers give way to clusters of edible blueberries!
3. Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin):
This delicious shrub is a relatively fast-growing plant with yellow-green flowers that fan out with tantalizing aromas in spring. These shrubs are also a native haunt for the Swallowtail butterfly. So, your hardscaping might look like a fairy tale Babylonian balcony with the Swallowtails and the headily scented flowers!
4. Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum):
If you desire heavy scents floating about your hardscaped garden, then this is one fine shrub to hedge up on your hardscape. This native rhododendron boasts high tolerance to sun and moist soil and blooms ever so vibrantly with white flowers and wafting perfume.
5. New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus):
The best one for last! This shrub may take a while to mature and calls for well-drained soils that Pennsylvania is based on. This shrub exhibits delicate white flowers in summers and attracts many pollinating insects that further attract bird species. Hummingbirds are especially partial to New Jersey Tea.
The shrub got its name because of the fact that its leaves were used as tea leaves substitutes back in colonial times. Since Pennsylvania hosts its own chunk of colonial history, the shrub is a rather bespoke and befitting addition to a hardscape.
Since beautiful hedges take their time and your commitment to bloom to fruition, we better get started now with that hardscape project that you have been thinking about. What do you say?
At Hursh’s Landscaping, we have it all! Mulch, fertilizers, hardscape experience, and hedge selection. Need advice or consultation on hardscaping with hedges native to Pennsylvania? Just come in; a free quote awaits you, our fellow Emmaus-man!