Great Plants for Hiding a Fence

Fine Gardening – Issue 208
Plants for hiding fence

A balanced mix of woody plants and perennials delivers the best show throughout the year.

Learn how to design a gorgeous garden to border a fence.

Designing a Beautiful Back Border—Planting Plan

Trees and shrubs

Golden Ruby® barberry

1. Golden Ruby® barberry

(Berberis thunbergii* ‘Goruzam’, Zones 4–8; pictured)

2. ‘Compacta’ Hinoki cypress

(Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Compacta’, Zones 4–8)

3. ‘Royal Purple’ smokebush

(Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’, Zones 5–9)

4. ‘Sekkan-sugi’ Japanese cedar

(Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan-sugi’, Zones 6–9)

Aureomarginatus’ Japanese euonymus

5. ‘Aureomarginatus’ Japanese euonymus

(Euonymus japonicus ‘Aureomarginatus’, Zones 6–9; pictured)

‘Blanchard’ Southern magnolia

6. ‘Blanchard’ Southern magnolia

(Magnolia grandiflora ‘Blanchard’, syn. M. grandiflora ‘D. D. Blanchard’, Zones 7–9)

Tiger Eyes® sumac

 7. Tiger Eyes® sumac

(Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’, Zones 3–8)

Magic Carpet® spirea

8. Magic Carpet® spirea

(Spiraea japonica* ‘Walbuma’, Zones 4–9)


Understory evergreens

Orange New Zealand sedge

9. Orange New Zealand sedge

(Carex testacea, Zones 8–9; pictured)

10. ‘Mary Helen’ heather

(Erica × darleyensis ‘Mary Helen’, Zones 6–9)

‘Blue Star’ juniper
Photo: Kerry Ann Moore

11. ‘Blue Star’ juniper

(Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’, Zones 4–8; pictured)

12. ‘Moon Bay’ heavenly bamboo

(Nandina domestica* ‘Moon Bay’, Zones 6–9)

13. ‘Densiformis’ yew

(Taxus × media ‘Densiformis’, Zones 4–7)



 Bear’s breeches

14. Bear’s breeches

(Acanthus mollis, Zones 7–11)

Rozanne geranium
Photo: Michelle Gervais

15. Rozanne geranium

(Geranium ‘Gerwat’, Zones 4–8; pictured)

16. ‘Aureola’ Japanese forest grass

(Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, Zones 5–9)

17. Mardi Gras sneezeweed

(Helenium ‘Helbro’, Zones 4–8)

‘Big Ears’ lambs’ ears

18. ‘Big Ears’ lambs’ ears

(Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’, syn. S. byzantina ‘Helen Von Stein’, Zones 4–9)

*Invasive Alert:

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergia)

This plant is considered invasive in AL, CT, DE, GA, IA, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, WI, and WV.

Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)

This plant is considered invasive in AL, FL, GA, MD, MO, and SC.

Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica)

This plant is considered invasive in AL, GA, IN, KY, PA, TN, and VA.

Please visit for more information.

Stacie Crooks is a landscape designer and educator in Edmonds, Washington. She specializes in drought-tolerant designs.

From Fine Gardening #208

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