What Happened With the Hedge? The Saga Continues

Native Plant Hedge in 2018

In 2010, we had to take out the hedge between the neighbor's house and our house because the city had to get to the underground power lines. In a post, A New Hedge, I asked you, my fellow blog users for suggestions. I really found it hard to decide - where to go from here:

Original Boxwood Hedge

to native? In May I had selected and planted the different shrubs - it was surprising how hard the decision was - and did a brief post about the selections called What happened with the hedge. Here's a recap:

  • 3 Manzanita 'Sentinel' (max 3-5 feet high)
  • 2 Manzanita 'Sunset' (max 2-3 feet high)
  • 2 Coffeeberry (max 3-5 feet high- I hope)
I selected the Sentinel manzanita for the top part of the hedge, with the coffeeberry mixed in. Because the area closest to the house was the most shaded, I ended up with this sequence: 

Coffeeberry - Sentinel - Coffeeberry - Sentinel - Sunset - Sentinel - Sunset

A year later, I posted Any News About that Hedge - at that point, the hedge was not impressive. Yes, the blossoms of the manzanitas were pretty. But they were growing slowly because of the drought - and also because good things often take time.

Hedge 1 Year After Planting

Then we had several years of fairly serious drought. The hedge survived but did not thrive. It was a bit embarrassing so I didn't feel like blogging about it. The drama of failure or success is always fun. "I'm being patient with that hedge" is not something people want to read every year. But maybe it's time to have another look:

Hedge in 2018 (neighbors repainted)
The hedge is now close in height to the pre-2010 hedge. It's a little more airy than before, and I'm experimenting with some low-growing fillers. Much better than before, we get manzanita blossoms and coffee berries.

Hedge in January - Manzanita is blooming
So we new have a  nice divider with great wildlife value.

Coffeeberry and Manzanita - An Attractive Divider

2 (3?) years ago I interplanted a few native pitcher sage plants. In summer, they can go almost dormant - but during the rainy season, they add a vibrant bright green to mix in with the other plants. I also love the fragrance and the flowers. Even better, they're really easy to take out.

And really, the ease of care and natural look is what I really like about this hedge. Hedge 1.0 had a hole where 1 boxwood had died. With hedge 2.0, we already have plants of different height and color, so a mishap can be remedied.

I trim the hedge once or twice a year, especially on the neighbor's side -- they were generous enough to let me select the plants and should not be inconvenienced by branches sticking out. When I trim, I always notice that some of the plants have an accumulation of leaves at the bottom. I'm never sure whether the neighbor's mow-and-blow guy is blowing things into the hedge, whether I just haven't been diligent about clearing the area, or both. I'm quite impressed that the manzanitas, well know for preferring a dry area around the trunk, survive somehow.

So - to the readers of this blog, a big thank you for helping me with the selection. I initially wanted to use just 1 plant, and that would not have worked. Here's hoping the hedge will continue to thrive, offering space for the little birds to hide, nectar for the bees in winter, and joy for the people walking their dogs along our street.


Country Mouse said…
I know what you mean about success or failure being interesting to read about; steady progress - not so much!! And the mixed hedge is looking lovely! Airy is good - privacy without a solid wall of green. And you can also play with fillers, as you say, now the backbone plants are doing so well. Congratulations!
Diana Studer said…
A similar story to our tapestry hedge on the verge.
Two hugely successful bietou bushes, transplanted volunteers, which need heavy pruning - for our neighbour and us as we pull out of the garage.
The other 3 mixed plants battled but this year are at last starting to do something already!