I plan to build a seating area close to my neighbor's yard.

The little problem is privacy, and I would like to solve it by making a cherry laurel grove. Since I am a kind of plant-collectory person, I would like to have various cherry laurels.

Can you help me design that area?

cherry laurel grove plan

The size of planned cherry laurel area is appr. 6m x 2m (18ft x 6ft). It is a very sunny area. Existing magnolia, cherry and maple are dwarf or stunted specimens, and do not represent significant light or other barrier.

My yard landscaping style is naturalistic (so no formal features) ).

This is not my yard (though I wish it was), but a visual explanation what I want to achieve:

enter image description here

The cherry laurel cultivars available in my area are following:

  • Any’ - H 0.8-1m, W 1.5-2m - young leaves dark red;
  • Caucasica
  • Etna’ - H 2-3m, W 2-2.5m - young leaves copper-orange;
  • Kleopatra’ - H 1-1.5m, W 1-2m - young leaves light copper-orange;
  • 'Mano' - smaller than usual (6x3cm) leaves
  • Marbled White
  • Otto Luyken
  • Reynvaanii
  • Rotundifolia

I would like to combine as many as possible cultivars.

I don't mind light pruning in the future.

Is this a good idea at all?

Can you suggest some placement of cultivars? (I will be looking at the grove usually from "future seating area", so that view is more important; "desired view" mentioned in the diagram is a larger view to the rest of my yard that I want to remain unobstructed)


A 'grove' is composed of understory trees, most coveted are multistemmed species. Your are considering dense shrubs? Would love to help with this as 'groves of trees' are one of my 'things'...a grove of trees makes a space; that space will have a roof and walls and a floor. My favorite 'grove' tree is Amelanchier alnifolia multi trunked. One needs a minimum of 3, 4 is better and 5 is better yet...or even 7 made to sweep around the bottom of your viewing area. 3/8 minus gravel makes an incredible floor. A leveled spot for adirondack chairs, small table...up lighting for your trees using little black spot lights all lights turned away from people's eyes...that grove will be breath taking even at night. No lights necessary for paths...the ambient light will be more than sufficient. Better security than bright security lights. Where is your home? Any area meant for humans should be accessible from the home...especially at night. Hot tubs need to be within 20 feet! Something like that or they won't get used. What are you imagining? Cherry trees or a dense, solid hedge for this 'grove'...a grove is one of the most wonderful out door rooms one could add to their landscape...powerful, just need to wait 3 to 5 years for the effect. There are many other species that would work beautifully but if you want an easy keeper, gorgeous flower show beginning of spring...super duper foliage, berries to bring in the birds, gorgeous soft dove gray trunks, fall color to die for, a low canopy human height to give you a vase shaped ceiling, the trunks for walls and some thick gravel you have a wonderful room with blossoms falling all around, or fire colored leaves trickling down from the canopy in the fall...branching pattern gorgeous for the winter...Service berry is a rare 4 season beauty tree.

Please send me a sketch, by hand, on graph paper, give it a scale such as 1/4" to the foot, put your home in there, neighbors, road, irrigation (roughly) and some idea of the slopes, like draw a cross section, rough with your idea of the slope? Do you know what a pea shooter is by any chance? Do you have a level? Just take your level, look down the top and when it is level, mark the spot at the end of the level. Take the height where you stand with the level to the level at your eye height use that as RISE. Measure the distance to that spot as a level, straight line. That is RUN. RISE/RUN=SLOPE.

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  • am a bit puzzled,, that's not what I understand grove to mean - the actual definition of 'grove' is 'a group of closely planted trees, without understory planting, which may also be called a copse or a thicket'? Is that not the case in the USA? – Bamboo Nov 21 '17 at 10:35
  • I planted four amelanchiers in some other places in the yard this spring - however they are very rare in my area, both in nurseries and in nature - and expensive as well! I am also not sure whether they would provide the screening I need. – VividD Nov 21 '17 at 14:38
  • @stormy Is aronia melanocarpa comparable with amelanchier regarding beauty, screening, wildlife attraction...? – VividD Nov 21 '17 at 15:12
  • @stormy I asked separate question (gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/36279/…) on aronia vs amelanchier. Thanks for giving me new ideas! – VividD Nov 21 '17 at 18:41
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    @stormy The scene with adirondack chairs and a table is powerful. :-o – VividD Nov 21 '17 at 23:07

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