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I live in Seattle WA and am looking for some ideas on what type of hedge/shrub to grow near my fence to increase privacy. Some requirements:

  1. Grow fast (to about 10' or so)
  2. Stay pretty even in winter (evergreenish)
  3. Something bluish would be preferable

I know one option is Laurel, but I was hoping there would be something more interesting.

Any suggestions?

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Bamboo might be a good option as they are evergreen, grow fairly tall and also grow pretty fast here. There are clumping varieties available that don't attempt to escape your yard, but a root barrier is probably your best bet just to be sure. Bamboo come in some interesting colors besides just plain green.

I'd normally suggest rhododendrons or evergreen huckleberry, but both of these can be rather slow growing.

  • thanks, i already have a clump of bamboo in the middle of the yard, so i may transplant it. i need a root barrier so that the neighbor doesn't get upset? :) – swinefeaster Mar 12 '14 at 20:31
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    You need a root barrier so the bamboo doesn't spread for 30 feet all around, including your garden.... but it does depend on the variety how much they spread. Fargesia doesn't usually run like this. – Bamboo Mar 13 '14 at 11:44
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    actually here is a good website that lists a lot of alternatives: fast-growing-trees.com/Washington.htm – swinefeaster Apr 4 '14 at 1:43
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The trouble with fast growing plants is they keep on growing, mostly, so I'd concur with Teresa's recommendation of Bamboo for fairly rapid cover, but also concur that you'd need a root rhizome barrier, not just to protect next door, but to stop the bamboo appearing 10 to 20 feet away in the middle of your garden.

I was wondering about Berberis darwinii, but that usually only reaches about 8 feet and isn't fast growing. Seattle seems to be in Zone 8/8b, so Pyracantha could be another option - it's not a slow grower and can usually be bought at a height of 1-2 feet for a reasonable price, well, in the UK anyway, can't see why it'd be different there. Both are evergreen and produce berries, but both are prickly - thorns on Pyracantha, prickles on the leaves of the Berberis.

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