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Art Knapp
So Much More Than Plants
Art Knapp

Art Knapp Articles

Privacy Shrubs You Haven’t Thought Of

in Outdoor Living

Privacy Shrubs You Haven’t Thought Of

When it comes to hedging shrubs, most people on the Lower Mainland or in Surrey pick something like Emerald Cedars or Western Red Cedars. Those are good choices because they are evergreen, grow fast, and do well in our climate. But there are lots of other shrubs that would also make great hedges, privacy walls, or could be planted just because they look great. That is what we want to talk about today in our blog: privacy shrubs you have not thought of. 


Most people lean toward evergreen when choosing a shrub for privacy. Evergreen means that the shrub will keep its leaves even in the winter. Consider rhododendrons, for example. Most of them are evergreen, so check the tag. Most azaleas are deciduous, which we will address next, but a few varieties are also evergreen.

Rhododendrons have the advantage of being very popular here, so there are tons of varieties and bloom colours to choose from. The flowers are not scented, but they are beautiful. If you pick a rhododendron that gets tall and wide, you can certainly use it for privacy.

How about holly (species Ilex)? It is evergreen, and the birds love the berries. Just be sure to pick a variety that will get to be the size and shape you want.

Why not a Yew? Yews grow slowly but they are very long lived. In England there are yew hedges that are hundreds of years old.


Deciduous means that the shrub will drop the leaves. However, even if a shrub drops leaves, it can still offer some privacy. And most of us are not outside on our decks in the middle of winter, anyway.

Some ideas for deciduous shrubs are Kerria, which blooms bright yellow and will get quite large, Mock Orange, Philadelphus, which blooms white and smells wonderful, and one of the willow shrubs, like Hakuro Nishiki, which is variegated. Again, just be sure to choose a cultivar that will get to the size and shape you want. And these are just three examples.

There is no rule on what you can use for a privacy shrub. You can use absolutely anything you like. There are many shrubs to choose from that will be happy to get big and block someone’s view or just be a specimen plant. Come and visit us at our Surrey store and take a look at the giant selection of shrubs we have for every taste and style. 


Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey. 

If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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