Learning Center


Screening Plants for Arkansas Landscapes

Do you live on a busy street or need to build in some privacy around your home? Then you may want to consider planting a living fence, or privacy fence. The benefits of a privacy screen include blocking strong winds, limiting street noise, and defining spaces in addition to masking unsightly views. Read on for more information about how to plan for your own natural screen!

Before you choose a screening plant, take a few moments to consider the following aspects of a privacy screen. These will help you choose the right plant for your space.

  • Available space. Measure the area you can plant in and decide how tall you need your screen to be to block the unwanted view.
  • Is your landscape formal or informal? Do you need a plant that’s neat and tidy, or will your yard accommodate a more natural, relaxed look?
  • Evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen plants provide a year-round screen, whereas deciduous options offer more flowers and colors.
  • Function in the overall landscape. Will your screen be an integral part of the look of the yard, or is it far from your windows? Does it provide a backdrop to a central flowerbed, or fade in the distance? This will affect the look of the plant you ultimately choose.

After you’ve determined the answers to the above questions, it’s time to choose your screening plant(s)! We have some recommendations below.

If you’re looking for year-round privacy, you have many evergreen screening plant options. A number of hollies, such as the Foster, Burford and Nellie Stevens Hollies, make for great screens. Green Giant Arborvitaes lend a stately presence to landscapes. If you need a fast-growing screen, eleagnus is a great option with unique silvery green foliage. You can also consider Little Gem Magnolias, Japanese cleyera, cryptomeria, large cedars, and podocarpus. Finally, don’t forget camellias if you have a shady area that needs some filling in!

Curious about what flowering or colorful options you might have in the deciduous screening plant department? Variegated privets have delicate, fragrant flowers and grow well in a variety of soil conditions. Viburnums come in a number of varieties and have showy flowers, require little maintenance, and tolerate shady environments. Also look into the Diana Rose of Sharon if you don’t need a lot of height (up to eight feet), but love the large white flowers. If you’re looking for fall color, a burning bush will show off its red flair nicely in your yard.

Some folks may need screens for narrow spaces. In this case, consider erecting a trellis and growing vines! From trumpet vine to chocolate vine, you have lots of options for flowers. If you’re hoping for color year-round, look into evergreen clematis or English ivy. Finally, depending on your interest in performing maintenance on your screen, you may find that a shrub mentioned above could be kept in check in your smaller space with regular pruning.

As always, come out and see us at The Good Earth Garden Center if you have questions about creating a privacy screen in your yard. We’re happy to talk through the specifics of your situation and help you pick a plant that will be successful in your landscape!  A visit to our inventory might be helpful too; check out the plant descriptions in the screening plants category.