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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,453

    Default Non-toxic bushes that can be (easily) maintained around 4' high?

    Bonus points for evergreen and/or decorative.

    Our not-huge backyard is bounded by the pasture fence. I'd like to plant some kind of bush or shrub that would provide a visual barrier, on the side visible to the neighbors, both for aesthetic improvement and a modicum of privacy. I thought of vines (we have mesh pasture fence) but they are impossible to keep from wrapping around the electric tape on top and shorting it out.

    So, what are my options? Would be planting on the backyard side of the fence, not inside the pasture, but need to be non-toxic as horses will be able to reach. I also want to be able to look over them to see the horses and keep an eye on the electric tape, hence the need to keep them smallish.

    We're in north FL, good soil, drains well but not too sandy. Lots of sun, of course.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2012
    Posts
    610

    Default

    I use dwarf Alberta spruce trees ...see here..http://landscaping.about.com/od/ever...rta_spruce.htm

    Also, I have used lilac and honey suckle but they require pruning.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,653

    Default

    We had a mature, deciduous, trimmed hedge surrounding our back and side yards at our last house and while the privacy was awesome, it was a TON of work to maintain. I vote for the more naturalized route (i.e. trees or shrubs you don't trim).

    Also, it didn't offer nearly as much privacy in the winter, of course.

    I tried growing arborvetae (sp?) as a screen and the bunnies ate the bottom portion one winter.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Zone 6
    Posts
    1,876

    Default

    Not a bush but Fountain Grass can get pretty big. Requires no maintenance and looks nice. I love that stuff!
    https://www.facebook.com/HunterHillFarmIowa

    Oh my god - she's gone and got the eventing bug! I will send you some antibiotics! Take the entire bottle and do two hunter shows and it will pass!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    Cocoa, Fla
    Posts
    4,066

    Default

    Called: Hawaiian Snowbush, Snow Bush, Snow-on-the-Mountain, Sweetpea Bush (Breynia disticha)

    Drops it's leaves during cold snaps but comes back. Pretty - bush with green, pink and white variegated leaves. Invasive - roots and seeds so need to contain unless you don't care.

    http://pics.davesgarden.com/pics/200...e69/9a42e3.jpg
    Sandy in Fla.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,771

    Default

    knockout roses. cut 'em way back and they come back strong; you get roses and a hedge. they bloom almost season-long. they also grow about anywhere, unlike other roses. red, pink, white (lightest pink, really) and now a double red as well.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,731

    Default

    Horses will eat roses (ask me how I know!)
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2003
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    192

    Default

    I have some Knockout roses on my fence line and like them very much. They are beautiful and the only care they have needed is some water in prolonged dry spells and occasional cutting back. They are very thorny and my horses don't seem interested in eating them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2010
    Posts
    995

    Default

    I am just going through this myself.........I am in phila,pa area......spirea bushes grow very fast, very bushy, can be cut to the ground and will return......gets lovely white flowers...is deciduous, but the fine branches are so dense you cannot see thru...

    forsythia will do the same


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,771

    Default

    yes, the horses will graze on roses. But unless it is INSIDE the fence, and can be eaten to the ground, it will do just fine! I have a rose along my fence line that the horses can reach - they eat their side, I look at my side! Roses are very resilliant - it will just grow more on the other side. And, it sounds like you would be looking at the "unreachable" side of the plants.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    Location
    gulf coast
    Posts
    920

    Default

    Maiden grass, Varigated Ginger Hedging bamboo, are all safe.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,795

    Default

    Butterfly bushes. There are new varieties that don't set seeds and grow 3-5 feet tall. Even my goats don't bother them (much)
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,354

    Default

    Glad to hear butterfly bushes aren't toxic - I have them growing wild around my farm and wanted to transplant some near the barn.

    What about forsythia??



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