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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.