Hedgerow for narrow city backyard


Hello, I need to replace about 15′ of privet hedge that is about 18″ wide and 5-6′ high. The width of our yard is narrow so I’m looking for options to stay about 18″ wide at maturity.
Is there a conical cedar that will mature at about 18″ and 5-6′ high? My neighbour has Emeralds and they are about 12′ tall now which will overpower our yard.
I would like to mix in flowering shrubs rather than have a long row of cedars. Which native flowering shrubs can be planted close enough together to form a barrier at maturity and trimmed to the 18″ width?
The hedge has full sun and there is sand under our topsoil in the High Park area of Toronto. The soil is dry. Thank you.


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners

The conditions and soil structure of your backyard allows you to grow a multitude of native shrubs: pruning will maintain your desired height and width. The Toronto Master Gardeners Gardening with Native Shrubs  Toronto Master Gardeners Guide. The guide provides information on how to plant a shrub, details in regards to sites, list of native Shrubs for dry, sunny areas. It also provides other resources and references on native choices and planting. You can also add other shrubs that tolerate shade. Shrubs for dry sunny areas

Planting and first year of care is most important to shrubs; our Master Gardeners guide to Planting a Tree for Life: provides information on after care that can be applied to shrubs: Planting a Tree For Life

After care

Water regularly for the first few years of your tree’s growth, checking to make sure the soil has not dried out.  If there is not much rain, gently pour two large buckets of water over the soil once or twice a week or let the hose slowly trickle down the same amount of water. However, don’t overwater. A sprinkle with the hose for a couple of minutes does more damage than good as this does not provide enough water to penetrate deep into the soil.  Newly planted trees must be watered regularly until frost.

Maintain a 2 to 3” mulch layer of leaf litter or wood chips around the base of the tree, a home to countless organisms and a source of valuable nutrients as it decomposes. Mulch forms a barrier which reduces evaporation and traps water, allowing moisture to drain slowly into the soil. It will also suppress weeds and makes their removal easier while protecting the soil structure and moderating swings in soil temperature. Keep the root zone free of grass and weeds to allow all the nutrients to be directed to your plants.

Scrolling to the bottom of resources and references there is a list of where to purchase native plants, or a guide to native plant nurseries. Guide to Native Plant Nurseries

This You Tube Video provides pruning shrubs that flower on new wood by Ninety % Native: Pruning Native Shrubs