Hi I am installing a swimming pool and cabana bar area in my yard in Toronto. My yard is 66 feet wide and I want to plant a hedge along that back fence to grow 8 to 10 feet high. I am thinking of Emerald Cedars- what are your thoughts? Or is there a better plant?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry on hedges. There are several factors which need to be taken into account before selecting hedging material- sun exposure:full sun, part shade, soil condition: clay, loamy, sandy
Emerald Cedar hedges are a good option and probably the most popular one used for this application. The benefit of using evergreens is year round privacy. The Toronto Master Gardeners have an ecellent Gardening Guide : Evergreens Suitable for Hedging
There are however several other hedges which offer excellent screening and that offer other attractive features.
Purple Beach (Fagus sylvatica) Foliage is visually striking, with deep, glossy green in the spring/summer to bright chartreuse or golden-yellow in the Autumn. Some beech foliage color variants also exits—purple being most common. Golden leaves are retained throughout the winter as well. The bark offers a visual attraction. More disease resistant and more adaptable to clay or different soils that Hornbeam.
European Hornbeam (Carpius betulus) Very similar to beech, hornbeam sports leaves of vibrant green during the spring and summer. Later these turn to golden yellow, before finally donning a winter coat of deep russet, but do not retain leaves throughout winter like the beech.
Privet (Ligustrum sp.) Privets are fast growing shrubs suitable for zones 5-8, which are mainly grown for the dense foliage they can provide when pruned into hedges. Privet hedges can be grown in partial shade to full sun. This link prvides information on various species of privet
Canadian Hemlock (Thuja canadensis) – Provides a dense evergreen screen with fine textured dark green needles. Very adaptable to shade. Canadian hemlock requires moist, acidic soil with good drainage. It can be grown in full sun or shade. It grows in rocky areas (not limestone) where a great deal of organic matter is present.
This tree tolerates shade well and is suitable for dense shade if unsheared plants are used. It will not tolerate compacted soils. Canadian hemlock, which has shallow roots, will not tolerate wind or drought. This tree suffers sun scorch in temperatures exceeding 95 degrees F For more details access the following link: