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We just moved from California and have bought a house in Lexington…

Bill and Sharon Asked

We just moved from California and have bought a house in Lexington. We have a very small back yard and it is up close to other yards. We are only allowed a small fence. What type of hedges are good (lasting all year in full bloom) that we could add to make our surrounding back yard give us more privacy? We contacted the president of the HOA, and he wants our ideas before we get the go ahead. We would like to have tall shrubs that join close together and are hopefully about 5 or 6 feet (when we buy them). Or can we buy hedges that high when buying them from a nursery? Is there a good landscaper and fence builder combination we could contact in the Lexington area that has experience?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Welcome to Kentucky! Gardening in Kentucky will be different than California in terms of plant choices, but before purchasing anything, there are a few factors to take into consideration. Available sunlight, soil condition, and/or space limitations should all be taken into account.

How many hours of sunlight does the space receive? Six or more hours of direct sunlight is considered full sun. Three to five hours is considered part sun and anything less than three is considered shade.

If your home is newly built, you will likely need to amend the soil before planting. Does the soil drain well or does it hold moisture? You may not even know these answers until you move in, but they are things to think about as you choose your plants.

Each plant has its own growth habit, mature size, preferred growing conditions, and disease resistance. Adding something that will thrive in the conditions that you can provide will be an important step to growing a healthy, long-lived planting.

The Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service is a great source for locating reliable information. The website has links to publications on all things horticulture. This is also where you can submit soil samples for analysis. The results will give you a lot of information about your soil, including soil texture, organic matter, and nutrient levels. It will also give you lime and fertilizer recommendations.

As for finding someone to install a fence and plant material, Springhouse Gardens, Hillenmeyers, and Kings Gardens all provide landscape design and installation services in the Lexington area. Not to promote or leave anyone out. The horticulture agent with the Extension service may have other recommendations. This way you can have a drawn proposal for your HOA.

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