Bearing leaves as they do year-round, evergreen shrubs are the preferred bushes for privacy hedges, since they keep you from being exposed to prying eyes for all 12 months of the year. Needle-bearing evergreen shrubs with small, tightly spaced needles are especially useful in hedges, as they can be trimmed to precise shapes. Yews come to mind immediately. But broadleaf evergreen shrubs with small leaves, such as boxwood, also cry out for a good shearing that will turn them into nice, rectangular walls. Other evergreen shrubs may be striking enough to go solo and serve as specimens.
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Azalea and Rhododendron
Azaleas and rhododendrons, affectionately known as a "rhodies" are related, belonging to the same genus. In general, rhododendrons are larger shrubs than azaleas, and they have larger leaves. Azalea flowers typically have five stamens, while rhododendron flowers have 10. Finally, unlike rhododendrons, many azalea plants are deciduous.
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Valued for its whimsical golden foliage, Gold Mop (or "Gold Mops") is one of the false cypresses. It is a needled evergreen shrub, but instead of bearing a classic needle-like hemlock's, Gold Mop's needle is awl-shaped.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Blue holly is another broadleaf evergreen shrub. Its older leaves develop a darker color that gives it its name. The younger leaves are lighter. The branch stems also are dark.
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Bay laurel is hardy only to USDA plant hardiness zone 8, but mountain laurel will grow as far north as zone 5. The 'Minuet' cultivar of mountain laurel boasts clusters of gorgeous pink flowers.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Technically, Daphne is considered, at best, a semi-evergreen. 'Carol Mackie' daphne plants can function virtually as evergreen shrubs. They keep their leaves throughout most of the winter and are quickly replaced by new leaves in spring. There is little "downtime" in between: these daphnes almost provide you with the same foliar continuity as do true evergreen shrubs. As a bonus, the leaves of 'Carol Mackie' daphne are variegated. All of which is especially impressive when you consider that daphne is grown primarily for its fragrant flowers.
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Blue Star Juniper
Blue Star juniper is a needled evergreen with silvery-blue foliage. This slow-growing plant is a dwarf, forming a compact mound that reaches just 1 to 3 feet in height at maturity, with a similar spread. Its foliage is densely packed.