Understory Screening Ideas

I was in a client meeting the other day. The homeowners were looking to screen their neighbors with an evergreen plant that required no maintenance, wouldn’t grow too fast or get too tall, wasn’t expensive, was full size at install and was deer resistant.

Sounds like the perfect plant! Unfortunately, that plant doesn’t exist. Slower growing plants usually require less maintenance but are expensive and are rarely available as mature plants. Landscape sized plants, something in the 5-7′ range, that miraculously stops growing doesn’t exist either.

The plant that continued to come to mind, that crossed off most of their boxes was Pieris. Evergreen, slow growing, deer resistant etc… The only characteristic it didn’t check? It isn’t available in a 5-7′ plant and if they were, they would be ridiculously expensive. Sometimes with landscaping, no matter your budget, you just need to wait.

Here are some Pieris screening at at my house. I couldn’t be happier these Andromeda. Currently, they are in the 9-10′ range.

Andromeda Understory
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Richard Schipul
Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.


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