A U-shaped hedge embraces a bench near Mendocino

Every garden should offer a secluded place to relax. At the Glendeven Inn in Little River, landscape designer Peggy Quaid created such a retreat by planting a U-shaped hedge around a small patio with a teak bench and table. Guests who venture out to this sheltered bench are invited to sit and savor the sweeping views of the ocean and of colorful flowers in the nearby perennial garden.

The three-year-old hedge, which measures 5 1/2 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 15 feet long, was started from six 5-gallon plants of Luma apiculata, planted 3 feet apart. After planting, Quaid trimmed the fast-growing evergreen shrub (adapted to Sunset climate zones 14-24) every two months to develop the initial shape. Now that the hedge has filled in, it needs only light trimming about every six weeks to retain its profile. Other hedge plants for backyard retreats include Mexican orange (Choisya ternata), Pacific wax myrtle (Myrica californica), Pittosporum tobira, and strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo).

Info: Glendeven Inn www.glendeven.com or 800/822-4536

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