Online Garden Plantings

Evergreen Plants

Evergreen plants as the name suggests retain a proportion of their leaves throughout the year although they do shed leaves sporadically. Deciduous plants shed their leaves in the autumn and are bare through the winter, they then re-grow their leaves in the spring.

Evergreen shrubs and perennials can be an incredibly useful tool when planning a border; they can add interest and structure for all of the year, most are robust and require little maintenance. Here are some examples of plants and their uses.

Many have striking foliage, use variegated plants to lift light levels in shady areas, Aucuba japonica crotonifolia, has splendid shiny green and yellow leaves and in autumn and winter can give a wonderful show of bright red berries. Euonymus fortunei emerald gaiety is a vigorous clump forming shrub that also acts as an extremely effective ground cover plant.



     Euonymus fortunei emerald gaiety                          Aucuba japonica crotonifolia


Although frequently used in commercial landscaping, Photinia x fraseri `red robin` is for my mind one of the unsung heroes of the shrub world, robust and versatile.

It has glossy dark green adult foliage, and variable red tinted young leaves, especially as they just unfold with eye-catching juvenile growth the colour of sealing wax, similar to a pieris.  it is available in all sorts of shapes and sizes, it is often sold  as a standard, effective in container’s try as a pair framing a door or gateway, They also can make an eye catching hedge, especially  if planted in front of another evergreen creating a tiered effect.


                  Photinia as a tiered hedge                                                  Photinia grown as a standard


Evergreen perennials also have an important to play in forming a striking design that has all year interest in mind, there are many euphorbia’s that fill this criteria, they are great structurally and can lend an almost unworldly feel to your planting. Euphorbia myrsinites  is a prostrate evergreen perennial which makes an early entrance flowering in spring; mix with Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens and Galanthus nivalis to create some real contrasts early in the season. Euphorbia characias wulfenii is a strong architectural plant that mixes well in both contemporary and traditional styles of design. Euphorbia amygloides purpurea has striking leaves and does well in shade mix with Carex hachijoensis 'Ever gold'    to lift a dull corner. One word of caution when cut euphorbia’s release a milky white sap that can irritate the skin so always wear gloves when handling them.


                  Euphorbia myrsinites                                                                  Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens


              Carex hachijoensis 'Ever gold'                                                          Euphorbia amygloides purpurea


Conifers are members of the cupressus family and have received some bad press in recent years, chiefly I feel because they are frequently planted and then mismanaged, they can make an extremely effective hedge maturing surprisingly quickly. There are other members of this family that if used with some thought can deliver some spectacular results. Cupressus pyramidalis planted alongside a path or driveway will create an air of elegance, their height and pencil like form supply stature and generate a feeling of majesty that is all their own. Topiary forms are also commonly available and are often far more economical to buy than topiary created from other plants, again effective in containers or as central focal points in borders or if large enough creating their own drama.


                                 Cupressus topiary feature                            Cupressus pyramalidis