I have a ‘thing’ for evergreen shrubs and plants. People often dismiss them as being dull, or taking up space through the warmer months that could be filled with flowers. There are so many colours though, and not all even green. They add a good structure to the garden when the herbaceous perennials have died back and the leaves have fallen from deciduous trees and shrubs. Yew and box hedges are classic, but there are a nearly endless amount of evergreen wonders to choose from.
For instance, the perennial low growing Bergenia has leaves that are glossy green in summer, but turn red in winter with the added bonus of late spring flowers. A good variety is Bergenia crassifolia ‘Autumn Red’.
Hollies come in many shades of green, some variegated, edged with yellow or white, my favourite being the cream tinged ‘Hedgehog Holly’ or Ilex Aquifolium ‘Ferox Argentea’. There are lots to choose from and different coloured berries to consider. Remembering of course that not all hollies with a ‘female’ name, eg. ‘Silver Queen’ are female plants……and only the females bear berries…..
Hebes are another wonderful evergreen, perfect for small areas, tubs and under planting. So many colours and shapes, from small clusters of glaucus blue leaves to larger pointy cream and dark green leaves. Garden Illustrated Magazine had an article on hebes, well worth a read https://www.gardensillustrated.com/plants/winter/hebe-prune-best-plants Again, the summer interest is there, not only in the colour of the foliage but also the flowers.
Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree that can get huge, sporting gorgeous blue green leaves, but regularly coppiced, makes a pretty winter shrub. It is also, if you choose the right location and variety, surprisingly hardy. Mine, here in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, lived through the “Beast from the East” (the snow storm of a few years ago) unscathed.
And of course, so many of these glorious evergreen shrubs are just perfect for making Christmas wreaths, garlands and table decorations. What’s not to like?!
These are just a few of my favourites so if you have a favourite evergreen plant of shrub (or if you despise them!), please message me on Instagram, Facebook or drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.