It can be challenging to keep a garden when so many of life’s responsibilities get in the way. However, it can be a rewarding or even a relaxing experience to go green and let your inner creativity shine.
If you’re looking for an easy, low maintenance way to start gardening, look no further than the evergreen shrub. Not only are they perfect for patios, but they provide year-round colour and allow our favourite flowers to stand out in contrast and shine.
It’s even good news for those who aren’t the most green-fingered: these top picks are hardy and versatile enough to thrive in even the most difficult shade!
Rubella (Skimmia Japonica)
This aromatic dwarf shrub is hardy and versatile. Skimmia Japonica Rubella thrives in sunny and partially shaded locations. Its compact habit makes it manageable and well suited for use in borders, patio pots or containers.
The red buds are produced all-year-round and will offer much needed colour during winter and the early spring. The leaves are broad and a rich, dark green colour giving this shrub quite a solid, chunky look for its small size.
White flowers appear from April to May on this plant, which reaches a height of around 80cm. You can prune lightly in spring if desired.
Emerald Gaiety (Euonymus Fortunei)
The Emerald Gaiety has a bushy habit with gorgeous glossy green leaves which feature silver-white margins and veining. During winter a subtle pink coloured tinge appears. Growing to 60cm its smaller in height than the Rubella and has smaller, more dainty foliage.
This shrub looks particularly effective in patio pots and will also look good in your borders. Especially in early spring amongst emerging Crocuses and Tulips. The Emerald Gaiety will do well in sunny and in partially shaded locations.
Blonde Beauty (Euonymus)
This Euonymus has bright creamy-yellow and dark green markings on its glossy leaves. Growing to the same compact 60cm in height as the Emerald Gaiety, Blonde Beauty is ideal as ground cover and will give life to rockeries and borders alike and will help suppress the weeds.
The Blonde Beauty flourishes in well drained, fertile soil types and thrives in shaded locations as well as sunny ones. As a result, very little pruning is required. However, you can remove any unwanted or malformed shoots in spring if desired.
Mexican Orange Blossom (Choisya Ternata Sundance)
This glossy golden green shrub holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit in recognition of its reliable performance, brilliant colour and form and for its resistance to pests and diseases. In May, fragrant white flowers sprinkle across its glossy foliage.
The Mexican Orange Blossom needs very little pruning once established and will thrive in west facing aspects and partially shaded locations. This evergreen shrub grows to a height and spread of around 150cm which makes it an excellent choice for the middle or back of your borders.
Californian Lylac (Ceanothus Thyrsiflorus Var Repens)
Another RHS Award winner of Garden Merit, this colourful evergreen shrub really is something special with its lilac coloured panicles which bloom in spring through to early summer. The Californian Lilac has a spreading and cascading habit.
This makes it ideal for ground cover or in elevated patio pots and containers where the dark green spindle-like foliage can be appreciated all-year-round. For best results we recommend planting in sheltered locations, either sunny or partially shaded.
Scarletta (Leucothoe Scarletta Zeblid)
This is one for lovers of red foliage. Scarletta has bright red leaves which become deeper and darker as the year goes on. It will produce white flowers during spring. The Scarletta is superb for suppressing weeds and giving autumnal colour to the garden.
A very low-maintenance shrub that grows 45-60cm in height, forming a dome-like shape. If you’re searching for a shrub that will thrive in full shade, then Scarletta is a great option. They perform best in shaded locations. For best results plant in hummus rich, neutral to acidic soil.
From: The People’s Friend