We love evergreen shrubs as they brighten up dreary winter landscapes with their glossy leaves plus berries, scent or flowers and they give a framework for seasonal planting. When the trees in your garden have given up their leaves and perennials have been cut back evergreens are the stars of the garden. Whether it’s for the borders or a container there is an evergreen waiting to shine in your garden.
These are our favourites and plants we grow in our own gardens - in no particular order!
1. Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'
Is a more or less evergreen medium-sized shrub of erect habit with leathery leaves. Highly fragrant purplish-pink and white flowers in terminal clusters in late winter, when the garden is in need of colour, followed by black berries. This hardy winter-flowering shrub with its intensely fragrant flowers is slow to mature but well worth the wait. Its upright habit makes it ideal for small gardens and narrow borders. One of our real favourites.
2. Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ – Oregon grape
Slender spikes of pale yellow flowers appear from November to March, above rosettes of large, handsome, dark green, holly-like leaves. The scent is like lily of the valley. We love it because it’s a source of food for pollinators in winter.
3 . Camellia x williamsii ‘Debbie’
Is a vigorous evergreen shrub with peony-form double, sugary-pink flowers to 12cm in width. Compact and free flowering its great in borders or pots and a beautiful addition to any garden.
4. Ceanothus Puget Blue
Is a very hardy medium-sized shrub which is sure to bring interest with its brightly coloured unusual flowers. In mid-spring, this evergreen shrub is smothered in masses of dense flower balls, made up of lots of tiny yet vibrant powder blue flowers which stand out well against the dark green leaves. A perfect backdrop for spring bulbs.
5. Choisya x dewitteana ‘Aztec Pearl’ – Mexican Orange Blossom
An evergreen shrub with slender, glossy, dark green leaves, and clusters of fragrant, pink-tinged white flowers in late spring. 'Aztec Pearl' is a more compact alternative to Choisya ternata. It's ideal for the back or middle of a mixed border, and in hot summers it may flower again in late summer.
6. Aucuba Variegata
A variegated japanes laurel Variegata' is a a female cultivar with glossy leaves heavily spotted with creamy-yellow; small purple flowers may be followed by glossy bright red berries if a male clone is nearby It would make an excellent container plant or a very good back of the border plant. It works very well as a structural specimen and makes an ideal background to show off other plants. Very hardy and adaptable plant much loved by the Victorians.
7. Viburnum Tinus ‘Eve Price’
'Eve Price' is a bushy, medium-sized evergreen shrub with broadly oval, leathery dark green leaves and, from late winter, flattened clusters of deep pink buds opening to small, starry white flowers. Berries deep metallic-blue.
8. Euonymus Green Rocket
A small compact plant growing no more than 1m high and we’ve included it because it has become very popular as an alternative to box since box blight became widespread. Will tolerate sea air so great for seaside gardens either as a hedge or specimen.
9. Ilex × altaclerensis 'Golden King' - Holly
This is one of the prettiest golden variegated hollies you can grow. It is relatively compact, with a conical shape. Despite its name, it's a female variety and produces red berries in autumn but to guarantee you get them you need to plant a male holly nearby.
10. Hebe Mrs Winder
'Mrs Winder' is a spreading evergreen small shrub with narrow, dark green leaves, the youngest tinged with reddish-brown. A great addition to any agrden to provide evergreen structure at the front of a border Flowers small, violet-blue, in racemes to 7cm in length.It is a trouble free and easy to grow plant.