Come wintertime, however, too many of us tend to neglect our gardens – preferring to stay inside in the warm. But enjoying time in your garden and getting some fresh air can be very rewarding.
There are many evergreen plants and shrubs you can grow in your garden and ensure it stays vibrant all year round. Year-round perennials such as climbers and shrubs can provide some colour and interest to lift your spirits whatever the season.
Many evergreens are beautiful plants in their own right, but they can provide an ideal backdrop to border plants. GardenersWorld.com has plenty of ideas, tips and advice on how to achieve an attractive year-round garden. Here are nine evergreen plants, shrubs and climbers to give you a bit of inspiration.
This evergreen shrub is famous for its fragrant foliage and bee-friendly flowers. There are many different varieties that will also add a dash of colour to your garden come rain or shine. They include purple, pink and white-flowered varieties. When not in flower, however, lavender’s silvery leaves are almost as attractive and have a fragrance that will lift any mood.
Stipa gigantea is an evergreen grass renowned for its graceful flowerheads in the summer and autumn months. It is also one of the easiest plants to maintain without much fuss. It can easily be raked to remove dead leaves. Other colourful evergreen grasses include the glaucous festuca glauca, sesleria autumnalis and luzula nivea.
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Bergenia cordifolia is a plant that is often grown in shady areas but it thrives in the sun and well-drained soil. It is extremely resilient and can handle periods without rainfall. They boast beautiful flowers in the spring and have bold leaves that add character and colour to any garden, even through the winter.
Gardener’s World describes this evergreen shrub as being one of the “most magnificnet” around. Also known as bull bay, it eventually grows into a medium-sized tree. As well as having glossy leaves with bronze undersides and large, cup-shaped flowers, it also has an attractive citrus fragrance.
Euphorbia characias (sub species wulfenii)
Part of the spurge family of plants, wulfenii is renowened among gardeners for its full foliage. It is easy to grow and maintain and has a fresh look that last all through the year. In the summer, it has beacon-like flowers. While in the winter a light layer of frost gives its leaves some extra sparkle. Similar evergreen plants in the same family that will also brighten up your garden include euphorbia mellifera and euphorbia myrsinites.
Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
This climbing shrub is very popular among winter gardeners as it grows easily to cover fences and other boundaries but will not get out of control. In the summer it produces masses of fragrant star-shaped flowers. It has deep green foliage that bronzes in the winter.
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
If you want an evergreen that flowers for several months, and even all year round in milder years, this would be a good shrub to go for. It is also a hardy plant that is easy to grow from cuttings and is rarely bothered by pests or diseases.
This is a hardy succulent that grows in pretty rosettes. Sempervivums are also very hardy, reliable and easy to grow. There are numerous varieties to choose from, including Rubin, Orion and Pacific Blue Ice and are best grown in containers and soils with good drainage.
Most, if not all, house plants are evergreen. They are also particularly valuable in the winter. Monstera deliciosa, commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant, is among the easiest to grow. It also has some striking leaves and usually thrives best in a shady area of a patio.
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