Landscaping with evergreens: 9 ways to use in garden design

Landscaping with evergreens: 9 methods to make use of in garden design

10 minutes, 34 seconds Read

There are myriad choices for landscaping with evergreens inside your garden design. Whether or not offering year-round lush foliage, seasonal shade from flowers and berries, privateness for a nook of your outside retreat, or vitality and construction to see your yard by the coldest months, these hardworking members of the planting palette needs to be a key aspect of your garden concepts.

Usually low upkeep and resilient additions that may grace your garden for many years, evergreen shrubs are among the many most versatile crops, which might both take middle stage as dramatic focal factors within the garden, or provide a complementary backdrop to seasonal blooms. 

Specialists share their recommendation on methods to make the perfect use of evergreens when you’re deciding how you can plan a garden.

box balls planted in a gravel area in courtyard garden

(Picture credit score: Harriet Farlam / Farlam & Chandler)

Landscaping with evergreens

‘Evergreen crops are a structural important,’ explains garden designer Jo Alderson (opens in new tab). With many people aspiring to make use of and luxuriate in our gardens by the seasons, an evergreen planting scheme works yr spherical. 

‘It is necessary when planning your garden to contemplate construction and year-round curiosity. Landscaping with evergreens will present different crops within the garden with a stable anchor,’ provides garden designer Claudia de Yong (opens in new tab)

There are numerous fairly evergreen crops to select from. Flowering shrubs may provide seasonal shade, and if you wish to improve the curb attraction of your own home yr spherical, there are many choices of evergreen shrubs for the entrance of the home.

‘When landscaping with evergreens, as with every shrub, it’s key to consider the aim that the plant will play throughout the scheme of the garden. Are you utilizing it to dam one thing ugly or maybe to create a visible cease and point of interest? Do you need to mild up a darkish nook or create curiosity at a time of yr when different crops have died down. These are all issues you need to take into account when selecting evergreens,’ explains garden designer Fi Boyle (opens in new tab).

1. Use evergreens for screening and privateness

evergreen used for screening and hedging beside house and garden path

(Picture credit score: Helen Elks-Smith / elks-smith garden and panorama design)

A key potential when landscaping with evergreens is their use to display your garden from a highway or neighboring homes. They will filter out noise and air pollution, whereas additionally bettering air high quality and supply a spot for birds to nest, even within the winter months, for a wildlife garden concept.

Many of the greatest shrubs for privateness are evergreens as a result of their yr spherical foliage cowl, and by planting a mixture of varieties in leaf type, shade and texture you’ll be able to obtain dramatic outcomes. ‘You’ll be able to select variegated forms of evergreen shrub, which may also help to mild up a darkish nook, or ones which have colourful foliage,’ advises Claudia. And with many quick rising shrubs, you’ll be able to obtain outcomes rapidly.

A helpful method of dividing up a garden naturally is by landscaping with evergreens, whether or not that is to create a personal space for sitting and eating, or subtly delineate ‘rooms’ when garden zoning.

Be sure you know how you can plant shrubs and the perfect time to take action for wholesome, lengthy lasting crops.

2. Add blissful scent

Daphne x transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’ evergreen shrub in flower

(Picture credit score: Fi Boyle Backyard Design)

‘Many evergreen shrubs have splendidly scented flowers, a necessary aspect of any garden,’ explains garden designer Helen Elks-Smith (opens in new tab). These are essential to include when taking a look at how you can design a aromatic garden.

‘A mixture of simply three crops will present scent from December proper by to October. I typically select the peerlessly named Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Purple Stem’  for a barely extra relaxed look however that mixes properly with the broader foliage of among the best aromatic flowers, Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, and for a barely sunnier spot, Daphne  x transatlantica ‘Everlasting Perfume’ to run by the summer season,’ she provides.

Scented evergreen shrubs actually come into play as winter garden concepts when different crops are naked, agrees garden designer Harriet Farlam of Farlam & Chandler (opens in new tab). ‘Plant an evergreen specimen shrub equivalent to Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ near a door to carry fantastic scent within the darkest months,’ and create a sensory garden really feel.

Elaeagnus × ebbingei is one other scented suggestion from Fi Boyle, which has ‘insignificant flowers that you could possibly be forgiven for lacking, however the scent is fabulous within the fall so an typical time for scent,’ she explains; whereas Claudia de Yong sings the praises of Choisya ternata, Mexican orange blossom, ‘with its fragrant white flowers which is simple to develop in full solar, and completely happy to be pruned laborious after flowering.’ That is additionally a good selection for low upkeep border concepts as it’s takes care of itself.

3. Use evergreens for type and rhythm 

mounds of clipped evergreen shrubs creating form and rhythm along a border

(Picture credit score: Helen Elks-Smith / Elks-Smith Backyard and Panorama Design)

When landscaping with evergreens begin with type. ‘To make sure a well-balanced scheme, I’ll typically have a look at a mixture of mounding and arching types,’ says Helen Elks-Smith. ‘Positioned symmetrically, mounding types will lend a extra conventional appear and feel to a scheme, however can be mixed loosely to present a extra relaxed really feel. Mounding types are wonderful for including all essential rhythm, and together present motion particularly helpful alongside pathways.’  

‘Evergreen construction by a big border as a flower mattress concept can be utilized to border the corners or to create construction and rhythm by the perennial planting,’ agrees Fi Boyle. My go to choice for balls could be Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Golf Ball’ because it types a stunning pure ball form and is definitely clipped. One other different, with a darker and bigger leaf, could be winter field, Sarcococca confusa. These will be clipped neatly and nonetheless produce splendidly scented flowers throughout the form in winter,’ she provides.

‘Some evergreen shrubs can, nonetheless, get uncontrolled, turn into too massive and overbearing if they aren’t in the reduction of, so select ones that may tolerate an excellent prune,’ advises Claudia. 

4. Plant an evergreen backdrop

Osmanthus x burkwoodii topiary provide a dark backdrop for more ephemeral and colourful summer planting

(Picture credit score: Harriet Farlam / Farlam & Chandler)

Evergreen shrubs can type the spine to a garden and supply distinction to extra ephemeral perennial planting in the summertime months, which is especially efficient in white garden concepts.

‘Together with rising lavenders, rosemary and ballota, Pittosporum tenuifolium and tobira will deal with drought and salt publicity, so we regularly plant these in uncovered coastal places. Pittosporum lends itself properly to tight clipping just like English yew, which is a good selection for making a darker and extra dramatic backdrop. For one thing looser and extra resilient, strive Osmanthus x burkwoodii, which will even reward you with extremely perfumed white flowers in spring,’ advises Harriet Farlam.

5. Panorama with evergreen hedges and borders

clipped buxus has been used for the borders of a formal parterre, surrounded by taxus hedging in gardens of Ilford Manor

(Picture credit score: Claudia de Yong)

Essentially the most environmentally pleasant materials for borders and bounds is pure privateness hedging, which will even type the skeleton construction to the garden all year long. There are numerous choices for quick rising hedges.

‘Yew, Taxus baccata, creates an exquisite dense hedge that may be saved properly pruned and neat,’ advises Fi Boyle. ‘For across the exterior of a vegetable garden, you would possibly think about using Viburnum tinus, as this produces each flowers and berries, which is sweet for bugs and pollination in addition to being fairly and rather less formal than another hedges,’ she provides. 

Claudia de Yong additionally recommends Prunus lusitanica or Portuguese laurel, jasmine scented Osmanthus x burkwoodii, Ligustrum ovalifolium ‘Aureum’ or Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’. ‘For a big leaf and brilliant crimson evergreen foliage, select Photinia ‘Purple Robin’ which requires minimal pruning.’

6. Create construction with topiary

Topiary ideas for different shapes and styles

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Topiary shapes can add type and distinction to all types of gardens, from conventional nation gardens to a extra up to date gravel or courtyard gardens concept.

‘Taxus baccata is the historic evergreen shrub used for topiary when landscaping with evergreens as this can be very dense and will be pruned into excellent topiary type in a wide range of shapes, and tolerates dry shade, chalk and acidic soils. Nevertheless, different crops, equivalent to Viburnum tinus work being formed both within the floor or in pots as requirements, whereas bay bushes are among the many greatest bushes to develop in pots as a preferred evergreen selection and will be neatly clipped into formal shapes,’ says Claudia de Yong.

Different shrubs appropriate for topiary are Buxus sempervirens, Osmanthus burkwoodii, Ilex crenata, Sarcococca confusa, Phillyrea angustifolia and Hebe ‘Inexperienced Globe’, suggests Fi Boyle.

7. Convey shade or curiosity to shady spots

Sarcococca hookeriana ‘winter gem’

(Picture credit score: RHS/ Anna Brockman)

There are numerous evergreen shrubs for shade that may present curiosity all year long and assist to mild up darkish corners with flower and foliage shade.

Claudia de Yong suggests Daphne pontica or Daphne laureola for landscaping in areas of dense shade. ‘Daphnes are sluggish to begin, however as soon as established there are plain evergreen or variegated types which produce extremely scented blooms. They dislike being pruned so select the location rigorously they usually choose free draining soils,’ she advises. 

For an excellent pure form that requires little upkeep, Fi Boyle champions Viburnum davidii, ‘which is way maligned however a helpful plant which bears white flowers adopted by deep purple/bluish berries, whereas Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie’ is an efficient again cease and filler the place different shrubs won’t thrive,’ she explains.

‘Sarcococca is a extra compact shrub and can deal with troublesome areas of dry shade, however can also be good used for path edging as a garden path concept, the place you’ll brush previous the sweetly scented flowers from December by to March,’ says Harriet Farlam.

8. Add symmetry and shapes with an evergreen parterre

evergreen shrubs used to create parterres

(Picture credit score: Leigh Clapp)

An evergreen parterre garden is a basic method to make use of evergreens for landscaping.

For creating the hedging for a parterre, buxus is just not all the time a really helpful selection as a result of issues of field blight, however there are many options. ‘Attempt clipped types equivalent to Taxus baccata, to the extra fluid types of a few of the hebes, together with Hebe rakaiensis. Ilex x meserveae Blue Maid is one other good different – bearing small white flowers, which are sometimes smothered in bees and the enticing berries are a lot beloved by blackbirds and thrushes later within the yr,’ says Helen Elks-Smith.

‘Pittosporum makes an excellent substitute for buxus – P. ‘fastigiata’ has an excellent columnar form and can be utilized as a specimen in a flower mattress; Ilex crenata, Japanese holly grows properly within the shade and tolerates clipping tightly into any form,  whereas for a low upkeep evergreen shrub, the Euonymus fortunei  cultivars tolerate poor soils, shade and as a result of their prostrate behavior additionally work properly on a north dealing with wall,’ advises Claudia de Yong.

9. Create an unique really feel with evergreen landscaping

Tropical garden with fatsia japonica plant

(Picture credit score: Photograph by Adam Anderson on Unsplash)

For big leaf protection and a jungle or tropical garden concept, think about using the open spreading behavior of Fatsia japonica for landscaping with evergreens suggests Claudia de Yong. As fatsia copes properly in shade, additionally it is a good selection for a north-facing garden.Different evergreen shrubs for an unique garden scheme embrace Nandina domestica, which has fiery bamboo like pink/ crimson leaves that flip inexperienced to purple all through the season, and Pieris japonica ‘Forest Flame’, with its fiery crimson new progress within the spring turning a tender pink and finally inexperienced. Be sure you choose the best selection as they will develop very giant. They’re greatest for lighting up a shady nook,’ she provides. 

a mix of evergreen shrubs and plants in different forms and shapes beside a clapperboard house

(Picture credit score: Helen Elks-Smith / Elks-Smith Backyard and Panorama Design)

How do you make an evergreen garden?

To make an evergreen garden it is advisable take into account the aim that every of the crops will serve, and create a well-balanced scheme with a mixture of types.

Combine in a spread of shapes, sizes, leaf shade and texture, together with flowering and scented evergreens so as to add totally different dimensions to areas of the garden all through the seasons.

Together with evergreen shrubs, there are a number of evergreen climbers that may dress partitions and constructions, in addition to evergreen bushes for top.

As with all planting, make sure you match the best plant to the best place, making an allowance for the circumstances that they like. With care and planning, landscaping with evergreens may end up in an exquisite and various garden that may final by the seasons.


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