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Excellent Evergreens

Add some year-round greenery to your outside space

Evergreen plants are an excellent choice if you’re looking to add some lush greenery to your outside space with minimal upkeep. Unlike deciduous plants, that completely lose their foliage, evergreens keep all of their leaves so they require very little attention throughout the year.

Additionally, evergreens are a great way to introduce permanent structure to your garden and work equally as well as stand-alone plants as they do as part of a mixed border. They can also be used for hedging which is a good technique for creating privacy and establishing an attractive boundary whilst welcoming wildlife to spend time in your garden.  

Below we've selected our six favourite evergreen plants that are easy to grow and guaranteed to inject some colourful foliage into your outside space 365 days a year. 

1. Box is a compact and versatile evergreen shrub that's perfect for clipping into a small, formal hedge that can be used to edge vegetable or flower beds. Alternatively, Box is ideal if you want to try your hand at topiary to form an evergreen display that can be enjoyed throughout of all four seasons. Being tolerant of deep shade, Box is great for awkward sunless spots or for growing beneath tall trees. Grow Box in well-drained soil with partial or full shade.

2. Fatsia Japonica is a distinctive shrub with vast, glossy leaves and upright stems. This exotic-looking plant adjusts well to coastal conditions and can be grown in any type of soil, although they thrive best in a shady corner of the garden. Fatsia plants are very architectural and can be grown in borders or large containers as an attractive patio centrepiece.

3. Lavender is a garden favourite thanks to its distinctive fragrance and rich magenta flowers. This well-loved classic blooms in shades of purple, lilac or pink and attracts plenty of bees and butterflies due to its Mediterranean origin. Lavender is also very versatile as it's suitable for borders, hedging and patio containers, so there's no reason not to incorporate it into your outside space. Best of all, it has a good drought tolerance making it exceptionally low-maintenance and easy to care for. 

4. Euonymus is a very durable plant that copes well with poor soils, coastal conditions and shade. Available in a wide range of colours, from green to white or gold, Euonymus is brilliant for adding colour to the garden during Autumn and Winter. Depending on the variety, euonymus shrubs grow 90 cm to 4.5 m tall, so although initially slow-growing, they’re a fantastic plant if you're looking to implement a hedge into your garden that's sure to flourish for years to come. 

5. Mahonia is an evergreen shrub that produces long stalked bright yellow flowers throughout Autumn and Winter, making it a lovely addition to the garden at a time of year when very little else is flowering. Mahonia grows happily in deep shade and is rarely effected by pests or diseases. Plus, they only require watering in exceptionally dry weather, so they're relatively hassle-free. 

6. Photinia is a popular shrub, often associated with Christmas due to its festive-coloured red shoots and glossy green leaves. Photinia is tolerant of most soils, and requires little pruning, hence why it's often planted to form a fast-growing and dense evergreen hedge. Photinia tends to grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in sun or partial shade in a sheltered position.