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Any ideas for structural plants here? ->


 I'd like to add some structure to this sunny border.  When we have revamped the garden from nothing this year, we just shoved in some perennials for quick colour  – you can see the gladilloli, a lavender and a rose zephrine (was was meant to climb).

Now, I'd like some bushes,imageor trees some of which should be evergreen.  Can anyone recommend a nice mix with good contrast, pref. not mound-forming ones?

Soil is good and this space is about 3m long.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    With regards to mound forming shrubs, for many evergreen shrubs, it's more about pruning and shaping. For instance, Choysia Ternata, the Mexican Orange Blossom. This shrub may turn into a mound if you shape it that way. Or you could prune irregularly or even train it in the 'clouding' fashion to lift the canopy. This will require you to prune possibly twice a year. This shrub flowers twice a year and has very strong scent.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    3 metres isn't a very big distance for many shrubs, so you're only looking at a couple or so to be realistic, especially if you're keeping the rose. If they make around two metres in height, they'll generally make the same sort of spread. They will also compete for nutrients, so you'll have to make sure your rose gets well enough fed and watered. image

    Ceanothus is good for a sunny aspect, and so is Escallonia. They're both evergreen, but they would need pruning to keep them within that border, which they will both take. It's very narrow in depth, so whatever you choose will have to be something you can prune back to keep it from encroaching on the grass. Ideally, you'd take a couple of feet off the grass to make the border deeper. 

    There are plenty of deciduous shrubs - Potentilla, Deutzia (there are a few smaller varieties), Exochorda etc, but they will all get quite sizeable in about five years. 

    Are you intending removing the perennials? They'd be ok until the shrubs establish and get bigger, but there won't be enough room for everything in that border.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,004

    Artichoke  - something Di chioggia ( maybe violetta) is a good decorative one.

    Large silver grey leaves most of the year and beautiful blue flowers - provided you don't pick the artiickokes!

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003

    Bears Breeches..............I love this plant.  This one is 3 years old, had lots of flower stalks this year, but the leaves got badly damaged by slugs so I removed all the leaves and left the flower stalks, leaves are coming back again.   


    Last edited: 02 October 2017 22:14:06

  • SandTSandT Posts: 70

    Thanks so far (and sorry for my typos - was typing in my phone!)

    I can make the border deeper by cutting away the turf but yes, the length is still going to be about 3.5 m.

    Ceanothus is a good shout, and I have a Mexican orange blossom elsewhere in the garden and love the colour.  Otherwise, is there anything that will give good autumn colour and is happy to be pruned to keep it upright-ish? And you wouldn't put trees in this space like an olive?

     I'd like to keep the rose but could move it elsewhere. Thanks

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,560

    Euonymus alatus is a good one for colour at this time of year, I'm a fan of Hydrangea paniculata too, which does tend to grow fairly upright. It looks like you have good rich soil which the hydrangea will like.

    Have you thought about a Miscanthus? Would add structure just like a shrub. I would go for a Miscanthus and then - very simply - three clipped box balls for a composition of forms.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,560

    Like this perhaps - the upright thing would be Micanthus 'Malepartus', the blobs are box balls, and the blue fuzz, perennials such as Geranium 'Rozanne' frothing between the balls.

    I like a froth between my balls. You can let them grow bigger, and keep them clipped to uneven sizes to suit the effect you want.


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