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Advice sought for appropriate shrub



I’m new to this forum and I’m not an expert gardener. Far from it :-)

We have a small  rear garden with a steepish slope taking up up the rear half. At the bottom of the slope is a very low retainer wall, which is broken in the middle with steps going up the slope.

 After years of not being able to get a planting scheme behind this wall that we are happy with, we are going to try a line of identical plants immediately behind the wall (i.e. at the bottom of the slope), with a looser format of different plants behind (most of which are already in place but some will be moved). I’m estimating that we’ll need about 20 of them. We’ve decided to do this to give that part of the garden a little more structure and focus.

 So the advice I am looking for is what type of plant to choose. We want something evergreen, low maintenance, reasonably compact, that won’t grow too tall (maybe no more than a couple of feet) and will be happy with a very chalky soil. We decided against box, because we have it elsewhere in the garden (where it works well). We also decided against lavender for various reasons.

 Any suggestions as to what might work well will be very gratefully received.


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,065

    Hello C53

    You obviously don't have to buy from these above , but their lists of chalk-tolerant shrubs is second to none .

    Maybe of some help to you .

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    Being low maintenance, most shrubs will still need at least a yearly prune to keep them compact or dense. Ceanothus can get large, but if you prune them once a year they will form a dense glossy barrier.

    Small Hebes and Brachyglottis shrubs are for me the go-to shrubs to fill spaces in borders that needs low maintenance but also blends well with other herbaceous plants. In a long hedge setting, they can also do a great job of forming a nice barrier. Brachyglottis lifts borders on dull days and a tactile shrub with soft rounded leaves. Not like the usually hedge plants that are hard and prickly.

  • Thank you for your very helpful replies. Much appreciated.

  • Euonymus fortunei are unfussy as to pH, easy to maintain (trim every year or two) slow growing, evergreen and available in various colours.  If you trim them once a year you can easily keep them to about 10".  Completely left to their own devices and untrimmed, they will grow to about 1m max in about 10 years and still keep a reasonable 'shrub' shape.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Cheers Bob. That all sounds about what we're after. Some of the brachyglottis mentioned by Borderline also looked promising, so we have a tough choice.Useful to have those web-site links as well. We tend to buy in garden centres most of the time, but their prices are crazy these days.

  • My immediate thought was also Cotoneaster--some of the ground covering types do a nice job as a low hedge and are very attractive too.

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