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Big shrub options

fizzwhizzfizzwhizz Posts: 94
hello would love some opinions on my shrub possibilities. Money and space is tight so really looking for star plants - I am considering;
myrtle - mainly due to evergreen,and the flowers
hydrangea mme emile mouliere and/or limelight - Trying to avoid coloured ones as I don’t want them to turn blue!
escallonia apple blossom
snowberry - pink version
vibutnum opulus - again, the flowers!
i have space available in south facing bed (slightly raised 4.8 long 1.2m deep rose/cottagey bed) east facing (pond / wild area) and north facing (1m high 1m deep walled raised bed so reasonably dry and sun shines into it from the east due to gap in houses in the morning). Soil is heavy wet clay (diy drainage system has been installed but not yet sure if it worked) Favourite colours are pink and white.... does anyone have any other suggestions / experience with these plants? Real life photos of them in situ would be even better! I already have weigela, Japanese quince and spireas so looking for something different if possible... thank you!😁


  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Escallonia is a bit boring most of the year, though nice in flower.

    Snowberry can be a thug, it could easily take over.

    Viburnums I like :)
  • fizzwhizzfizzwhizz Posts: 94
    Fabulous thanks @DampGardenMan this is what I need... other half has no opinion and all the online sellers are trying to sell! 😁
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,784
    My myrtle has been extremely slow growing - clay soil, very sunny bank, south-west England. From memory it is myrtle communis variegatus (but I could be wrong!). Planted maybe 7 or 8 years ago, now about 3-4 ft x 2-3 ft wide. It's lovely so I don't mind the slowness and indeed would prefer it not to grow big.
    Escallonia seems to be now prone to escallonia leaf blight where the leaves go yellow with black spot on them, then fall. 

    Buddleia 'Lochinch' is a good doer here. Lovely silvery/green leaves (has been evergreen all through this winter) with soft purple/blue flowers. Fairly cheap and fast to grow, but easily prunable. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,120
    Not sure Escallonia would do very well in that soil. 
    Have you looked at the oak leaf hydrangeas? White flowered, but have very distinctive foliage [clue's in the title ] which is beautiful in autumn. I can highly recommend them. They'll take more sun than the usual ones too.

    Are you considering some more evergreens to act as a backdrop to other, seasonal planting?
    Eleagnus is good for that, and easily pruned back a little to keep it to the size you want. If there's a lot of deciduous planting, the garden can be quite empty through the winter. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,792
    Another vote against snowberry here.  It will run amok if happy.

    Hydrangea limelight is good but maybe FG's oak leaf would be better - 

    Some viburnums are evergreen and flower in late winter/early spring so would extend your season - 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,036
    edited March 2019
    The Hydrangea 'Limelight' sounds a good bet for your east facing or north facing bed, if it gets a bit of morning light. I think it's a lovely shrub - lime green then white then pinky russet flower heads for months on end. Simple to prune in early spring as well. I think it would like a heavy wet clay if you gave it some organic matter.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,036
    Or how about this similar one? Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanille Fraise' at Scampston Hall, in late September. I love it.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,036
    Not a shrub but a huge perennial that flowers for a long time in late summer / autumn, loves heavy damp soil - Eupatorium purpureum

  • fizzwhizzfizzwhizz Posts: 94
    Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions, I am going to be decisive and rule out snowberry and probably Escalonia and choose limelight over the other one. Must admit to feeling a little dejected today as drainage system installed weekend failed spectacularly after heavy rain so i may have to create a new post “shrubs for bog garden” photo attached of river where rose bed is meant to be along the south facing fence ..(taken on lunch break and no time to remove recycling bags that had blown about the garden so pls excuse, it’s still the same 5.5 hrs later)  not to be dramatic but I could cry after all the digging / soakaway building! Have heard I should work organic matter in to improve drainage but also to be careful of planting in organic matter / compost because it creates a sump so currently no idea what to do except plant rice at this stage! I know for sure that the bare root roses winging their way to me now would definitely not be happy in that though so they’ll be going into pots I guess (sorry for the rant, it’s a bad gardening day ☹️) any bog shrub suggestions / would hydrangea by any small chance survive this?!
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,322
    My daughter has a garden like yours, with the concrete wall at the front. She got a builder to drill holes at the bottom of the wall he inserted 2” pipes and then directed the water to a drain. Not sure if that would work for you. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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