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Please recommend a shrub for my front garden

sabeehasabeeha Posts: 344

I would appreciate some suggestions please, as the monterey which I transferred from pot to ground in that spot is dying :(

My front garden is South facing.

- Will be in front of the wall and angled aspect of a bay window (I am not sure whether this area would make it a bit drier being nearer to a wall?)
- It needs to be able to tolerate sun (a very old cotoneaster I had in the front, although in middle of the lawn area, was cooked to death - but to be honest, at the time I knew even less than I knew now, and didn't realise well established shrubs would need watering, and rescue attempts came too late)
- evergreen
- Medium sized (don't mind it growing above the window a bit)

It needs to be hardy too.

Is this a good time to plant shrubs? I was thinking that maybe wait for autumn so it can get lots of water etc. and not be cooked in the summer (whenever that comes!)

Thank you!


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,301
    I can recommend a prunus laurocerasus Zabeliana. I have one in my front garden and it tolerates drought conditions, hot sunshine, and severe neglect. It is only supposed to grow about 1 metre tall but mine was over twice that height when I decided it had to go and chopped it right down to ground level and my husband bored holes in the stump so that it would rot. It is now about 1 metre tall and needs a good trim. It is evergreen and has candles of white flowers in spring.

    Shrubs can be planted at any time of year if they are pot grown providing you water them regularly, especially during dry spells.....if we ever get one.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    The soil can be amended around the base if it is very close to your house wall. There are plenty of shrubs that will do fine in those conditions. How hardy do you need them to be?

    Pittosporum Tenuifolium should be fine if it is protected with a south wall behind it. There are many to choose from - variegated to dark plum foliage, and they make a great foil for other plants.

    Abelia Grandiflora will also flower very well against its glossy evergreen foliage. Both these shrubs are easily pruned to how you want them to grow and will look good all year round.
  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 344
    Ceres - thank you for your suggestion! It looks like a great plant, and would suit perfectly (conditions) but I think something with smaller leaves would suit my smallish front garden.

    Borderline - I just looked up the Pittosporum tenuifolium, and saw a dark plum variety which I really like the look of, so will be considering it.  I have a star jasmine growing up the side, so it will be a nice contrast.

    Before I put the monterey into the ground I did dig in manure and compost, but there was clay there too.  Probably needs more work?

    Hardy - so they can survive all UK weathers (upset about my cotoneaster that died) and I will probably be getting a more maturer version (£) and cannot afford to keep killing and replacing things :S 

    Thank you so much for your help & suggestions
  • SheleenSheleen Posts: 51
    When I moved into the home I live in now, the house had only had one previous owner since it was built in the forties. A large family, with a wonderful lady named Sarah as the mum. She loved gardening, I think - though in her later years she had let the garden go to seed a bit. Still, we had the remnants of a vegetable plot, a rose garden... two lilacs, a holly tree, and the most amazing evergreen camellia. We've changed the garden a LOT since we made this place our home... but those statement shrubs are still the pride of my garden. So, in my rambling way, what I'm trying to say is ... how about an evergreen camellia? Mine starts to bud around late autumn/early winter. The flowers cover the bush (though mine is more of a tree now lol) for 5-6 months of the year. Although that does mean that there is a great deal to pick up a lot of the time, those dropped flowers make the best soil when they rot down (though many recommend NOT to do this as the flowers can spread a disease that may affect other plants).  Camellias are extremely easy to grow, are hardy, give interest at a time of the year when there aren't a lot of other flowers around - look amazing when underplanted with snowdrops and crocus, will tolerate a sunny position (when the roots are established) and are very manageable when grown in pots. They also look amazing when jasmine grows through them too :)
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    I wouldn’t buy too mature a shrub as they can have much more difficulty getting established, and can spend two years doing nothing.  A smaller/younger version will often catch up quickly as it gets going more quickly and is easier to establish. 
  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 344
    Sheelen - I have often admired the mature Camelia I see around - and yes, its so important to have something beautiful that you can admire in your garden, but having had a read around, it seems they don't like morning sun, and need constant watering to establish? I have developed a really bad back over this year, and am unable to do lots of things I was going to do before, so I need something really low maintenance and something that doesn't require too much looking after to establish.

    Helix - thank you, yes I understand.. even ones that are a bit maturer and not too big are pricey for my budget! So It will def be less than 1m!

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