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Evergreen shrub for a particular border 🌱

dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 691
Hello All,

My garden is west facing, with a slight southerly tilt, but the border I’m talking about is mainly west facing, and in winter gets gets no sun whatsoever (usually none until about April.)

it is, however backed by a fence and is pretty sheltered.
The soil is very much improved London clay (we dug over all the borders when we moved here, 2 years ago and replaced all the spent soil, and added lots of organic matter. I also mulch every year.)

What evergreen shrub would look good at the very back of the border, that would act as a foil for a red salvia in front, plus a black elder right, roses Munstead Wood and Darcey Bussell, artemisia, anemones Honorine Joubert, Ruby Wedding astrantia, red/purple aquilegia, then to the side bronze fennel?

The border is very sunny to the very front - about 9 hours per day in summer (even catching some winter sun), but towards the back it is catching about 5 /6 hours per day now.

Would a camellia work here? Any thoughts much appreciated 🙏🏻

(Apologies for lack of photo, but phone on the blink.)

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    Is there enough room for a shrub? A camellia would need plenty of moisture, especially through this time of year, and they take a while to be any size, but they become very large once they get going.
    Something like Pittosporum would be fine, and they can be pruned back, but again - you'd need to be sure you have adequate room. There's a lot of other substantial planting with the elder and the roses. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 691
    True...
    There is space and I wonder if I could keep a camellia smallish...
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    You can certainly prune them, but they're definitely at their best when allowed space  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,826
    Personally I would go with something with yellow foliage to contrast with the other plants ,  I am not sure what size of plant you are looking for ? . Something like Choyisa sundance or goldfingers would be nice - carex / phormiums - holly - euonymus - pittosperum tandara gold  , you could have all sorts if evergreen wasn't a must .  Or you could go with a photinina little robin . 

    Camellia can sulk a bit if they are in to much sunlight best with part shade / full shade.
  • My 2 camellias didn't get the memo about staying out of the sun! They're both facing south - and east and west.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 691
    It's funny isn’t it Mrs R3- my mum had this camellia west facing in full sun on a balcony, for many years, until it got too big for her pot and gave it to me.
    It never suffered and looked glorious!
    Ive seen some whooping camellias around here, which seem to do well in part sun and certainly flower early and more prolifically, than mine in mostly dappled shade, and full shade in winter.
    Choisiya is a good one I hadn’t considered for this spot. I’ve a green variety in my front garden, but only ever had the yellow type in an old garden, where it was attached  mercilessly by whitefly.
    Do they get as huge as the green ones though?Fairygirl said:
    You can certainly prune them, but they're definitely at their best when allowed space  :)
    I wish my mum had kept the tag Fairygirl - no idea how large this cultivar gets, only that it is white flowered variety with yellow stamens.)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    The problem with having camellias in sunny spots is that they can get a bit of scorching.

    The bigger problems though, are that in drier soil, they won't produce so many good buds. They need plenty of moisture late summer, and going into autumn, as that's when they are formed. The emerging buds/flowers are also more likely to get damaged if you have a sharp frost, followed by sun. 
    Less of an issue if you live in an area that doesn't get much frost though. We get them regularly from October onwards here.  :)

    Many of them become huge in the right conditions  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 691
    I agree Fairygirl. The spot I’m hoping to move the camellia to doesn’t get morning sun ever. It is dry there in summer though and where it is currently, it stays moist, but it doesn’t produce too many flowers yet, as it’s quite little.
    Maybe I will go for a choisiya after all!
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,193
    Based on your list of plants around the area I think an Abelia shrub would add a nice informal feel. They can be shaped and clipped or left to grow more loosely. 

    Abelia Grandiflora ‘Sunny Charms’ & ‘Edward Goucher’ can be a nice foil. 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 691
    I like the look of that Borderline - thanks! Never even heard of them...
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