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Clay soil - Hardy Evergreen Shrubs

Could anyone suggest some very hardy UK native evergreen (flowering) shrubs for heavy clay soil. Looking for shrubs to grow around perimeter of pond on bank with an incline, that don't mind any position. Would like some screening shrubs at top of bank but not invasive. Will have nesting ducks soon that appreciate a bit of privacy! Any help would be most appreciated.


  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 9,388
    Not sure about native, but Choisya is hardy, evergreen, flowering and grows well on my clay soil.  So does sarcococca.  And if you have acid soil then pieris doesn’t have spectacular flowers, but the young red leaves are very pretty.  And mahonias might work too.
    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
    edited 21 February
    I’ve grown Aucuba ‘spotted Laurel’ and Euonymus (large leaf varieties) in clay soil for years, they thrive. I’ve got the variegated varieties so they add a lovely splash of green & yellow even in winter.

    they do flower but tiny non-descript, but you could mix in some winter & summer bulbs to add pops of colour.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,569
    You could also look at viburnam.
  • B3B3 Posts: 15,866
    Again not native, chaenomeles has blossom and fruits. Although it's deciduous, it's only bare for a short time in the middle of winter.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • M99M99 Posts: 15
    Many thanks to chicky, ERICSMUM, Lizzie27 & B3 for all your very useful comments. I will certainly look into all you have suggested. Being a novice gardener it's always good to get some expert advice before acquiring, so much appreciated.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 4,035
    Don’t know about native either, but privet, virburnum, pittosporum, eleagnus and japanese euonymus are all tough, good growers requiring little intervention in my heavy, rocky, extremely alkaline clay soil. 
  • M99M99 Posts: 15
    Many thanks Nollie for your very helpful suggestions. I will certainly have a look at all of them. Much appreciated.
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 649
    Holly and viburnum both grow incredibly well on a fairly steep slope in my acidic heavy clay soil.  Too well sometimes.

  • M99M99 Posts: 15
    Many thanks to FlyDragon for your help, it is much appreciated.
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