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Shrub suggestions please

Hi there, I'm looking for suggestions to improve a bare patch of garden, hide the compost bin and dissuade the dog from always running full tilt in a straight line. You'll see what I mean from the pic! We're finally free of climbing frames and trampolines which makes me very happy :-).  I'm in a very damp Glasgow so it's looking quite sad at the moment. I'm considering one or a cluster of evergreen shrubs and they'll just sit just under the edge of my ancient apple tree. Acid clay soil that gets horrendously wet in winter - it's the bottom of a north facing garden so wall to wall sun for half the year and no sun for the rest. Not keen on a Rhoddy and the bit out of shot is full of pieris already. Any ideas of what might thrive? I have no eye for design. Maybe a viburnum or something? Thank you!


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,449
    My first thought was possibly Escallonia. I find them pretty tough.
    There's some more suggestions here that may help. of the best evergreens,on the heaviest of soils.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,242
    Escallonias really don't do very well here unless the soil's well enough prepped @AnniD, and the white ones don't cope with winter at all.  :/
    If you can get the drainage right, you might be ok with an Escallonia at some point, but most Viburnums would be fine. Are you going to cut out, and edge, a proper border? It would be worth doing that instead of just sticking a few shrubs in randomly.
    It would also benefit from having loads of organic matter added to aid the drainage. You're on a hiding to nothing if you don't do that  ;)

    Hydrangeas will manage, especially the oak leaved ones, Ilex, Mahonia, Berberis, Spirea, Weigela, Choisya, Skimmia, Eleagnus and many others. I'd avoid Camellias unless you can give them a bit of protection from frosts in spring, or rather from early morning sun after a frost. 
    You can shove in some large perennials as well like Acteas and Ligularias if the soil will stay moist enough. It should do, even with several shrubs in there as well. You can also add others as you go along, depending on the size of the space you create.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,449
    Sorry @Fairygirl, l didn't realise that @keenbutconfused was as far North as you 😊.
    Down here in the soft South (well, the other side of my wall and across the way in a neighbour's front garden), they seem to cope with all sorts. The neighbour's front garden gets pretty wet at times.
  • Thanks both, yes I think I will have to pick an optimum point with the soil between bog and brick to dig it over and prep really well. That patch of grass is ruined anyway so I might as well make a border. We might try to add in a drainage channel as well although the neighbours won't thank us. Noted about adding lots of organic matter and I'll check out the options you mention. Thanks again!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,242
    No probs @AnniD. I managed to miss that someone earlier was in the south east of England when I said I don't even sow sweet peas until next month  :D
    I used to have a pink Escallonia in a previous garden, but it was up on the top of a little slope in the garden, and in really well drained soil, west facing. 

    @keenbutconfused - loads of organic matter dug in, once you remove the turf, opens the soil up. One you have shrubs in there, it'll help soak up the excess moisture too. If you stack the turf [grass face to grass face] and leave it to rot down, you'll have soil to add to the border in future too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Brilliant thanks. I hadn't thought about the shrubs taking up moisture, that's an added bonus. I'm trying to decide if a jabby Berberis is being a bit mean to the dog although it would definitely be a deterrent :D. And I do love a Weigela - trip to the nursery required!
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