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evergreen perenial border

Hi to all

I have a small back yard and entry (terraced house) which I am trying to turn into a nice area to sit in.I have put old cast iron rain hoppers onto the wall and planted these up( they are doing very well ) All of my plants are in small tubs(roses, hydranga,and annuals)

I have built 2 platers size 10ft length 2 foot wide and 2 ft 6 deep I know they are narrow but space was a real issue.

I am looking for inspiration and want to grow evergreen perenials with a couple of dwarf shrubs mixed in for year round interest

I have a few shrubs in mind Euonymus fortunei emerld and gold maybe a box ( which I would trim to keep smallish), A dwarf buddlia .I have been looking at perenials and am now all confused

Can anyone give me a list of plants that would be suitable and make a lovely planter border

The aspect is west/south west having sun morning, shade mid afternoon due to house casting shadow and sun in evening

Hope someone has the time to try and help all replies will be gratefully recieved



  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    I think a repeat planted row of lavenders would look good in one of the long planters, like a mini lavender hedge, it would also smell great if you're sat outside. I'm sure others here will have suggestions too.

  • Thanks for the reply Leggi

    I would like to incorporate different plants really not just one ( although I have looked at lavender for the aroma, but maybe in a small clump)

    If its not a daft idea I would like to replicate the 2 planters as I have bought an old cast iron bench ( which I am refurbing at the minute) which will be place in between the planters.I thought it would be a good idea to make the planters the same?


    Thanks again

  • Abu ZanAbu Zan Posts: 2


    I've had much success with the black grass (ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens), my absolute favourite plant, Heucheras and Hebes. All get on well with each other, give year-round interest, are easy to look after and don't take up too much space.  I don't allow the Heucheras to flower i.e I just cut off the flower heads so that I can enjoy the foliage but it's your choice.  Have fun.
  • image


    This is the kind of design I would love to do maybe without the cordyline( if that is what it is).I know my planter is narrower ,but this is the type of design I think would look great

    Can anyone name the plants in the picture

    I know the

    hebe, choysia ,box and Heuchera then i get lost

    Thanks for the reply Abu Zan

    I have 2 Heucheras in the front garden which I like,never thought about cutting the flowers off but I see your point

    Can anyone come up with a definative design like what plant where I am a learning novice who is a google warrior and have no real experience


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    Can I add skimmias into the mix.

    There is definitely a lavender in that photo, the problem with a definitive plan is that different plants grow well in different soil, so I planted 5 identical hebes in 4 different parts of the garden 2 are huge, 2 are normal and 1 died. The plants in that picture are  probably tweaked all the time to look so good.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,656

    Hardy geranium macrorhizum is evergreen except in very harsh winters and the scented foliage turns red in the cold.  Pale pink or white flowers in late spring are an added bonus.   I find that phlomis russelliana are evergreen thought they can look tatty in a very bad winter (but mine are worse than UK).  Thge leaves are a soft sage green and there are tall spikes of soft yellow flowers in early summer followed by interesting seed heads for birds and frosted winter interest.  It will spread if happy and will need controlling.

    Hellebores are evergreen and have flowers in late winter/early spring which is when old foliage should be cut off to show the flowers and allow the new foliage through.  carex buchannaii is a bronze evergreen grass that will sway beautifully in teh wind and not spread madly.  It just needs combing through with gloved hands in spring. 

    Don't just think of foliage either.  Russian sage will give aromatic blue/green foliage throughout the spring and summer plus blue flowers which insects love and then striking bare white stems in winter.   Cut these back every spring to promote new growth and maintain the colour and vigour.

    As for giving you a plan, the best thing is to buy the plants you like and which will suit the soil and aspect and then place them in the border in their pots then move them around till you have pleasing combiations of toning or contrasting colour shape and form.  Definitely a good idea to match the planting in the pots for your bench as long as they will have equal sun and shade.   If not, plant to suit available light.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • rhonsalrhonsal Posts: 25

    i agree with hellebores and heuchera's - i've also recently revamped my garden to get some year round interest and have invested in some azaleas, camelias and ferns. I've also planted some Loropetalum chinensis Fire Dance which has lovely burgandy leaves and bright pink ribbon like flowers, and a Daphne to give some much needed ealry scent in the garden.

    Whatever you decide to plant - enjoy!

  • Wow thanks for all the advice,

    I like the look of the Loropetalum chinensis Fire Dance thanks rhonsal

    Hellabores seem a nice plant for winter interest thanks obelixx

    Thanks Kate yes your right that is lavender in the centre I think. On the subject of skimias I have just read they need 2 plants 1 male and 1 female is this correct.


    If someone can name the plants in the photo I would be eternally grateful as I think my heart is set on trying to get my planters looking something like the pic.

    I suppose I will have to prune away on a regular basis to achieve the effect ,but I am willing to do that to achieve the desired effect.As I have said I am a novice who will put the hard work in.

    Thanks for all your wonderful help so far I really appreciate it.

    Wish I had been born with green fingersimage

  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 988

    Hi Bill, difficult to tell what the plants at the back of the photo from but I can do most of the front ones. From the left front - 3 Hebe balls (to their right)Heuchera with Lavender behind and black Phormium behind it;front and right again 3 varigated Hebe balls; yellow foliage behind looks like Euonymous; front and right again golden Heuchera with Caryopteris(blue flowers)behind;right and front again, blue grass with a varigated grass behind - hope this helps.

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