Evergreen specimen plant for full sun


I'm looking for an evergreen bush for the back of a bed that will cover up a fence and give some nice colour at some point during the year. Ideally 1.5-2.5m tall and 1m spread. Bed is in full sun on very sandy soil in Bedfordshire. 

I'm considering ceanothus but I see it doesn't like "cold, drying winds" and I'm not sure if this would apply to my bed. Is it quite a fussy bush or should I just give it a go?

Thanks very much, Jen



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,757

    Escallonia is useful in these conditions- mainly pink flowers but there's also a white variety. You can grow it against the fence rather than as a stand alone shrub and that will give you more space for other plants in front of it. Euonymous are smallish shrubs but can be grown up against the fence and will get to a good height in that situation. They're  variegated greens/creams/golds- several popular varieties. Flowers are insignificant though- mainly a foliage shrub. Choisya ternata should be fine there and has white flowers in summer and very attractive foliage. These are all easy to get hold of too. There will be many others Jen- these are just ones that came to mind right away! You can search them online and take a look image

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..there's a pink Escallonia flowering near me which is absolutely gorgeous and I'm determined to get a cutting from it... 'nick' is the word I suppose...image

    the problem here is the 1m spread which is required... a usual choice is Ceanothus 'Concha' but I see this as a big wide spreading bush and doesn't look nice when pruned in my opinion...

    here are some others you might like to consider, which should be hardy enough where you are...and manageable width-wise... obviously going to take a few years to reach 2.5m tall...

    Abelia floribunda or Abelia grandiflora

    Cistus cyprius

    Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' [site could be too dry]

    Olearia macrodonta [this is hardy in most parts] fast growing

    Myrtle [Luma Apiculata]... should be hardy where you are, fairly quick

    Rosemary 'Miss Jessop's Upright' only... fast growing

    for foliage Pittosporum tenuifolium hybrids might survive, I don't know how cold your garden gets... some lovely silver leafed varieties...flowers in Spring - inconspicuous but scent in the evening... quick growing

    other members might come forward with their favourites...image


  • Lucy3Lucy3 Posts: 92

    imageHi - when we moved into our house 12 yrs ago there was a Ceanothus growing in the garden. It was about 3 metres accross and 2.5 metres high but was very overgrown and hadn't been pruned or looked after very well.

    Every year there was an abundance of the loveliest purply/blue flowers and it swarmed with the tiniest of baby bumble bees. The only problem being that it only flowered for a few weeks which is a shame.

    The reason I am commenting on your post is that my garden is 3 sided and the Ceanothus was in the most open, windiest side right in the middle of the lawn and it came back year after year for another 11 years so I think it will be ideal for you if you kept it under control.

    As it happens I have just been to our local morrisons this morning and happen to have rescued a ceanothus in a 9cm pot so it is quite tiny. I have had to cut a few stems off it but I'm hoping it comes back really healthy so I can again have this in my garden - if only for the abundance of bees that love it so much

    Good lluck and it would be great to see some pictures image

  • Lucy3Lucy3 Posts: 92

     Hi again - it was always in full sun for most of the day too! Here is a picture of the little ceanothus I rescued from morrisons today - a little small but otherwise nothing wrong with it. It was reduced from £5 to £4 but I persuade her to let me have it for £2 so a bargain really image This one is the Ceanothus 'Repens'

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    What about climbing hortensia?

  • LiznessLizness Posts: 79

    Ceonothus repens is a low grower. Ceonothus should be hardy for you there is hardy in a normal winter up at nearly 1000ft. Chanomeles (ornamental quince) will grow up a wall quite nicely with good blossom (red/pink/white) then yellow quinces in Autumn. 

  • CercisCercis Posts: 42

    Got to suggest a Kalmia latifolia. Bit of ericaceous compost with the soil. Stunning in flower. 

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