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Evergreen Shrub Suggestion

Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

Despite my efforts I have had to accept defeat on my Avalanche Clematis which is planted in the patio next to the summerhouse. This is a south-westerly aspect and gets the full sun from late morning till evening. I think that, in combination with the concrete base of the summerhouse and extensive patio, just doesn't work.


So I'd like to replace it with a 'small' bushy plant that could be kept no higher than the window sill and would be comfortable in potentially hot dry conditions. Something that provided all year interest would be nice. Maybe even some flowers. Any ideas folks? Many thanks 



  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    I've got Choisya everywhere already Verdun


    Plus some more in another bed. They were already here went we bought the property. Honest image

    I'll take a look at the Abelia. That's a new one on me. 

    Many thsnks!

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    When we moved in three years ago the clematis was already established and was up to the roof but it was mostly bare, brown or 'dying', When I renovated the summerhouse this year (back to bare wood and repainted) I cut it down to the ground. It grew back quite vigorously so I thought I'd give it another chance but would train it to a smaller size. All started well but then the same thing happened and it started to die back except for the tips which seemed quite healthy. I posted some images on here and got the feedback that it was suffering from lack of water and a good drink would sort it out. Unfortunately it didn't work out so now I've decided that it can go.

    I'm not sure about the small holly. That's been here the whole time and I'm not sure it's grown on at all. I might try and re-locate it if that is feasible(?) or just get rid completely. 

  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,836

    My choice for that spot would be Cistus obtusifolius 'Thrive'.  It's one of the finest small evergreen shrubs you can buy and unusually for a Cistus it flowers non stop from June to October.  I still have scattered flowers on my plants now without cutting them back, although you can shear off now and then...  about 2 x 2 foot or 3 foot max...
    Euphorbia martinii is another for a dry site.  Large lime/yellow flower heads and striking foliage.  Looks good all year...
    Halimium lasianthum has bright yellow flowers in early summer with lovely silvery foliage all year...  I grow a purple geranium sanguineum through it for later bloom... planted in same hole..
    You might like a Lavender.  I prefer the larger growers which come under the name Lavender x intermedia  [not Angustifolia]... 'Edelweiss' is a fine white, or 'Grosso' is a blue one...  long flowering all season till autumn, 3 x 3 foot..  The one I grow is 'Gros Bleu' and it's a young plant as of now..

    Cistus 'Thrive'


    Euphorbia 'martinii'


    Halimium lasianthum


    Halimium 'Sandling form'

    [maroon blotches]


    Lavender x intermedia

    'Gros Bleu'


    ..there are lots more to choose from... and no need to worry

    about your soil.  All these like sharp drainage and poor conditions. It's the drainage that's the most important, not rich soil.

    Last edited: 06 October 2016 23:49:07

    East Anglia, England
  • Cistus are great plants for the sun, but only a few last looking good for more than a few years. 'Thrive' is one such.  Certainly the choisya 'White Dazzler' is a good option.  A shrub planted in front of that clematis might shade the root area a bit, which could help and you could leave it there. Clematis are greedy feeders, though, so improvement is a necessity, I think.

    Other plants might be fascicularia bicolor (very tough bromeliad, a bit different), indigofera species, or for perennial choice, geranium 'Rozanne', to spread and spill over the edge and flower all summer.


  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,391

    I'm with Tetley: clematis' are hungry feeders and that's what it needs.  It's roots will be spreading under the paving and not finding enough goodness so I agree with taking up some slabs and improving the soil.  The cartmanii clematis' are really lovely plants and worth keeping.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    Thanks for everyone's comments and hints and tips. I've added another photo to show the context a little better.


    You can see at the end of the summer house (faces due south pretty much) is a Jasmin, actually two, that are planted in similar sized holes as the clematis. They are extremely healthy and growing well. Here is the latest pic of the clematis which was to be its last as I've dug it out!


    On digging it out I was surprised to see what my (very) untrained eye thought as very rich and fertile soil that was damp. I expected to see poor quality dry soil. 

    Anyway im going to look through all the suggestions again and make a choice. I'll make sure I enrich the planting hole with some mpc when planting. Thanks again and I'll be sure to read up on the various pointers made.

    Thanks to all. 

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    We went out to a couple of Garden Centres yesterday to look at the suggested shrubs.

    We, actually my OH, ruled out the Choisya mostly due to its colour being similar to the summerhose so we looked for something with some contrast. An additional 'requirement' if possible was to have a plant that flowered.

    So from the suggestions we got down to the Abelia - we could only find Kaleidoscope - and the Pittosprum Tom Thumb.

    In addition we found another contender which is Loropetalum Fire Dance. Any thoughts on this one folks?

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