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South of France best shrubs for east facing wall

I'm staying with friends who have a lovely garden here in Antibes.

There are 3 straggly and rather ugly cypress trees in the eastern corner, planted some 50 years ago, which they're taking out - too much upkeep as they don't live here and regularly need trimming and nothing grows under them (apart from one glorious camellia).

they're looking for a large shrub, which will create some privacy from overlooking houses, that won't need high maintenance and will have some seasonal interest.

the soil has had cypress growing in them for decades, but has had lots of good compost mixed in. Would it be acid, due to rye cypresses?

my friend loves lilac, but I'm not sure there is a variety which likes this situation - or is there?

the garden is very warm even now, from April. It us south facing, but has a Gardena watering system in place when owners aren't here.

sorry I've no photo, but will add one as soon as I can.

any ideas?


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,163

    Hi Jess. I have seen Eleagnus ebbingei growing in the South of France. These are evergreen and have highly scented (but small) white flowers in the Autumn.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Thanks ladybird, will have a look! Problem around here apparently is that local nurseries have a limited selection and lovely UK specialist nurseries don't ship abroad!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,737

    I would think you could get a Mt Etna Broom in the south of France 

    A glorious tree which should be happy looking after itself once established.  The perfume of the flowers is amazing. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hello and thanks all!

    no I'm not set on an evergreen at all...I love the sound of eleagnus as a foil, but was more looking for a feature shrub in its own right.

    the mount Etna looks stunning, but possibly too wide for that site. Everything here seems to get a lot larger than anything I've ever grown in the UK! And much faster.

    the hibiscus looks like a very string contender, will have a good look. 

    Does anybody know of a lilac that would thrive in that spot, or do they only tolerate full sun?

  • Neighbouring plots are very same-y...citrus, siccas, yukkas, roses, not much else.

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