While herbaceous perennials provide exquisite colour and fragrance at this time of year, it is also important to provide structure and colour both as a foil for your summer blooms and to provide points of interest throughout the year.
Here at Larch Cottage, we have a fantastic range of evergreen shrubs that will add interest to your borders and planted containers throughout the seasons.
For a compact, bushy evergreen try Escallonia ‘Red Dream’. With its deep red racemes from June to autumn, and its glossy green foliage, it makes an attractive addition to the garden throughout the year.
Vaccinium ‘Miss Cherry’ is an evergreen, dwarf species that makes an excellent ground cover for shady areas. A very floriferous variety, it has an abundance of bell-shaped, pink-flushed flowers in early summer, followed by beautiful deep, red berries against glossy, dark green foliage.
If you are looking for a medium sized evergreen then Lophomyrtus Ralphii ‘Kathryn’ is an excellent choice. It has stunning puckered, bronze-purple foliage and small pink flowers that are followed by lovely red berries.
For a sunny site and fabulous winter colour, try Pittosporum Tenuifolium ‘Elizabeth’, a bushy, upright shrub with variegated foliage, edged with a delicate pink, especially during the winter months.
Pittosporum ‘Silver Queen’ is a large, evergreen variety, with beautiful rounded, greyish-green leaves that are edged with creamy-white and are much favoured by flower arrangers.
For a smaller evergreen that will happily grow in a container, try Pittosporum Tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’. It is a dense, slow growing variety with a rounded habit and light green leaves that darken to a wonderful, deep purple.
Myrtus communis AGM is a bushy shrub with aromatic, dark green foliage that can be used to flavour pork and lamb dishes. It also produces fragrant, white flowers that are followed by purple-black berries in the autumn.
Ugni molinae ‘Flambeau’ (Chilean Guava) is a slow growing evergreen with leathery, variegated leaves and nodding, waxy-pink bell flowers followed by delicious, aromatic, mahogany red berries. It requires a sunny, sheltered spot to induce fruiting and is hardy down to -10 degrees.
If you are looking for a delicate beauty then Polygala dalmaisiana should fit the bill, with its fabulous racemes of pea-like, reddish- purple flowers in summer and autumn against bushy, dark green, ovate leaves. It requires protection from frosts and will grow to an ultimate height of one and a half metres.
For a small, evergreen shrub Euonymous Fort. ‘Emerald Gaiety’ is ideal. It has a compact, bushy habit and rounded, white-edged, deep green leaves that become tinged with pink in winter.
So as the summer rewards you with gorgeous colour in the garden, give some thought to the structure and colour that will remain, when your perennials fade to the cooler tones of autumn and winter.
(Blog post written by Jo Chamberlain)