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Evergreens Close Up and Personal


By AndrewR


Following on from spritzhenry’s excellent blog on evergreens, I decided to go into the garden in today’s sun and take some pictures. How often do we stop and look at plants – I mean, look really closely? And those evergreens, they’re just there and boring aren’t they? Or are they? Let’s take a closer look.

Bupleurum fruticosum is beside the front gate – you only notice it when it’s in flower

Cotton lavender, santolina sempervirens, a common plant. Not worth a second glance?

Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Queen’, my favourite of the family

Prostranthera cuneata, the Australian mintbush. This is definitely worth looking at closely

Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessop’s Upright’ beside the front door so I get a smell of it every time I go in or out

And hedera helix ‘Goldheart’ is planted against the wall by the back door

Even the humble London Pride warrants a closer inspection

Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ – we notice the buds but do we ever look at the leaves?

And I’m sure we never notice sarcococca humilis unless it’s in flower

Pittosporum ‘Garnettii’ is a foliage shrub par excellence

Especially when it is partnered with pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’. What a foliage contrast in the same family!

Pseudowintera colorata – this isn’t a special display for winter, the leaves are like this all year round

Epimediums may be good for dry shade but the leaves still look luscious

Another super little flowering shrub, leiophyllum buxifolium, warrants attention

Daphne odora ‘Geisha Girl’ – a real show-off!

Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ pretends to be a holly

But ilex ‘Handsworth New Silver’ is the real thing

Even a tiny plant like cyclamen hederifolium can have interesting foliage

And when was the last time you took a close-up picture of your phormiums?

The crinkle-edged leaves of brachyglottis munroi

Pulmonaria officinalis, another ordinary plant with extraordinary foliage

Who said hellebores aren’t foliage plants? This is helleborus argutifolius

This probably the best foliage plant in the garden, melianthus major. Evergreen but decidedly tatty by spring, it seems to be standing up to winter well so far

So go and take a look at your evergreens while there’s nothing else in the garden to distract you. They really do deserve your getting up close and personal.

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: Marvellous Mahonias

Next post: Flowers to welcome 2009



Brilliant blog :o)
Having just spent the morning in my back garden, clearing up diseased leaves from neighbours' deciduous trees, I was already feeling especially warm towards anything evergreen.

Today I swept my broom and rake around some of the above ~ James Roof, looking magnificent ~ the wet summer seems to really have suited my Garrya elliptica.

The leaves on my Osmanthus and Pittosporum all looking bright and healthy. The Rosemary and Cyclamen enjoying a sunny December day...and my London Pride ~ far from humble, in fact almost haughty in defiance of the dead decidious leaves blowing around it.

This is one of my favourite blogs of the year.
Andrewr ~ Thank you. :o)

17 Dec, 2008


A super Blog and lovely photos Andrew, showing an exciting range of colours, patterns and textures.

I think evergreens look particularly good at this time of the year in the winter light and damper conditions.

The dark, rich, burgundy foliage of Pittosporum are a personal favourite and when combined with cotton lavender- wow- what a combination!

17 Dec, 2008


Nice blog Andrew, and supurb photos.

17 Dec, 2008


Thanks Andrew for the great blog and photos! I enjoyed it. I shall still continue my planned set of blogs - but can't compete with a true plantsman!

17 Dec, 2008


A beautiful selection Andrew theres nothing dull about that choice lovely blog .......

17 Dec, 2008


I agree Amy from our garden thats been decimated by heavy snow and severe frost , this is a joy - thanks for sharing Andrew.Roll on Spring.

17 Dec, 2008


thank you Andrew, really enjoyed this blog, you have some truely beautiful plants, even at this time of year, i will have to get out now and take some of my own, that definately dersve much more attention. i do love the colours and textures that you have included, it's not all about flowers after all. and coming from a florist, i would say praise in the highest lol

17 Dec, 2008


Jealous of several of your fantastic specimens. I have a few of the aforementioned but theres still a few I would like.
I hope it's not raining tomorrow morning because I'm off in the garden to get down and close with the plants.

17 Dec, 2008


So Many Gorgeous Evergreens Andrewr & such Fab Photos may i add :)

17 Dec, 2008


I want to go right now, switch on the garden lights, and study our evergreens in more detail (I might just do so). Lovely blog and great pics, Andrew. Many Thanks!

17 Dec, 2008


Since I moved here the evergreens I have are small and the garden looks really boring without them. I can't wait for them to grow and fill the place out a bit. Thanks for showing all the nice ones you have.
I do have 2 types of Prostanthera in pots. I put them in shelter for the winter.

18 Dec, 2008


I loved all your pictures. My favorite was the Australian mintbush...looks like little "fleshy" rosettes. I am always on the lookout for non-deciduous trees. I am more concerned with the extreme heat rather than the extreme cold. (Shade for the summer) Your blog was extremely interesting and I enjoyed it. Thanks, Andrew.

18 Dec, 2008


Lovely evergreens Andrew thanks for showing them to us, enjoyed your blog.

18 Dec, 2008


A most informative blog, with some excellent pictures, very interested in the Pseudowintera colorata and the Leiophyllum buxifolium as I have not come across these plants before, do they require anything special Andrew, I am always on the look out for unusual plants.

18 Dec, 2008


DD2 - Pseudowintera colorata is a New Zealander. It requires a moist soil, neutral to acid and can reach three feet in height and more across. The books says it will take sun or part shade but here in southern UK, I found it much prefers shade.
Leiophyllum is a smaller acid-loving shrub for a moist, peaty, acid soil in part or full shade. It only reaches a couple of feet in height and width.
Both plants came from specialist nurseries (check out Plant Finder on the RHS website for sources). Further photos are listed under the Plants tag on my homepage

18 Dec, 2008


Thanks for your prompt reply Andrew, the new Plant Finder is on my Christmas list.......will look on your homepage for further info.

19 Dec, 2008


Plant Finder is online as well on the RHS website - - and follow the link for Plants

19 Dec, 2008


Very interesting blog amazed by how many I have in my own garden but did not know names.Thanks.

20 Dec, 2008

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