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Mr Evergreen

    Hedging and Screening Plants

Cupressocyparis leylandii

Despite its bad reputation the “Leyland Cypress” is a very useful evergreen hedging and screening plant, having the fastest growth rate of up to 90cm a year. If kept to a maintainable height by cutting at least once a year it is a very economical screening solution. Regular clipping of the mid green, spray like citrus scented foliage, in midsummer and autumn, can make this a superb, dense, formal garden hedge, ideal as a windbreak and for noise reduction on any non-waterlogged soil.

Elaeagnus ‘Coastal Gold’

Large, bushy, evergreen, quick growing shrub with large dark green glossy leaves with striking yellow centres. Small, beautifully fragrant silver flowers in Autumn. Ideal for hedges up to 3m. Hardy and particularly suited to coastal areas in sun or partial shade.

Elaeagnus ebbingei

The “Oleaster” is a tough evergreen shrub with green leaves that have small silver spots and silvery-white undersides, creating a silver-green shimmering effect. Growing at about 30cm per year, it makes an ideal subject for an evergreen hedge from 1 to 4m tall which unusually produces its highly scented flowers in the autumn followed by orange berries in the spring. Extremely resilient to maritime exposure and fairly drought tolerant. Trim in Autumn.

Elaeagnus ‘Limelight’

This “Oleaster” variety is strong growing variegated evergreen shrub with broad and leathery dark green leaves with striking lime green to yellow variegation at the centre. It is fully hardy and will tolerate dry soil, growing in full sun or partial shade. Its growth is average to fast and it has small deliciously scented creamy white flowers in the autumn followed, occasionally by orange fruits in the spring. Ideal for hedges up to 2.5m. Hardy and particularly suited to coastal exposure.

Escallonia macrantha Rubra ‘Crimson Spire’

This is a Cornish raised cultivar of the native Chilean “Gum Box”. It is one of the fastest growing broadleaf evergreen hedging plants. With dark-green, glossy leaves up to 6cm long, it provides a lush backdrop to subtle red flowers from summer right through autumn which attractive to bees and butterflies. It will thrive in any well-drained soil (including chalk and clay) and in any spot from sun to partial shade. Requiring little or no maintenance other than an annual autumn trim, it is very hardy and tolerates coastal exposure exceptionally well. Autumn prune to keep hedge to size or will grow to 2.5-3m if required.

Escallonia iveyii

This is a Cornish raised cultivar of the native Chilean “Gum Box”. It is a vigorous medium-sized evergreen shrub with fairly large, glossy dark green leaves, and large panicles of fragrant pure white flowers in mid and late summer. It prefers a sheltered, sunny site with fertile, well-drained soil to fully appreciate the wonderfully scented flowers. Ideal for creating a flowering evergreen hedge or screen 1.5-2.5m tall.

Euonymus japonicus

The “Japanese Spindle” is an evergreen dense, bushy shrub or erect small tree which will form an excellent evergreen hedge especially in exposed conditions. Narrowly oval, toothed, leathery leaves to 6cm long. Unpruned will grow to 4 metres.

Euonymus japonicus ‘Bravo’

This “Japanese Spindle” cultivar is an evergreen dense, bushy shrub with narrowly oval, toothed, leathery green 6cm long leaves margined with creamy yellow, fading to cream. It will form a bright and colourful low (up to 1.5m) evergreen hedge in sun or partial shade. Prefers well drained soil. Trim in April.

Euonymus japonicus ‘Aureopictus’

This “Japanese Spindle” cultivar is a dense, bushy, evergreen shrub with oval, glossy, dark green leaves with a central golden mark. Small green flowers bloom in summer and are occasionally followed by fruit in autumn. It will form a bright and colourful low (up to 1.2m) evergreen hedge in sun or partial shade. Prefers well drained soil. Trim in April.

Griselinia littoralis

The “Kapuka” is a broadleaved evergreen, native to New Zealand. It is well-suited for forming hedges and screens because it has dense, evergreen foliage and can grow up to 8m tall. The leaves are an attractive feature, being broad, leathery, shiny and a fresh shade of apple green. Many of the leaves have undulating margins that in a hedge, look very striking. This is an Excellent choice near the coast as the foliage is extremely tolerant of maritime exposure and salt spray. Good on light loamy well drained soils in sun or partial shade.

Griselinia littoralis ‘Green Horizon’

This new “Kapuka” hybrid is similar to the standard Griselinia littoralis, but with deeper green and oval glossy foliage. It is a fast growing evergreen, hardy to at least -10°C. It will withstand salt laden winds but not right on the seafront. Upright growing, this variety forms a dense hedge that can be trimmed to 1.5m or more if required (up to 5m) and a width of only 60cm so it won’t take up a large part of your garden.

Griselinia littoralis ‘Variegata’

This “Kapuka” hybrid is a slower growing Griselinia with attractive irregularly margined cream leaves streaked with grey and green. It grows about 20cm a year, making it very suitable for smaller sized hedges of 1 to 2m tall. It will withstand salt laden winds but not right on the seafront.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata’

This “Holly” has bright silver margined dark green prickly foliage which is purplish-pink when young. It bears masses of bright red berries in autumn to winter and makes an excellent, slow growing (10-15cm per year) evergreen hedge which is best pruned in late summer.  Best on any well drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Ilex altaclarensis ‘Hodginsii’

The “Highclere Holly” has large dark green only slightly spiny leaves on stout purplish stems, which show up the small white flowers in late spring. It makes an excellent, slow growing (15 -20cm per year) evergreen hedge or less formal screen  which is best pruned in late summer or left un-pruned, makes a small evergreen tree eventually to10m.  Best on any well drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’

The handsome “Japanese holly” is a tiny dark, glossy, green leaved and slow growing hardy evergreen. It will grow to about 4 metres tall eventually if un-trimmed, but is usually clipped to form dwarf clipped hedges up to 1.2-1.5m or topiary shapes. It has gained in popularity as a blight free replacement for “Box” to which it is similar but faster growing yet just as easy to prune and maintain (once per year will suffice). Small, insignificant white flowers may appear in Spring or Summer which are followed by an abundance of tiny, black fruits. Fully hardy, this plant likes moist, well-drained soil but will thrive in a multitude of growing conditions.

Ilex maximowicziana ‘Kanehirae’

This “Japanese holly” is  is the best buxus substitute with its beautiful dark-green evergreen leaves it is the ideal plant for a larger box-like hedge. It grows faster than other Ilex crenata types and is therefore a good use for hedges up to 180 cm. Eventually the plant can reach a height of 250 cm. You can also prune it in pyramid, cube or spherical shape. It is extremely frost hardy.

Laurus nobilis

“Bay Laurel” is one of the oldest shrubs in cultivation, it originates from the Mediterranean, is also known as Sweet Bay and of course it is the source of the bay leaves used fresh or dried in cooking. Its aromatic glossy dark green leaves make it a beautiful plant for hedging, topiary or as a specimen. It is fully evergreen, likes a fertile, moist well drained soil and sun or partial shade. Hedges up to 3 m require a light trim in spring or summer to keep them in shape. Unpruned can grow to 6m.  Can partially defoliate in positions exposed to cold winds during winter.

Ligustrum ovalifolium

“Privet” is a widely grown evergreen/semi evergreen, meaning that it is generally evergreen but may lose some or all of its leaves in very hard winters although it shoots right back again in Spring. Privet has rich green leaves and forms creamy white flowers in July, which are attractive to butterflies and birds, but are generally clipped away. Privet is almost indestructible once established and a very popular choice. It is quite fast growing (approx 30cm per year) and should be trimmed a couple of times during the summer to encourage the formation of a dense, formal garden hedge of 1 to 3m tall. Resistant to pollution and therefore popular in urban and suburban gardens. Privet will grow well virtually anywhere other than wet sites and is suitable for coastal situations although it may defoliate a bit in Winter near the coast.

Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’

The “Waxleaf Privet” is an interesting cultivar of Japanese privet, it is smaller than the species with dark-green, evergreen, waxy leaves. Its showy white flowers appear in late spring/early summer and attract bees, followed by dark, glossy berries in autumn. The dense habit is perfect for hedging and topiary but is equally handsome free-growing. Full sun or partial shade; drought resistant. Very hardy.

Ligustrum lucidum

The “Chinese Privet” is the most common evergreen tree in Hupeh province from where it comes. It has glossy oval pointed dark green leaves and large bunches of white flowers in August and September. Un pruned, will make a handsome screening tree of up to 6 metres but clipped into a hedge, can be maintained at 2 to 3 metres. This species will withstand drought, but grows best if irrigated during prolonged dry spells. All Privet begin forming the buds for next year’s flowers soon after the current season’s blossoms fade. To avoid shearing off the young buds, prune the plants right after they flower. Prune to control the height and prevent the plant from overreaching its bounds, it will tolerate severe pruning.

Osmanthus burkwoodii

Osmanthus x burkwoodii is a lovely dense dark green evergreen hedging plant with the bonus of fragrant jasmine-like flowers in April and May, the fragrance carries a good distance, particularly in the evening so this is an ideal hedge to plant near the house/patio. If you trim the hedge after flowering, it will increase the flowering for the following year. Prefers any moist soil and some protection from harsh North Easterly winds which damage the foliage. Trim up to 3m height but is easily kept at much lower heights.

Photinia ‘Red Select’

Photinia x fraseri 'Red Select' is an evergreen shrub, similar to Photinia 'Red Robin' but more compact and with the new leaves emerging a deeper red colour. If planted in full sun, it produces rounded clusters of tiny white flowers in spring. A shrub with year-round appeal. Grows well in most fertile, well-drained soils in sun or partial shade. Responds well to trimming and hard pruning, and makes an excellent and decorative hedging plant. Mature height of 3 metres in 10 years.  

Photinia robusta compacta

This new variety of Photinia is in between the traditional Red Robin and the Little Red Robin.  It has smaller leaves than the Red Robin but has an upright, tidier habit than Little Red Robin, which if left uncut tends to get a bit loose in nature.  In the Spring the new leaves and stems emerge as a deep red and then gradually fade through the season to green.  If the shrub is regularly trimmed in late spring or summer it will make a very nice, dense, interesting evergreen hedge of up to 3metres tall. Best planted in full sun or partial shade, bears white flowers in April to May.

Pittosporum tenuifolium

This evergreen is a native of New Zealand, It makes an erect shrub with gloss wavy-margined, mid-green 2.5-6cm long leaves, hardy through most of the UK, down to to -10°C (14°F) but may suffer foliage damage and stem dieback in harsh winters in cold locations. Grows to 5m + but trim in spring and mid summer to maintain as an attractive hedge or basic solitary shapes. Likes any soil type but not very wet conditions. Tiny chocolate-purple honey-scented bell shaped flowers.

Pittosporum ‘Abbotsbury Gold’

Grown for their glossy evergreen foliage which is usually rounded or slightly oval and splashed golden used by flower arrangers, these excellent plants look great with palms and ferns adding colour and contrast, but also as specimens in tubs. They trim beautifully into basic shapes and. Will grow in most soils except very wet. In cold areas shelter from strong winds, in coastal regions they make good hedges and wind breaks.  Trim in spring and mid-summer. Sizes range from 1m (3’) to 5m (15’)

Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’

This dense, compact, evergreen shrub has a small, wavy, dark purple leaves contrasting with light green young growth and striking, dark grey or black young stems. With its distinctive rounded shape, it will give all-year foliage interest given a sunny position and well-drained soil. Can be used to make ab attractive compact hedge of up to 1m tall.

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Etna’

This fantastic, dense, evergreen Laurel is an ideal hedging plant, It has darker green foliage than Common Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’) and has the added attraction that the new growth appears bronzed-orange whilst young. Prunus Etna is much more compact than common laurel, it is very easily kept at 1.5 - 2m, it can be cut back twice yearly to lengthen the period that you can enjoy the warm orange foliage, which contrasts well against the deep green older leaves, or alternatively because it is a slower grower, it can also be trimmed just once a year but will still look smart for a long period due to the denser more compact growth, which. In Spring, spikes of scented, creamy-white flowers appear and in Autumn this evergreen is scattered in glossy, black berries. Suitable for poorer soils, exposed conditions and sunny or shady positions. Will grow to 2.5-3m if left un-pruned

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’

The “Common or Cherry Laurel” is a vigorous, dense evergreen shrub with large, glossy green leaves, which makes an ideal hedge. In spring, upright spikes of white flowers contrast well against the foliage, later in the year black cherry like fruit appear. The fast growth rate of 30-60cm per year makes it a very economical way to achieve a good height of evergreen hedge from 1.2m right up to 6m. It should be trimmed to shape in spring or autumn. Laurel is hardy and is very easy to grow, including in dense shade, but is not the most suitable choice for seaside gardens or very alkaline soil  

Prunus lusitanica ‘Angustifolia’

This form of “Portuguese Laurel” has dark green, pointed, glossy leaves on maroon stems and has a classical quality to it that makes it ideal for formal situations. Its fragrant white flower spikes attract bees and butterflies when they appear in summer and are followed by small red fruits which are loved by birds, which turn black in autumn. It is easy to grow in all soils and situations including dry shade and is a particularly good choice for chalk soils. Portuguese Laurel is very hardy but may suffer windburn if planted in coastal or very exposed situations. This cultivar has a medium growth rate so it is quite easy to maintain as a hedge or clip into shapes and should only need one trim per year in late summer. Will grow to 5 metres if left un-pruned.

Quercus ilex

The originally Mediterranean “Holm Oak” or “Holly Oak” is a lush evergreen tree that will grow in any well drained soil and is equally happy growing right by the sea or in the middle of a city. Its dark-green leaves look a little like young holly leaves, although they are grey on the undersides. In spring, the young leaves are silvery-grey all over and this display is followed by golden brown catkins in early summer. Holm Oak responds well to clipping and is an excellent hedging plant especially in coastal areas, where it thrives and will form a stiff, wind resistant hedge which is best trimmed in winter. It can reach 20 metres if allowed to grow freely as a tree.

Taxus baccata

Our native “English Yew” is the classic conifer hedge plant for our climate and is often referred to as King of Hedges. It is a dense, dark, evergreen species with bright green spring growth and autumnal red fruits which are much sought after by birds but harmful to humans, pets and livestock. It is often thought to be very slow growing but actually normally grows by 30cm a year, so not as slow as many people think. Once it reaches its desired height, usually between 1 and 4 metres  it is easy to maintain with a cut in summer or early autumn. Yew plants needs plenty of water in the first couple of seasons but should not sit in waterlogged soil. If you are concerned that you have clay, wet soil, please improve the drainage when planting. Apart from its requirement for water, it is very easy to grow, shade tolerant, very hardy, and likes all soils.

Thuja plicata ‘Atrovirens’

This form of “Western Red Cedar” (misleadingly not a cedar at all) is a coniferous evergreen which can be utilised as an excellent alternative to Cupressocyparis leylandii, where a large fast growing evergreen screen or barrier is required. It may be slightly slower growing but has the benefit of maintaining its density when harshly pruned and will re shoot on hard pruned bare branches. Grows on any non-waterlogged soil in sun or shade. Foliage is attractively aromatic when crushed, best trimmed in August to form dense hedges from 2m to 15m tall.

Thuja occidentalis ‘Brabant’

This form of “White Cedar” (misleadingly not a cedar at all) is a coniferous evergreen whose compact growth habit makes it ideal for hedging purposes but also forms a neatly shaped pyramidal specimen. Light, yellowish-green foliage takes on a bronze tinge during the winter months. A very dense growth habit makes it perfect for helping to reduce noise, particularly as it quickly forms a closed hedge which produces up to 60cm of new growth per year which is best trimmed in August/September to form hedges from 1.5m to 6m tall.

Viburnum tinus

“Laurustinus” is an excellent evergreen shrub that forms a dense informal hedge up to 3-4 metres tall with dark glossy green leaves and masses of white flowers from pink buds for a long period from October until April. The berries that follow are deep blue-purple and attractive to wildlife. It is an excellent plant for a problem areas, as it is good in shade (even under trees), thrives by the sea, stands wind well and is happy in almost any soil. Rate of growth: up to 45cm per year, trim in spring after flowering.

Viburnum tinus “Eve Price”

This popular form of “Laurustinus” is denser and more compact than the species. Flattened heads of pinkish-white flowers, opening from carmine-pink buds from December to April, followed by dark blue-black fruit. Thriving in sun or shade, the shiny, dark green foliage provides an excellent evergreen backdrop for ornamental and feature plants or pruned into a hedge up to 2.5metres tall.