This post idea came to me a few days ago, when designing a garden for a friend. As a designer, you always have (should) to explain your ideas and why you selected some materials, styles and in this case, plants.
Every time I place some “evergreens” I explain the same thing (with a lot of love) over and over, to different people, but, it seems they all have in common few things:
- Color in winter
- Low maintenance plants
- Some of them also want less dirt in their gardens, especially those who live in rainy places (you know, because of the leaves on the ground transforming into a slippery battlefield after a rainy day).
I will continue explaining to my clients why these plants are a great solution for those requirements but, I realized that maybe, some of you want to know more about this topic and so I’m here writing it 🙂
As its name says it, an evergreen is a plant that maintains its leaves through the year, so it’s always green. The opposite of these trees or shrubs are called “deciduous” and they change leaves or lose their foliage during cold or dry seasons.
Don’t get me wrong, evergreen DO lose foliage but gradually during the year, so they never get completely bald. The leaves age and they are replaced by new ones but their persistence varies depending on the tree, it can be few months or even decades.
Why do you need an evergreen plant?
Very simple, you need an evergreen plant in your garden or terrace because:
- Less work during the seasons, which means, less maintenance and less leaves-sweeping.
- It’s going to stay “alive” and green during winter when everything looks dead and dry around.
- Most of them don’t need to be pruned, so, less maintenance (again).
- It’s going to make your winter mornings better
- They are perfect for indoor spaces.
- You just need it, trust me.
Yes! The answer to all your prayers is in Evergreens!
It’s spring, you’re in the supermarket trying to find the grocery shop list when all of the sudden, there it is! a beautiful bright pink cyclamen (or swinebread) that’s calling you!. You (obviously) buy it and after a few months, turns out that in summer they’re not quite what you expected, they are gone forever (not forever but you get the idea), now you are stuck with a nice vase with only the memories of your cyclamen, now you have to buy another vase to plant another summer plant which is going to have the same ending in winter.
Maybe you count the days to see your beautiful cyclamen bloom again and that’s perfect!. But maybe, you just want a plant to give you joy all year around and that’s why evergreens are your to-go plant.
The most common evergreens that you’ve probably have seen in your neighbors garden:
- Conifers: not all of them but pines, hemlock, red cedar, blue spruces, etc.
- Gymnosperms: like cycads or some palm-type plants
- Live oaks, rainforest trees, eucalyptus, clubmosses, etc.
- Lavender, rosemary, sage, boxwoods, holly, daphne, fatsia, camellia, euonymus, etc.
Ok, let’s not turn this into a botany class, the thing is that evergreens not only can brighten up your garden but also your living room. They are great decorative elements for your garden, whether is a tall ancient tree or a new shrub, they will give a different touch to your space
My favorites for seasons colors:
Abelia: full sun evergreen, it also tolerates half-sun, a variety of soils and temperatures, although it’s better to protect it from cold winter drafts and severe winters.
Viburnum: depending on the species they could be evergreen or deciduous, trees or shrubs that will bring long-year color to your garden and even terrace, because of their leaves changing colors on every season. They grow well in different soils at full sun or half-sun expositions.
Skimmia: these are acid-soil loving evergreens, they stay green in winter and develop small red-pink buds that will open in spring and transform into tiny white flowers. They love moist and, well-drained soil. They grow well in shady areas.
Pieris: its mature leaves are generally dark green, but the young leaves are the ones granting that nice clear and pinkish color. They like acidic, moist and well-drained soil, and they look perfect in groups and prefer full sun or half sun expositions.