The Evergreen Hedge – Without Conifers!

gardening tips

In B.C. we love to use conifers to provide an evergreen border to our property, but, what about mixing it up a little for more visual interest?

Evergreen Hedge

The key to a great evergreen border is to not insist that everything be evergreen.  That might sound like a contradiction, but stay with me here…

Take a hedge / border that incoporates evergreen boxwood (you can use the single green or variegated variety) teamed with ornamental grasses, red Japanese Maple and Rhododendron.

The Boxwood and Rhododendron provide a solid anchor giving privacy while the ornamental grasses and red Japanese Maple provide color, texture and architecture.

Boxwood and Rhododendron are evergreen and don’t normally lose their leaves here on the West Coast.  Red Japanese Maples do lose their leaves.  They provide height and visual interest throughout the year – first with the foliage and then with the bare branches.

Ornamental grasses can be added between or in front of the Boxwood, Rhododendron and Japanese Maples providing softness and movement.

Throw in a Goldy™ euonymus as an inner border along the edge of the hedge for added pizzazz. This is a very versatile and showy, glossy gold-leafed plant can be used as a ground cover, climber, or even a small shrub.

Voila! An evergreen hedge with colour and interest!  Plus, it’s low maintenance!

Warm your garden up for Winter


If you’re concerned that things are going to look a little drab in a month or two, now’s the time to do some planting so that you warm your garden up for winter.

A good way to get a little ‘sunshine’ in your garden during those long, wet and dark winter months, is to introduce some gold.  Gold foliage evergreens are low maintenance, yet they add a warm, vibrant feel to what could otherwise be a very monotonous landscape of dark brown, grey and green.

polar_gold_arborvitaeThere are a few options when it comes to gold foliage. The most well known are the conifers such as Polar Gold™ arborvitae, a 12-15’ (3.6-4.5 m) golden pyramid which is wonderful as hedging, if you have the space. If you don’t have that much space or just want something a little smaller,  ‘Filip’s Magic Moment,’ is also a golden pyramid, but it’s a lot smaller and sports striking yellow fan-like foliage. It grows slowly, eventually reaching around 6-8’.  It is a very stylish alternative to the plain green conifers we see so often in our B.C. front and back yards.  Another variety of this plant is Anna’s Magic Ball™ arborvitae which is perfect if you want something even littler. This compact and pretty plant grows into a 10-15” (25-38 cm) golden ball which is quite delightful as an accent in a winter garden. Both of these dwarf conifers are also very suitable for planting in winter window boxes or containers. They’re the ‘no fuss’ solution to liven up the winter months.

euonymus_goldyIf you’re not fond of conifers, but you’d still like some gold in your garden, then try  winter creeper euonymus. This is a very versatile and showy, glossy-leafed plant which is often grown as a ground cover, climber, or even small shrub.

The colorful foliage makes it a popular choice.  The new Goldy™ euonymus is pure gold as opposed to previous varieties which are mostly variegated. As you’ll have noticed with many plants sporting yellow foliage, the yellow is brightest on new growth. However Goldy™ gives a wonderful show with it’s cheerful chartreuse-lime leaves throughout the coldest months of winter, warming up your winterscape nicely.

We’re fortunate here that our winters are fairly mild which gives us additional choices such as the beautiful Sicilian Sunshine™ bay laurel. This wonderful shrub has the most delicious fragrant foliage – think of the bay leaves in your spice rack!  It’s also an evergreen shrub and very low maintenance.  On this particular variety, the new growth appears in a lovely lemon-yellow on bright red stems for an immediate and showy impact that gets attention and compliments every time it’s spotted. Sicilian Sunshine™ can also be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill brightening up your winter days no matter how wet, grey or chilly the weather outside.

Come in to Tanglebank Gardens and ask us to show you all the different options you have to make your winter garden just as beautiful and fun to look at as it ever is in Spring and Summer.  Come in soon, Fall is perfect for planting!