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Evergreen suggestions please...

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by OLIVIA WILD, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. OLIVIA WILD

    OLIVIA WILD Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi All,
    I have absolutely no knowledge of gardening, I would really appreciate some advise of someone in the know :)
    I would like some advise on the best evergreen brush options for a south facing front garden (well not quite a garden, just a small patch). When I say evergreen, i really mean some hardy bushes that will keep strong through the cold winter months and don't require much maintance. The area is very sunny during the morning, but the large tree does provide shade. I would like some bushes hat are fairly fast growing and when established I would ideally like them to be 0.5 meters (or over) high, as I would like them to provide some privacy.
    I have added some pictures of the area, I intend on planting the bushes next to the wall for privacy.
    Ideally I would prefer a mixture of different brushes/plants. I would like ones that either don't flower or flower white/purple/blue. I sound very fussy, but I have a colour scheme planned for my front :)
    In front of the evergreens, I wanted to plant a few smaller plants. I have been told lavender is a good option?
    The area was covered in grass and weeds, I have started to pulled them all out and turned over the soil. However I am worried they will appear as fast as I managed to get rid of them. Can anyone recommend a weed killer? which will not damage the existing tree? also would weed membrane help?
    Also sorry to add another thing, I would like the plants to be doggy and child safe.
    Thanks so so much for your advise! Have a great day
    Olivia
     

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    • SuzFlowers

      SuzFlowers Apprentice Gardener

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      Welcome @OLIVIA WILD . I’m no expert gardener myself but have a few years experience. From my own experience I can highly recommend Choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom) as a lovely evergreen. It has lovely glossy leaves, bushy form that keeps well with clipping, and lovely little white flowers early summer then again in late summer/autumn. It smells lovely too. I have grown them in south and west facing locations, in clay loam, in Scotland, no disease or problems at all. Another lovely one I had before was Olearia haastii (Daisy bush) . This is a lovely evergreen and glossy leaves with small white flowers too. Good luck.
       
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      • SuzFlowers

        SuzFlowers Apprentice Gardener

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        BTW my Choisyas were shaded by tree or building part of the day too, so they definitely don’t need full sun all day.
         
      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Hello Olivia, before you plant anything, you're going to need to improve the soil. It's probably full of sycamore tree roots, which will be taking all the goodness and moisture out. If you can dig at least 1m out from the wall and incorporate some sort of soil improver, compost, well-rotted manure, chicken manure pellets..anything....that will help. Then you'll need to keep an eye on your new shrubs for at least the first summer, probably two, and water them in dry spells.
        Now on to the fun bit :) Subject to whereabouts in the UK you are, Ceanothus fits all the criteria. 'Concha', 'Puget Blue' and burkwoodii are all good, upright-growing varieties.
        Photinia 'Pink Marble' is very pretty all year round. Osmanthus burkwoodii has small, scented white flowers. Pittosporum tenuifolium comes in a few different variegated varieties + purple-leaved.
        I use weed-suppressing membrane a lot. As long as the soil is well-prepared before laying, it cuts down on watering and weeding. Could be especially useful to stop aforementioned sycamore seedlings!
         
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        • hailbopp

          hailbopp Apprentice Gardener

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          Good morning,
          That tree is going to take every bit of moisture going not to mention goodness. Yes of course you can improve the soil by doing what Noisette is suggesting but having huge trees in my own garden it is nigh on impossible to get much to grow under them. Add that the bed looks raised up this will make moisture retaining worse unfortunately.
          Personally I would go for planting some nice bulbs which will cope, like Snowdrops, Tete a tete Daffodils and Aconites for early interest and then maybe some summer flowering bulbs like Galtonia. If you live in a milder part of the UK you could even try Agapanthus which likes dry conditions.
          Of course you can try some of the good choices of shrubs already recommended and you might be lucky. Once established most shrubs are pretty forgiving, it’s getting them established which might be a bit of a challenge. Hope you succeed with whatever you decide to do.
           
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          • OLIVIA WILD

            OLIVIA WILD Apprentice Gardener

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            Thankyou so so much for your suggestions.
            I have just googled Choisya ternata and Olearia haastii, and Ceanothus. Ceanothus has the most beautiful colour flowers, the blue is absolutely stunning. Photinia are such a unique beautiful colour. Soo many lovely suggestions here thank you!
            The tree roots cause a lot of problems. We have just had to have our pipes fixed as the roots have caused leaks on various pile work under the drive. But it is soo very beautiful, I absolutely love it. It is a protected tree, probably been there as long as my house! So we are happy to work around the tree :)
            I live in North West (Oldham) and we have just harsh winters (lots of snow) and very hot summers. It seems to have its own little climate here!
            I am not sure if to do as Noisette suggests and just maybe plant a couple of shrubs and a couple of bulbs and see how they get on...
            Thanks
            Olivia
             
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