TRANSFORMING YOUR GARDEN WITH GORGEOUS EVERGREENSAli Barwani
Transforming your garden with evergreens.
So this might be posted in soggy November, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at some clever planting suggestions for your garden or courtyard space.
Autumn can seem a bit gloomy as the cooler weather arrives and the nights draw in, however it is actually a good season to be planting. We are at the tail end of the growing season, and this allows time for the roots of new plants to establish before winter arrives. This means that trees and shrubs you plant now will have a head start next year.
In this blog we look at how to take the inside out. You’ve already styled-the-look indoors, boosting your health and creativity with an array of fabulous houseplants – so why not continue this outside? Who wants to look out at bare earth and leafless branches when you can turn your garden into a year-round botanical oasis?
It’s easier than you might think to put your interior space in touch with the outside world. With the right choices, it is possible to achieve that ultimate tropical look that will survive the winter.
Where to start?
When transforming your garden with evergreens there are a number of things to consider:
a) Leaf size and shape – large leaves look tropical, strap-like leaves give a more Mediterranean feel.
b) Colour – Evergreens aren’t just green. You can play with colour for added depth and exoticness.
c) Size – before you plant anything, look on the label, how large it will get,? and how fast it will grow? A few large plants will look dramatic in a small garden.
d) Under-planting – Take advantage of the space under your trees and taller shrubs to maximise your growing space. It also helps suppress weeds!
e) Extras – you may be planting for year-round foliage, but there are bonuses to be had, such as flowers or decorative.
Some plants to get you started:
Large, exotic leaves: if you have a fiddle-leaf fig plant indoors you can carry this theme outside with a specimen tree of Magnolia grandifolia. Its shiny, dark green leaves have contrasting rust-brown, furry undersides. As a bonus, this tree also produces large, fragrant flowers in late summer. We have a large specimens in stock, as well as more affordable smaller examples.
Get that Riviera look: When people want to add a tropical touch they usually go straight for the Chinese palm (Trachycarpus fortunei). This hardy palm is an excellent choice, however, there are a number of different evergreen plants with strap-like leaves that can also give you that Mediterranean vibe.
Cordyline, or cabbage palm, comes in a range of varieties with coloured or variegated leaves. Cordylines likes full sun or partial shade. The variety ‘Torbay Dazzler’ has green leaves with thick stripes of creamy white (around £15.99 for a 2L pot). Or for drama, ‘Pink Star’ boasts vivid pink and red striped leaves (around £14.99 for a 2L pot).
Phormium, or New Zealand Flax, forms a large clump with long, strap-like leaves. As a bonus, it produces a tall flowering shoot after a few years, bearing dramatic flowers.
Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’ has elegantly weeping butter yellow and bright green leaves (around £17.99 for a 3L pot). ‘Sundowner’ has a striking bronze sword-like leaves (around £17.99 for a 3L pot).
The small growing form, Phormium ‘Blondie’ (around £17.99) has arching, twisting leaves. It looks very much like the indoor spider plant and could be used to create the same look in the garden.
Fatsia japonica, with its huge gloss leaves, is the go-to shrub for creating that exotic look. It can be treated as both a houseplant and a hardy garden plant – making it perfect for linking the inside with the outside. Fatsia can grow to over 5 feet in 10 years (from £14.99 for a 3L pot, and larger specimens around £59.99).
Some exotic looking shrubs:
Mahonia media ‘Winter Sun’ (around £35.99). Mahonia performs well even in shady areas. Its large, spiky leaves provide drama. As a bonus, it produces bee-friendly, fragrant yellow flower spikes followed by dark berries.
Aucuba ‘Rozannie’ (around £15.99) grows in full sun or shade. Hardy and easy to grow, with the bonus of tiny purple flowers in spring followed by red berries.
Leucothoe ‘Font Makijaz’ (around£28.99) variegated leaves with red leaf-stems.
Nandina domestica ‘Obsessed’ (around £14.99) clump forming with a bamboo-like appearance, but without the latter’s invasive habit. Nandina has the bonus of a colourful flush to its leaves and spring and autumn, and produces white flowers in summer followed by long lasting red berries for autumn.
Choisya (Mexican orange blossom) – When it’s not in flower its aromatic glossy green, variegated or golden foliage closely resembles the popular houseplant Schefflera, the umbrella tree.
We stock Bright yellow Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ from around £14.99, and Choisya‘Goldfingers’ at around £29.99.
Star Jasmine, an evergreen climber with the bonus of heavily scented white flowers (around £22.99).
Ivies are great plants to link the inside with the outside. They can be grown indoors in hanging baskets, and use outdoors to cover walls and other structures.
Ivy ‘Dentata’ – has big leaves, variegated, Ivy ‘Gold Heart’, small leaves with a golden centre (both available at around £13.99).
Bergenia ‘Autumn Magic’ (around £8.99 for a 2L pot)
Pachysandra ‘Green Carpet’ (around £9.99) glossy green leaves, ideal for shady, under trees – with the bonus of small white flowers in spring.
It’s not just plants that make a garden. Here are a few tips to help you create that relaxed and chic outdoor space:
1) Metallic and black pots and planters will bring a modern edge to your outside space.
2) Use the same outdoor pots and planters inside and out to keep your home in touch with the garden.
3) Think about investing in living room style outdoor furniture.
4) Accessorise your outside world as you would for your living room. Take a look at our range of lanterns, ornaments and outdoors strings of lights.
5) Outdoor rugs will freshen up a tired-looking patio area. Arrange your seating around the rug to create the sense of an outside room.
6) Match your outside pots and fence to your feature wall colour in your living room.
With all these lovely plants to inspire you why not trying something fresh with evergreens s? By choosing the right plants you can create the illusion that your house continues outside into your garden or balcony. Be bold with your planting – and come and visit us for some more garden inspo!