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Hi all, I am finally getting around to redesigning my front garden! I would love some suggestions for hardy, evergreen shrubs that can cope with being in a very sunny position, but on a busy road and are low mantainence. The border is about 5m long and the wall about 1m tall, and ideally I'd like the plants to grow high over the wall to give us some privacy.  

I'm also hoping to plant them in the next few weeks - would that be sensible?

Thanks in advance!


A photo of the area always helps when you are asking for design ideas 

star gaze lily

Did you want a flowering hedge type shrub? Hyperpericum hidcote (not sure of spelling!) Is quite nice with large buttercup type yellow  flowers


You could go for conifers such as abies which usually have glaucous blueish foliage and a compact habit rather than loose.  There are several forms with an RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) which means they grow well and are easily available.

Berberis darwinii will give you small, glossy foliage and soft yellow flowers.  It too has an AGM as do several other forms of berberis.   Choisya ternata and choisya Sundance are evergreen with ornage scented white flowers when they are mature enough to flower.  the latter has golden foliage so is sunny looking in winter.  Both have AGMs.

Forms of cistus will give you papery white or pink flowers.   Eleagnus has green and gold variegate dfoliage for year round interest and euonmous wil give you gold or cream variegation.  You could also look up myrtus which has white flowers and shiny leaves.

If you have acid soil and enough moisture you coul dtry pieris forms which have coloured foliage in spring and then flowers.  Pyracanthas are good for wildlife having blossom in spring and berries in autumn plus thorns to deter people form climbing your wall.

Again, if your soil is acid and moisture retentive you could grow rhododendrons in a wid evariety of sizes, leaf shapes and flower colour.   Viburnums come in several evergreen forms and some which flower in winter.

If you want something you can clip and keep formal, have a look at taxus (yew) forms.

You can look up all of these on the RHS website - plant selector feature.   You could grow a mix to spread the flowering times and provide year round nectar for bees and other insects.


star gaze lily

The correct spelling is hypericun , common name st johns wort.  


Consider too the hollies.  Golden king is superb and not too slow growing. Can be clipped to its natural conical shape. 

Pittosporums....garnetti is a splendid looking evergreen with grey/pale green leaves and quick growing. 

Phormiums come in all sorts,of colours and grow tall quickly.  Great contrast in form, shape and colour.

I too like the yews.  Taxus Standishii is a favourite of mine.  Lovely yellow ochre foliage in winter and butter yellow now.  And with the occasional red berries.  A tough and attractive pillar.  

Hebes......salicifolias grow fast with lush looking foliage and summer flowers 

Escallonia...check out peach blossom,and a lovely white (that I grow) called Iveyii.

Euonymous aurea grows fast with superb foliage.  Lonicera nitida Baggesons Gold is another favourite of grows quickly in a cone shape of olive colour.  New growth is pale creamy yellow.  Tough too.


A lot depends on how exposed your site is and how cold you get in winter.  I can'tgrow pittosporums or phormiums and escallonias barely keep their leaves through my winters.  In Cornwall they are reliably and healthily evergreen.  Given the long spells of cold, my hollies have taken 11 years to grow to just over 3' high so maybe a bit slow.

Morning obelixx

Never known hollies to be that slow.  Usually buy them at 3' plus . I have 3 varieties all  needing trimming every year.  Ditto with my experience of ofhers' hollies.   I guess it's pretty cold and inhospitable where toy you are but it would be interesting to hear what others think of hollies' growth rate where they are



star gaze lily

We havens a holly bush in our garden which we inherited when we bought part of the field some years ago. It is fast growing and we trim it back quite often and we keep finding holly sprouting up everywhere! We  are forever pulling those bits out. Lovely to have around xmas tho.

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