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I have just removed a poorly-performing hydrangea from the spot you can see to the left of the pyracantha. As you can see, this south-facing border is backed by leylandii and I think a lack of moisture will have been part of the problem.....plants tend to grow outwards here, rather than up. I'd like to replace it with a shrub which has an upright habit, will show up against the leylandii and (preferably) be evergreen. I'm considering a purple-leaved berberis. What do other people think? (We live in Dorset, so the climate is (usually!) mild.
Purple leaved berberis sounds good, but if you fancied something golden what about Eleagnus "Gilt Edge", Viburnum Tinus Variegatum or Aucuba Japonica (spotted laurel). They are all pretty tough.
All good plants from Bizzie Lizzie, also,how about Euonymus Fortunei 'emerald & gold' or Choisya Ternata 'sundance' - agreed, not unusual plants, but good all rounders. The Euonymus can be kept as a bush or trained to climb.
What about this? the plant selector on the rhs site is quite good for ideas as you can tailor the search quite well. There is also a similar plant selector on the Crocus website. Berberis is lovely but not evergreen and depending on where you are the berries can also disappear quite quickly - ours always did but we are in the midlands.
The Eleagnus species are quite attractive and there is quite a choice from golden, cream and silver variegated leaves. They are also fragrant and some have berries - I think most of them are quite tolerant of dry soil.
Dogwoods wouldn't be evergreen but their stems would stand out well against the green background?
Hydrangeas are very thirsty so other shrubs may be more adaptable as long as you keep an eye on them in their first season.
How about Nandina domestica? evergreen, flowers, berries, leaves change colour, upright habit, AGM - various sizes/varieties - low maintenance, I love mine.
Many thanks for all the suggestions. I hate to admit it, but I don't like the colour yellow, which rules out a few! I'm particularly interested in the nandina idea. I've been doing some research and it seems as though "Richmond" is the one to look for. I haven't been able to locate one yet but there are lotsof good nurseries here in Dorset.
Many thanks again.
If you don't like yellow, how about one of the variegated daphnes ? Evergreen, with only slight variegation round the edge of the leaves (so not too yellow!) and beautiful scent from Christmas through to end of Feb - it is the highlight of my garden in the darkest days of the year.
Aother distinct possibility! Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to see what's available locally.
You could try a Hebe they are evergreen and have many different sorts small leaves and larger leaves and flowers as well in spring flower colours are white, pink and purple- one colour on one plant.