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I would like some advice for plants for a new border, it is about 8ft X 30ft, quite heavy clay and has no shade. The complication is that there is a concrete storm drain not terribly far below the surface. I have had Rhodedendrons in it until recently but they never did very well and I believe it was a problem with the concrete.

I had a look round and found these plants and would like some advice on their suitability

Euonymous Fortunei "Emerald Gaiety"
Leucothoe Scarletta "Zebida"
Griselina "Variegata"




Concrete contains lime which ericaceous plants like rhodos do not like as it prevents them taking up nutrients such as iron and magnesium from the soil.

Leucothoe is another ericaceous plant so avoid that.  The other two aren't fussed about acicidy or alkalinity.  If you want something reddish, try a photinia Red Robin.  Keeping it pruned will control its size and encourage the production of fresh red shoots through the growing season.

Thanks, I already have several photinia's dotted around - I should maybe have put them in this border in the first place.


Another way to get red is cornus alba sibirica which will give you red stems all through winter and fabulous red and purple foliage in autumn as the leaves turn before they drop.


Hi Sandlake

I've found the euonymus you mention grows well anywhere I put it. But griselina has never survived a winter.


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