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Paul Anderson

Hi my mother would like a very cheerful border with yellow as a main colour, can anyone recommend any shrubs that I can plant or perhaps shrubs that complement yellow as I would like to break it up with different cheerful colours 


If it is sunny you could plant Choisya Sundance. Beautiful yellow leaves


Hypericum 'Hidcote has good yellow flowers.

Euonymus 'Emerald and Gold' looks very bright yellow in early summer.

But don't overdo the yellow. I had a chance over-yellowing, various self seeders around that euonymus. There were yellow poppies and yellow corydalis and yellow stylophorums and other oddments. It looked awful.

Yellows are different tones and shades and they kill each other,


Hiya Paul

Yellow shrubs I like are hypericum hidcote ..bright yellow flowers all summer...Potentillas which have pale, mid and elbow yellow flowers.  Coronilla glauca has yellow flowers often throughout the year.  Mahonias for winter yellow flowers.  Yellow dahlias,,rudbekias, argyranthemums, yellow hemerocallis,etc....there are masses of,yellow flowerimg plants.

In between, to set off these yellow flowers, blue shrubs like caryopteris, ceratostigma, ceanothus,lavendars, and blue perennials like aster little Carlow and frikartii monch, blue agastaches, blue hardy geraniums, blue lupins,delphiniums, etc.  I would add orange flowers too (for yellow,,blue amd orange scheme) like geum Totally Tangerine, echinacea Marmalade, orange gazanias, heleniums like moerheim beauty, and the like.

Some evergreen yellow shrubs like choisya sundance, yellow grasses like Bowles golden grass and low yellow mounds like campanula dicksons gold (which has blue flowers atop evergreen mounds) 

A yellow andBblue border with dots of orange would look great 

Nut.....I LOVE yellows.  Can't overdo it for me!  But throw in purple shrubs too, blue flowers and you have a delight.  (yellow foliage is often a softer yellow too )


Orchid Lady

Yellow is my favourite colour, you can never get enough of the sunshine colour   Sorry, not much help with advice though as a newbie!!

Paul Anderson

Thanks everyone for your advise, I will look on RHS at some of your suggestions and hopefully it will inspire me and give me ideas Thanks

Jess is in the Garden

Definitely a yellow-leaved Mexican orange blossom, as others have said. White scented flowers a bonus.

Some euphorbias are yellowish too, as are variegated aucubas.

Dark purples work well next to yellow as well. Pittosphorum Tom Thumb is a good one. Black sambucus if you have space. Or a gorgeous purple smoke bush continues.

Underplant with yellow narcissus, primroses, then sterbergia autumn crocus and winter aconite bulbs (also yellow!)

Could also try some purple palm type plants like cordylines and  phormium, which add structure to a border.

Paul Anderson

Ooooo this sounds good also thanks JIITG

Jess is in the Garden

You're most welcome 

Lots of evergreens are good, particularly with bulbs underplanted. All year round colour!


Orchid Lady

I have a Cordyline and it looks lovely and adds some colour in winter, it is a dark purply red type colour

Jess is in the Garden

I love them Tracey. 

Also have a New Zealand tough evergreen called astelia, which has bronze/purple sword shaped leaves, tinged with silver- lovely next to my narcissus at the moment!


I'd agree with nut - it can be a very harsh colour so you need other things to stop it jarring. I use some of the yellowy Loniceras  (shrubby honeysuckle) as an evergreen foil for other planting and use creams, whites and softer shades of yellow to stop the brighter ones becoming too overpowering. The paler Potentillas that Verd mentions are very useful and easy to source and maintain. Lots of spring bulbs in softer shades are great for that too. You could also go in the other direction and introduce a few rusty orange colours as they can be more subtle. The Ligularias have an orangey tone to the flowers, and some of the Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) have rust coloured flower heads. Irises are available in virtually every shade if you like them. If you like grasses, there are bronze forms of Carex which give a nice contrast to brighter planting.

If you don't want to use a completely different colour like blue or purple to get a balance, use the greatest shade of all in the garden - green. Goes with everything! 


What about a mahonia for some winter yellow flowers? Also evergreen so will give some winter interest.


Keyser Soze

Jess, there's a lovely yellow cotinus also called "Golden Spirit".

I seem to have written an essay!

Flowering Shrubs

Most Winter: Mahonia's...Then Hammermalis Pallida or Arnold Promise(Witch Hazel) (Late Winter-Early Spring)... Then Corylopsis are flowering about now (March) Hazel (Corylus) Catkins now...Then... Forsythia... Then maybe  Weigelia Middledorfiana (April-May) Then all summer long Yellow Potentilla's, Buddleja Globosa, 

On the Herb Perrenial/Bulb front (flower):

Spring-Daffodils (vast number of varieties) Crocus (Yellow Mammoth is a good one!) Erythroinium Pagoda (dog tooth violet), Primroses common,oxslips and cowslips, Tulips

Summer-Geums, Irises, Potentillas, Vast range or Ligularia Britt Marie Crawforr has stunning dark foliage, another with good contrasting dark foliage is Lysamacia Firecracker or Alexandra (variegated foliage), Centaurea Macrocephala has great pinapple like flowers in summer, Creamy yellow: Leucanthemum Banana Cream, Various Hamerocallis (Day Lilly), Cephalaria gigantica (giant scaboius), Candelabra Primula's, Primula Florinda is brill, Euphorbi Polychroma & Palustris

Summer/Autumn Knifofia 'Bees Lemon', Solidago (Golden Rod), Helianthus (perennial varieties), Crocosmia 'Honey Angels' Thalictrum 'Flavum' contrasting blue leaves heads of yellow flowers) Euphorbia Skimmensis

Foliage/Stem Colour

Winter- Cornus (Dogwood) Flavermeria has yellow stems. Cornus Midwinter fire is maybe yellow/orange. Salix Britensis coppiced back (again prob more orange really)

Foliage- Grasses: Spring -Millium effuseum,  bit later Deschampsia Tatra Gold

Spring foliage: Spirea's Firelight, Candlelight in spring, All year round Ilex Flavescans (Yellow new growth)

Berries: Sorbus and Malus (Rowan and Crab apple), cottoneaster

Climbers: Clematis Tangutica, Golden Hop, 


Lizness - that's a fab list. Love Kniphofias and Crocosmias. 

My absolute favourite is Hammamelis Mollis. It comes in orange and yellow but my absolute favourite is the yellow version. its winter flowering and also scented.

Agree with Verdun and others too much yellow it would be overkill. Best of luck with the border. 

Potentilla fruiticosa has yellow flowers. Also Lonicera baggeson's gold has small yellow leaves and can be pruned to any shape if you wanted it could be topiarised and also the berries it has in autumn/winter are really vibrant purple nice colour that time of year. There are a good few varieties of Euonymus that are yellow in colour.

Jess is in the Garden

Good point Poddington - winter colour is so often neglected. Winter jasmine has bright yellow flowers on bare stems and looks lovely.

Keyser - that's wonderful! Didn't know that one. Sadly my garden is too packed with plants and too tiny for a cotinus - but one day.....

Lizness - brilliant list!

havadayoff - i have a wee yellow potentilla and it reminds me of yellow buttercups - so pretty.

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