Posted: 06/11/2014 at 18:41
Chalk soil is not great for skimmias. Sooner or later they suffer chlorosis.
I grow abelia confetti too, Chrissy. Lovely variegated foliage on compact shrub.
a dwarf variety of photinia, little red robin. Is nice. Daphne Odoraaureomarginata looks good with wonderful scent too.
spirea gold flame is deciduous but has wonderful orange leaves turning yellow in summer. I maintain its mounded shape...and deny its awful flowers.....with a hard cut in spring and a second trim in mid summer.
santolina is attractive grey evergreen that I treat exactly as I do the spirea. Helichrysum, the curry plant, is a silver mound providing a foil to all kinds of flowering perennials.
ilex crenata golden gem makes evergreen yellow mound, pittosporum a black purple mound, Berberis atro purpurea nana forms a purple/red mound in the growing season.
lots of compact mound forming shrubs......try some grasses, libertias and phormiums to complement them