Evergreen plants and shrubs are invaluable in any garden, providing structure, colour and interest right through the year.
They’re great for formal or informal hedges, providing the perfect backdrop for your border plants. Many evergreens are beautiful plants in their own right, providing colour and interest throughout the year.
We’ve picked 10 of our favourite evergreen shrubs, plants and climbers, to inspire you.
More on growing evergreens:
- Five evergreen plants for shade
- How to prune evergreens in summer
- How to layer (propagate) an evergreen shrub
Discover 10 great evergreens, below.
One of many lovely evergreen grasses, Stipa gigantea is known for its mounds of narrow foliage, topped by tall, graceful flowerheads in summer and autumn. Maintaining it couldn’t be easier – just rake through it with your hands to pull out any dead leaves. Other evergreen grasses to consider include the glaucous Festuca glauca, Sesleria autumnalis and Luzula nivea.
Height x spread: 2.5m x 1.2m.
Commonly known as bull bay, Magnolia grandiflora is one of the most magnificent evergreen shrubs out there. Eventually becoming a medium-sized tree, it has glossy leaves with bronze undersides and large, cup-shaped flowers with a citrus fragrance.
H x S: 12m x 8m.
Despite often being grown in shady areas, bergenias will really give their best in full sun and well-drained soils. They’re resilient, drought-tolerant plants with spring flowers and bold leaves that contrast well with other foliage types. Most provide great winter colour, too.
H x S: 50cm x 1m.
Lavender is a small evergreen shrub, prized for its fragrant foliage and bee-friendly flowers. There are so many different varieties of lavender to grow, from purple- and pink- to white-flowered varieties. Their silvery leaves provide interest and fragrance all year, with colour-enhancing, pollinator-friendly summer flowers.
H x S: depends on variety.
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
While not the only evergreen euphorbia, this species has some of the best foliage, which looks fresh year round and it has a simple care regimen – simply cut back flowered stems to their base once past their best. Beacon like flowers light up the garden in summer, while the foliage sparkles with frost in winter. Other lovely evergreen euphorbias to grow include Euphorbia x pasteurii, Euphorbia mellifera and Euphorbia myrsinites.
H x S: 90cm x 90cm.
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
This small evergreen shrub is without a doubt one of the hardest working plants in the garden. Flowering for months on end, in milder locations even all year, Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ seldom affected by pests or diseases and is easy to propagate from cuttings.
H x S: 45cm x 50cm.
A go-to evergreen climbing shrub and for good reason, Trachelospermum jasminoides is well-behaved and will cover fences and other boundaries, producing masses of deliciously scented, star-shaped flowers in summer. The foliage is a deep green, turning bronze-green in winter.
H x S: 9m x 5m.
Sempervivums are hardy, drought-tolerant succulents growing in mesmerising rosettes. They’re reliable, easy to grow and there are lots of exciting varieties to choose from, including ‘Rubin’, ‘Orion’ and ‘Pacific Blue Ice’. Ideally suited to growing in containers with excellent drainage or on green roofs.
With deep green, finely cut foliage, yew is an adaptable species that be grown in sun or shade and in most soils, as long as it’s well-drained. Perfect for hedges and topiary shades, and produces red fruits in autumn that are eaten by birds like thrushes, blackbirds and waxwings.
H x S: 10m x 6m.
Almost all house plants are evergreen and they’re particularly valuable in the winter months. Monstera deliciosa, the Swiss cheese plant,is easy to grow, producing magnificent leaves and thriving in a shady spot.