Evergreens keep their leaves all year round, so are a must in any garden. They're particularly good choices in winter when their green foliage adds some much-needed interest and structure to a bare garden. Here, we share some of our favourite evergreens. There are options to suit any style of garden, as well as ideas for evergreen hedges. Our choices include recommendations from the Gardeners' World team and familiar faces from across the gardening industry.


More evergreen inspiration:

Hebe salicifolia

Perfect for shady spots, Hebe salicifolia
Perfect for shady spots, Hebe salicifolia is commonly known as willow leaf hebe

Chosen by Arit Anderson, Gardeners’ World presenter

For something that is quite elegant but gives evergreen presence in the garden I like Hebe salicifolia. I have one in a large container which has been handy to move around the garden to fill a gap when needed. It likes sun or part shade and is reasonably hardy, and has long racemes of pale lilac lowers in the summer.

Pittosporum tobira

Pittosporum tobira is a tender shrub so give it winter protection

Chosen by Sue Kent, Gardeners’ World presenter

I like plants that will do many things. Pittosporum tobira not only has glossy evergreen leaves but its flowers are larger than other pittosporums and have a sweet scent, emerging white in late spring and turning yellow in early summer. The shrub has dense growth so may be useful as a medium sized hedge.

Rhaphiolepis umbellata

This bushy shrub, also known as Indian hawthorn, has a profusion of white flowers in summer

Chosen by Nick Bailey, Gardeners’ World presenter

I don’t label many plants as perfect but this compact evergreen spherical shrub, which virtually reads as a piece of topiary, is about as close to perfection as you can get. It flowers with clusters of white blooms for several months through summer, rarely needs pruning and I’ve never known it to have a pest or disease!

Choisya x dewitteana 'White Dazzler'

The slender, finger-like leaves of this beautiful choisya provide year-round interest

Chosen by Flo Headlam, Garden Rescue presenter

I've recently been seduced by this dinky little choisya. Compact enough to tuck into a border, the flower buds dazzle like jewels before they open, releasing their gorgeous scent.

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Polystichum setiferum

A British native, Polystichum setiferum has attractive soft fronds and a lax habit

Chosen by James Alexander-Sinclair, columnist and garden designer

I would go with an evergreen fern, Polystichum setiferum. Not a plant for a wild romantic gesture but hardy and reliable (always preferable in a long term relationship once all the early lovey-dovey stuff has settled!) Goes well with Solomon’s seal and other woodlanders.

Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'

Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' is ideal for a container or border in moist soil

Chosen by Cel Robertson, founder of Forever Green flower company

I have a skimmia planted by my north-facing front door which brings me such pleasure through the winter and early spring. It has a long season of interest; panicles of red flower buds are held above the foliage for months before bursting into bloom, filling the early spring garden with wonderful scent! It also lasts well as a cut flower if you can spare a couple of sprigs for a vase!

Taxus baccata

One of Britain's native conifers, yew is valuable to many types of wildlife

Chosen by Kevin Smith, editor

Although not a terribly exciting plant on first thought, I've always had a soft spot for yew. I have lots of it in my garden in various forms – a hedge, clipped pyramids and free-form trees just doing their thing. They were all planted bare root and were exceptionally good value for money. It took a decade to get it all to a place I'm happy with, but it was worth the effort and the feeling of satisfaction is huge. Garden birds love yew too and the various plants are home to countless nests and habitats.

Pieris 'Flaming Silver'

The leaves of this pieris turn from red to green with bold white margins

Chosen by Catherine Mansley, digital editor

This tough little shrub is perfect for brightening up a shady spot. Pieris likes acidic soil, so I grow it in a pot of ericaceous compost, next to the shady side of my shed and it thrives despite my neglect. Its new growth is bright red and its clusters of white spring flowers are loved by bees.

Euonymus japonicus 'Green Rocket'

Euonymus. Getty Images
Euonymus japonicus 'Green Rocket' is commonly known as Japanese euonymus and has lush evergreen foliage. Getty Images

Chosen by Oliver Parsons, horticultural sub-editor

Sometimes those variety names are right on the money. Euonymus japonicus 'Green Rocket' is a rich, dark green and it grows straight up, like a rocket, reaching about one metre in height. Not really a plant for hedging, but a couple of little clusters of these do wonders to break up a large herbaceous border and give it year-round structure.


Hedera helix

Ivy is one of the best climbers for wildlife, with nectar-filled flowers, berries for birds and shelter for a range of creatures

Chosen by Lily Middleton, content creator

When trying to get a bit more privacy on my balcony, ivy never lets me down. It's incredibly easy to grow, and having it in a pot means it is easy to train where I'd like it. Mature plants also produce flowers in autumn which are beneficial for insects, and berries in winter, providing a valuable food source for birds.