Not all perennials die down in winter and it is important to have some evergreen foliage during the winter months to provide valuable colour and texture to the garden. This is not just in the shady areas of the garden but in the sunny borders as well.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Euphorbia myrsinites is a trailing euphorbia, which has very striking leaf shape and texture in the winter. It thrives in any hot dry and sunny site that has very good drainage it dislikes sitting in wet ground in the winter. This Euphorbia looks spectacular trailing over a wall, at the front of a border or in a gravel garden. It has bright lime green flowers in May and June. H15cm S30cm
The black leaves of Ophiopagon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ makes it difficult to be seen in winter so it needs to be planted with a contrasting leaf colour like Cyclamen hederifolium and then it just shines in the winter light. This ‘Mondo grass’ is a tufted perennial forming clumps of grass-like, narrow, purple and black leaves. The ophiopagon has pale mauve flowers in the summer followed by shiny purple black berries in autumn. Grow in well-drained soil in full sun or semi-shade. It is very slow growing and works very well in gravel and scree borders. H25cm S30cm
Stachys byzantine ‘Silver Carpet’ has a compact habit with soft, fluffy foliage that survives in mild areas in winter. It likes dry sites in full sun and is a very good weed suppressant. This particular variety rarely flowers which is a bonus as it keeps the plant compact. H22cm S45cm
Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’ lies dormant in the summer and produces large cream veined leaves from November until April. It has orange berries that appear in the summer, this plant will survive in deep shade and looks spectacular in the winter when light levels are low. It grows best in moist but well drained soil in shade. H50cm S 35cm
Carex oshimensis ‘ Evergold’ is a grassy, evergreen sedge with long golden leaves, each with deep green margins. It makes a graceful, arching clump that doesn’t spread. The Carex looks wonderful in the winter light planted in small groups H30cm S35cm
Epimedium × perralchicum ‘Fröhnleiten’ is the best epimedium for evergreen cover in the winter. It has heart shaped leaves that have a red tint and delicate yellow flowers appear in April and May. Grow in any fertile, moist, well-drained soil in partial shade. H30cm S60cm
I hope you enjoy them too.
I am a qualified garden designer with a keen interest in contemporary, natural and traditional gardens. You can find me on Twitter of like my Facebook page where you will find lots of tips related to gardening.