Evergreen Shrubs

Bizarrely, there were no evergreens planted on the property when we bought our new house - not even the obligatory yew "mustache" below the front windows! I would have loved to have some mature evergreens in place to form a backdrop for my garden, but a blank slate has its advantages too. So far I've planted the following evergreens throughout the garden:

  • Abies balsamea 'Piccolo' - an attractive dwart balsam fir. Hope it will survive in this spot where others have failed.

Abies balsamea 'Piccolo', with Cotinus and Spurge

  • Buxus (Boxwood) ‘Green Mountain’ - one of the Sheridan hybrids that holds its green color better up here in the north. An upright pyramidal cultivar. This one has so far shown absolutely no winterburn or cold-damaged foliage, even in the extremely harsh winter of 2013-14!
  • Buxus (Boxwood) 'Green Velvet' - ditto, but a low, rounded cultivar.
  • Buxus (Boxwood) 'Winter Gem' - this one does not seem to be as winter-resistant as my other two. I have to cut off damaged foliage every winter. So far not terribly impressed with it, but will give it a bit more time to show its stuff.
  • Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis' (Hinoki False Cypress) - I'm not sure if this one will do well in my zone. I bought it at a local nursery, so I've got my fingers crossed. Its dark-green scaly foliage is stunning.
  • Chamaecyparis pisifera aurea nana (Dwarf Hinoki False Cypress) - bright chartreuse foliage, has held up well in winter for me so far (no signs of winterburn yet). It is still quite small, but will eventually grow into a 3-4' shrublet.

Chamaecyparis pisifera aurea nana, with sedum, heuchera, catmint, calamint, and bluebeard

  • Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Tsukumo' - incredible cutie! Little ball of green fur.
  • Juniperus chinensis (Chinese Juniper) 'Blue Point'- a tall, narrow blue-green cultivar which I have planted in my rose garden.

Austen rose 'Eglantyne' with juniper 'Blue Point' behind

  • Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) - this unusual evergreen has shiny, prickly holly-like foliage which is dark green in summer but turns a lovely burgundy in cold weather. It will supposedly remain happy even in the heavier, more alkaline soil that I garden in (unlike holly).

Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) - fall/winter foliage color

  • Picea abies (Spruce) 'Little Gem' - a low, flat, rounded bun with lovely, fine-textured foliage. The color tends towards olive. Has been very beautiful and reliable.
  • Picea glauca (Spruce) - my daughter loves this fluffy little "Christmas Tree". It does maintain a lumpily pyramidal shape, but will eventually grow larger and become (sadly) less dense with age.

Picea glauca - new spring growth on immature plant

  • Picea omorika 'Nana' (Dwarf Serbian Spruce) - beautiful dense foliage, pyramidal shape, blue and green needles at the same time when new growth is present. This little guy looked awesome for a few months but quickly succumbed to what was apparently a beetle infestation.

Picea omorika 'Nana' (Dwarf Serbian Spruce), with yew and lamium behind

  • Picea pungens 'R H Montgomery' - a dwarf blue spruce
  • Pinus mugo (Dwarf Mugo Pine) 'Slowmound' - a low, widespreading dwarf pine.

Pinus mugo 'Slowmound' with peony in background

  • Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla' - an "iron-clad" catawbiense rhodo, with bright pink flowers. I've had trouble getting rhododendrons to establish in my garden (possibly due to too alkaline soil, despite my efforts in acidifying), but I've got my fingers crossed for this one.
  • Taxus x media (Yew) ‘Hicksii’
  • Taxus x media (Yew) 'Dark Green Pyramidalis' - this one suffered a lot of winter damage from the extreme cold of 2013-2014. It is growing back only weakly - not sure if it will recover!
  • Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae) ‘Smaragd’ (aka 'Emerald') - the standard green columnar arborvitae, retains excellent green color in winter.

Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald', with hypericum 'Ames', heuchera, and marigolds

  • Tsuga diversifolia (Hemlock) 'Loowit' - this little fellow is incredibly tiny - about 3 inches tall. He will eventually grow to be several feet tall and wide - in perhaps a few decades or so. For now, he is incredibly cute.

Tsuga diversifolia 'Loowit'

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