Saturday, 30 December 2006

Evergreens in the garden.

Much as I love the many trees which make up the backbone of our garden, it is particularly in Winter when the deciduous trees and shrubs are bare, that I appreciate the evergreens we planted. Our garden is 225 metres above sea level and the plants suffer from strong winds which sweep across the rolling countryside. We know to our cost the effects of wind burn on less hardy plants as we have in past years lost escallonia, hebe, buddleia, roses, pyracantha, eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender.

I knew before we started choosing the evergreens that leylandii hedging would be burned black, even though we didn't want to give them garden space. Instead, we preferred to choose varieties of cedar, holly, thuja and juniper and grow them as specimen plants which punctuate the garden and show themselves off best throughout the dull days of winter.

Each evergreen earns its keep in the garden. Birds come to feed on holly berries and seeds from cones. The smell of the cedar as you brush past it, and the beauty of its glaucus-blue needles, as well as its shape and form gives year-round pleasure. Thujas and junipers do not simply stay evergreen, but change colour subtly throughout the seasons. Thrush, blackbird, robin and wren are happy to find nesting places in them too.

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