They bring color and structure to a garden, which is why partition walls, whether high or low, the main thing always being green, are important. In this way, the garden is divided into sections and given a structure. Topiary trees look very interesting, but they need a cut a few times a year. Bushes usually get by with less care.

Popular woody plants

The evergreens look good all year round. Whether as a hedge or solitary, planted in small or large groups, these trees look good in any garden.

I have compiled a selection here that I think the plants would do well in my garden. I save cypresses, false cypresses, trees of life and the like, enough has already been written about them. I’ll take a couple of evergreen shrubs that may not be that popular yet.


Kalmia belong to the heather family. The plants are also called mountain laurel or laurel rose. The foliage is reminiscent of laurel, hence the name. The plants are quite undemanding. You need moist, slightly acidic garden soil that should be permeable. Waterlogging is not tolerated. The flowering time is from May to June. The plants grow 10 to 30 cm per year and are on average 100 to 150 cm high and 70 to 120 cm wide. There are now numerous varieties and the number is increasing every year.

  • Pros: have many beautiful flowers that look like stars. There are single-colored flowers and those with a different-colored border or points. The foliage is also very decorative.
  • Disadvantages: not all varieties are winter hardy, the purchase price is quite high, the flowering period is only short
  • Particularly beautiful varieties:
  • Olympic Wedding – white single flowers with pink small and large dots, plentiful, flowering from mid-June, will be about 1 m high and wide in 10 years
  • Sterntaler – dark red single flowers with a white border and white patterns, grows very compact, flowers in June, grows 1.20 m high and wide in 10 years
  • Hania – white single flowers with pale pink banding, flowering in early to mid-June, grows about 1 m in 10 years

Shadow bells (Pieris japonica)

This easy-care evergreen shrub is particularly suitable for partial shade or even shade. There are many different varieties. Some not only score with their flowers, but also with their colored leaf shoots. There are basically 10 species, but only two are interesting for the garden, Pieris japonica from Japan and Pieris floribunda from North America. In the Japanese species, the flower panicles hang over and in the other they are upright.

  • Pros: There is no need to cut, most of the shadow bells do not grow large, grow slowly, beautiful flowers
  • Disadvantages: do not tolerate cold easterly winds, roots are sensitive to salt (fertilize carefully), are afflicted by net bugs, which is why a cool, shady location is important
  • Nice varieties:
  • Carnaval – white flowers and a fiery red leaf shoot, creamy white leaf margins on medium green leaves, well hardy, flowering time March / April, grows 10 to 30 cm per year and becomes 80 to 100 cm high and 90 to 100 cm wide
  • Valley Valentine – bright red flowers from mid-March to mid-April, strong green foliage, grows 5 to 15 cm a year and becomes 80 to 100 cm high and significantly wider, well suited for planters
  • Creamy white flowers in April / May, leaves brown-red when they shoot, later shiny green, up to 1.50 m high and 130 cm wide, growth of 10 to 20 cm per year

Laurel-leaved viburnum (Viburnum tinus)

This evergreen shrub is also called the Mediterranean viburnum, evergreen viburnum, or laurel viburnum. The wood can be up to 3.50 m high, but most of them usually only manage 2 m in width. The fragrant flowers that appear from November to April are particularly interesting. If you don’t want to do without this plant but live in the mountains, you can cultivate it as a container plant. The ideal way to spend the winter in the winter garden is to delight you with its evergreen foliage.

  • Advantage: beautiful flowers, easy to cut, preferably after flowering. Slow growing, most of them don’t take up a lot of space
  • Disadvantage: only partially hardy, but thrives well in a wine-growing climate. Sensitive to drought and waterlogging, needs sheltered space
  • Nice varieties:
  • Little Bognor – flowers from August, quite hardy variety
  • Eve Price – numerous white to pinkish white flower umbels. These can open in late autumn. Flowering for up to 6 months, for a sunny location, needs winter protection, height of growth up to 150 cm
  • Eskimo – pure white, spherical flower balls that give off a heavy scent. Blooms in April / May, does not become large, about 120 cm high and 150 cm wide
  • Besides the laurel-leaved snowball, there are more evergreen snowball varieties, e.g. the evergreen scented snowball (Viburnum burkwoodii) and the pillow snowball (Viburnum davidii). Most of the other pyramid varieties are deciduous.

White fragrant flower (Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’)

The white scented flower is an ilex-like, white-colored shrub with wonderfully fragrant flowers. The flowers are white and grow in clusters. The flowering period is from September to October. The foliage is variegated white, mostly green with white irregular edges and thorny. The plant is ideal for scented gardens or for Japanese gardens. The location should be sunny to partially shaded. The shrub becomes about 60 to 100 cm high, but I have already read that it can be up to 250 cm high. There are also other scented flowers, they differ from this one in the color of the leaves and in the height of growth. The white and colorful scented flower is not yet well known, in practice it is still on the advance. So you can still score points if you have such a shrub in the garden.

  • Advantages: the beguiling scent, the beautiful foliage color, the compact growth and the shrub’s final size, which is not too high
  • Disadvantages: quite high purchase price

Fruiting shrub pod (Ilex meserveae ‘Blue Princess’)

This eye-catching shrub with its bright red, shining fruit decorations and its shimmering blue foliage is an eye-catcher in every garden. It is suitable as a solitary plant, but also as a hedge plant, especially between other flowering shrubs with fruit decorations or bird nutrients. This ilex grows upright and reaches a height of 100 to 150 cm. It is well suited for heather gardens and is an excellent bird protection and nutritional wood and also a bee pasture. The flowers are white and appear in May. The fruiting shrub pod is easy on pruning. The fruits are bright red but unfortunately poisonous to humans.

  • Advantages: very decorative, good for birds, is also suitable for shade, ideal for roof gardens, absolutely frost-hardy
  • Disadvantages: berries poisonous, leaves thorny or prickly

Multi-leaved or multi-leaved olive willow (Elaegnus pungens)

The variegated olive willow is very popular because of its green-yellow foliage. The leaves are extremely luminous. Usually the variety ‘Maculata’ is offered. This wood with the eye-catching foliage reaches heights of 150 cm and is roughly as wide. The flowers appear from October to November. They are creamy white, unfortunately a bit inconspicuous and fragrant. The plant is extremely drought-resistant. The location should be sunny to partially shaded and absolutely sheltered from the wind. The variegated olive willow grows broadly bushy. It’s ideal for sandy soils and also works well in planters. It is also suitable as a hedge plant. It is ideal to cover the root area with a layer of leaves in winter.

  • Advantages: very beautiful foliage, fragrant flowers, tolerates drought, high ornamental value
  • Disadvantages: not well tolerated by wind, not exactly cheap

Multicolored laurel crumbles (Leucothoe walteri)

This dwarf to small shrub is a colorful splash of color in the garden. There are several varieties, but the plant is not yet well known. There are varieties for sunny, but also for partially shaded to shady locations. The small plants bring new momentum to monotonous heather gardens. The laurel crab grows best near a pond.

  • Advantages: looks very good, grows quickly, good ground cover and beautifies dark corners in the garden, totally shade-friendly
  • Disadvantages: not windproof, so needs a sheltered location. Mostly not salt-tolerant, needs protection, not fully frost-hardy everywhere
  • Nice varieties:
  • ‘Scarletta’ – ground cover, rapidly growing, becomes 40 cm high but 100 cm wide, flowers in May / June, white, red in clusters, leaf stalks and new shoots, not wind-resistant
  • ‘Rainbow’ – shadow shrub, up to 80 cm high and 120 cm wide, vigorous, flowering time May / June, flowers white and in clusters, flowers smell, suitable for vase decorations, leaves green and red

Rhododendron fortunei, a wild species

I didn’t want to take such everyday evergreen shrubs. The rhododendron is not included, but this one does. He is special. Rhododendron fortunei is a large shrub that reaches heights of around 3 to 5 meters in our country. The flowers are white and have a slight smell of chewing gum. They appear in June. This rhododendron is probably the first hardy Chinese rhododendron that was introduced to us.

There are a ton of evergreen shrubs. I did not go into many of them, such as the yellow and colored aukube, the many types of barberry, the creeper, the shrub ivy, the yellow mountain ilex, the shrub pod, the gold privet, the low mahonia, the fruit myrtle, the red glossy leaf, the laurel cherry, the firethorn, the blossom skimmia and a few more. It is important that the site conditions are right. The floor can be prepared appropriately, the location is predetermined. Watering, fertilizing, cutting, everything can be arranged appropriately, but if the space does not fit, the beautiful, evergreen shrubs have no chance. Sometimes they can last a few years, but then they’re gone. So choose well and don’t just go for beauty!

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