Suggestions for evergreens for cottage garden

pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)August 29, 2012

Well the collection of hydrangeas, roses, lilacs, butterfly bush etc. etc. are almost ready to go into the ground but silly me I need some evergreen bones for my cottage garden that runs along a meandering path to my front door. What evergreen bones would you all suggest. Pictures would be helpful. I am so excited as planting day comes near. . .

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Box, box and then some more box for delineating beds. Lavender also makes a good low edging. Fastigiate yews are classic emphasis plants, as are bay trees if your climate will allow. Holly, Skimmia, Daphne odora, Sarcococca, Hebe are all evergreen and fitting. And remember that lots of perennials have evergreen foliage including Dianthus, Geraniums, thyme, sage, Japanese anemones, hollyhocks, Liriope, some ferns and many, many others.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
auntyara(5a)

I like dwarf alberta spruces. I know they are common, but they're so cute.
I'm also adding some globe arborvitaes to my gardens this year,but at this point I can't exactly recommend them. I'll let you know how they work out. lol
:) Laura

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

In the PNW conifers grow like weeds and come in many colors, shapes and sizes...and go with other plants to boot!

A few of mine...

You could grow any of these and more.

tj

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
party_music50

Rhododendrons are my pick! They have miniatures (like 'Purple Gem') if you need to keep them small.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

My evergreens include Dianthus 'Greystone', cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Heuchera and Heucherella, Rhododendrons, Leucathoe, along with needled evergreens.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

OMG. . thank you all. Tsugajunkie, I LOVE your gardens. Mine are in full sun so I can't do the hosta's but on one side of my path I am doing a conifer garden. I really love what you have done. I have been collecting conifers one pay day at a time. . . LOL.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ianna(Z5b)

cedars, alberta spruce, hollies, yews, euonymous, and box. It all depends on how you set them up. For cedars, alberta spruce and yews for example, these can be ulitized to form pyramidal topiaries and can be set in the middle of the bed. Cottage gardens are supposed to be chaotic in design and the addition of topiaries helps to show a form of control.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sandi_W(7b/8)

tsugajunkie, Absolutely gorgeous. I've never even considered conifers before, but am now.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Pat-tea- At your latitude, many folks grow hosta in full sun. And thanks for the kind words.

Sandi- Thank you, as well. I am a conifer enabler. lol

Here are a few conifer pix with more of a cottage garden application in my yard...

tj

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

So very lovely tsugajunkie. I have been collecting conifers for almost a year waiting for the dirt work to be done on our property. Your post has confirmed my vision for my front yard. We live on 2.5 acres in the hills with a mountain view and woods behind us. So to fit into our setting I wanted to use lots of conifers mixed with my roses and other cottage plants that I love. You have pulled off the look I want.

I am using dwarf conifers as well as some miniature's as my gardening space in the front is limited. I have: Korean Fir, Bennets Canadian Hemlock, Thuga pilica Gruene Kuge, weeping white spruce, cham wissels aguro, Dwarf blue swiss pine, dwarf balsom fir, lemon cypress (which I have to bring in for the winter and a couple of ferry puffs which are adorable. For the hydrangea and rose garden across the path I have a drawf bulevard cypress and want to get two hinoki cpress and a dwarf alberta spruce. So glad to have found my garden sole mate. . . LOL.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

I live in a warmer zone but I think at least one of these two would work for you, too. I love conifers (but can't grow them in my garden), but these have a good foliage contrast as companions.

Coleonema is hardy only down to 20 degrees. But Euonymus is apparently good down to zone 5. I have been very pleased with the variegated euonymus, available at big box stores everywhere. It loves the sun or even bright shade, is easily pruned, seems to have no pests, and is a good steady grower.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

Thanks, Euonymus goes on my list for sure. Thanks for the picture with the plant identification. I am in zone 6. I need to change m zone option on CG. We moved a little farther north and are now in zone 6.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I keep thinking of new ones. I see you are in PNW so Escallonia should be OK. And Santolina. And rosemary. And Lonicera nitida (there are some lovely variegated ones like Lemon Beauty). Some of the cotoneasters, Viburnum davidii. Maybe be Crinodendrum hookerianum? Illicium henryi?

And how could I forget Myrtle, Myrtus communis - a classic of the Victorian cottage garden.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tuliper(7B RVA)

I guess I'm just too obvious in saying BOXWOOD! Handsome, quaint and SO COTTAGE GARDEN

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tuliper(7B RVA)

"Wintergem" boxwood

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tuliper(7B RVA)

"Green Velvet" boxwood - Will grow more quickly B. Sempervirens suffruticosa to form a nice knee high hedge

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 9:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tuliper(7B RVA)

True English dwarf box 'suffruticosa'

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 9:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

almost any chamycypress that won't grow too big. But "big" is all relative. A chamycypress that tops out at 12 h x 6 w might be too big for some gardens or be a perfect anchor or focal point in another.

there's no ugly chamycypresses. the foliage is lovely even in winter.
I'd like to suggest your question (or search) should be refined quite a bit: you must consider ultimate height, sun tolerance, drought tolerant, resistance to winter burn and dessication. Consider winter foliage color: some evergreens becomewhat I consider a nasty olive; others deepen to bronze or gray and can be lovely. Do you want "green", blue, blue green, gold, yellow, bold, subtle.
Can plants grow close to its root system? Can it carry a snow load or are you willing to wrap it in burlap, or build a shed over it or go out the freezing cold to shake the snow off?
I will offer my personal experience with alberta spruce. In hot dry climates (or an especially hot dry summer) they are very suseptable to spider mites. As you drive around look at the AS in your area. If there are large areas of brown and defoliation on many it suggests spider mites will be a problem.
Of all the "wrong plant, wrong place" problems, I think underestimating the ultimate size of a tree is the biggest and most common problem gardeners make, regardless of experience.
Finally, if you are thinking of moving to a true mixed border of perennials, shrubs and trees see if your library has Michael Dirr's Woody Shrubs and Trees. If you have some bucks to burn buy it. It is an indispensable bible on the subject; readable and encyclopedic knowledge. My friends tell me it is available as an app for better on the spot shopping decisions.

Long answer to a short question.
idabean

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

Thank you for all the good advice. I am trying not to stress over this but there is so much to think about. Idabean, spider mite has been a big problem this summer in our community. I'm thinking after reading your post that AS may not be my best choice for the location I want to put it. I want a clean, conical, small evergreen for near my front door. . . I may be asking too much of a tree. . lol.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Pat_tea, you need to take a road trip to Eatonville, WA and visit Coenosium Gardens. Bob and his wife are very nice people and his knowledge is superb. He will help you get a handle on what is out there and what would fit for you. You may have seen some of his posts occasionally in the Conifer Forum. Though usually mail order, they do allow on site visits if you call ahead.

tj

Here is a link that might be useful: Catalog

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

My friend has had two compact chamycypresses in large planters by her main door (a side door right on asphalt) for years. They are just beautiful. They stay conical, but are soft and ruffled with gold tips. Please just do me a favor and look them up!
chamycypress gracilimus aurea nana. there are probably named varieties of gold ones that I don't know. And spellcheck hates how I'm spelling the plant's name so I apologize to the plant and readers for mangling it. Too lazy to look it up and correct myself.
idabean

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
luckygal(3b)

I don't have suggestions for evergreens as I live in a coniferous forest and haven't found any dwarf conifers I like that will grow well here so tend not to add any to my garden. There are many other options tho and one example I love is Freda's use of Catmint to edge pathways. Link below. Due to her inspiration I propagated my one Walker's Low into many altho still don't have enough to completely edge any of my paths. This year I used fine leaf Dusty Miller to border one of my new pathways and really like that look. Not very perennial in this climate altho likely would be in yours. Occasionally they survive the winter here but I usually buy new starts and they grow quickly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Freda's blog

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Boxwood not looking good
It's blowing snow and cold here today and the boxwood...
schoolhouse_gw
reminder of spring
post your spring pics from last year This post was...
davids10 z7a nv.
Building my Irish Shed
Hi everyone, I've been admiring all the lovely garden...
camaria
Wanting to sow my wild flower seeds, have questions
Recently a gas line was installed in front of our house...
Lilyfinch z7 mid tn
Weekend Trivia - Saturday
Good Saturday morning, Cottagers!! A few of us having...
midnightsmum (Z4, ON)
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™