It’s the end of the year and you could hardly tell here at Lamorran Gardens. You may wonder, how that could possibly be true? All around the country right now deciduous trees have shed their autumn colours, their leaves scattered to the winds, and the skyline a series of empty branches which cold air breezes through. I’ll let you in on our little (not-so) secret… evergreens! Every step you take in the garden you can spot a lively green plant growing. Having evergreens everywhere frees your garden from the boundaries posed on us by the seasons; and I would certainly say it is one of my top tips for us gardeners who want to forget it is winter and keep the spirit of summer alive. Read on for some examples of trees and shrubs that I have picked out from Lamorran Garden which are guaranteed to provide unique, exciting foliage, and keep your garden looking fresh all year round!
Of course, I have to start with palms! If you have visited us before you will know that every where you look a palm is in view. Being the most northern palm garden in the world, we have a variety of species in our collection. They are great for providing strong architectural foliage throughout the year and require very little maintenance. Some hardy specimens you may be interested in are Trachycarpus fortunei, Butia capitata, or Chamaerops humilis. These are all hardy down to -10 °C so can survive our UK winters, and are great choices for those who would like to take in a subtropical view when they relax.
Another one of my favourite evergreen plants is the Fatsia japonica. It’s distinctly lobed, dark green, palmate leaves make it perfect for exotic enthusiasts. Preferring a sheltered spot but still ultimately quite hardy, this eye catching plant will definitely make a statement in any space. In fact, we’ve just planted a new addition at the entrance, so you can easily spot it with your own eyes on your next visit! If you like this look, you may want to experiment with other shrubs with interesting foliage, such as this Fatsia polycarpa, a Pseudopanax laetus, or a member of the Schefflera species. Or if you’ve got the space, why not try this behemoth that we have just above the Roman Waterfall, a Tetrapanax papyrifer will surely inspire awe with its gigantic leaves!
The most impressive tree here at Lamorran (in my own biased opinion) in the elegant Dacrydium cupressinum, also commonly referred to as the New Zealand Rimu or Red Pine. It features a rich flaky bark, with textural leaves cascading down strong, weeping branches. Such a sight will truly be the envy of your neighbours! It grows slowly and can be suited to smaller spaces for several decades, however in its native country of New Zealand it can grow to an astonishing 100ft at full maturity.
One of the underrated backbones of the garden is the humble Grisselinia littoralis. Growing to a mature size of 8m x 4m, and featuring thick, waxy leaves, this is the perfect plant for hedging. It is ideally suited to sunny, exposed areas in need of protection from harsh drying winds. More benefits of Grisselinia is that it has very few pests and diseases, isn’t fussy on soil type, and is relatively low maintenance. It can create a pleasant boundary, take the hard hits from the weather, protect your other precious plants, and still look good doing it. All these factors make this shrub one of my back garden essentials.
Another tree worth mentioning is our large Pinus radiata, visible at the entrance and lower down in the garden. They play an incredibly important role by being our shelter belt, which protects us from cold, damaging winds, and is a major influence of the micro climate we have in the garden which permits us to grow exciting plants from sub-tropical ranges. I have a large amount of respect for these towering trees and am extremely grateful for the protection they provide. (Plus the pine cones are great for Christmas decorations this time of year!)
If you want a flower packed garden you can’t go wrong with Camellia and Japanese Azalea. Throughout Lamorran these shrubs are heavily featured, through their plentiful blooms in Spring and later again in Autumn the garden feels full of life even in the cold weather. Lamorran would be significantly less colourful if you removed these show stoppers.
The last plant I wish to mention is this delicate Acacia provissima located a short walk from the terrace. I adore how the distinct leaves trail down, as you look up at it, it truly has a magical quality. Perfectly suited for anyone who would like to embrace a Japanese inspired design in their own garden, or simply for any person seeking a lovely evergreen tree to sit under.
I hope this blog entry has piqued your curiosity and provided a few ideas for planting ever pleasing evergreens for year round interest- there’s so many great ones to choose from! Thank you to all our readers from the team here at Lamorran, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Keep planting and keep posted,
Blog by Hannah Berry