I’m so pleased that I added small shrubs and conifers to my perennial borders because as we progress towards summer those borders are already looking full with a variety of plant forms and foliage, which not only make the borders look more lively and colourful, but suppress the weeds too which will give me less work later when I want to be chilling out.
Low growing shrubs are exceptionally useful in any garden and many of them often have a spread that is much greater than the height making them a superb space filler. Shrubs like Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens, Escallonia ‘Golden Carpet’ and Cotoneaster procumbens ‘Queen of Hearts’ do just that, being evergreen they give all year round foliage colour, lots of flowers during their particular flowering time. The Cotoneaster will give that little extra by producing bright red berries in autumn.
The Ceanothus otherwise known as Californian Lilac has always been a favourite of mine, Ceanothus thyrs. var. repens has glossy green well veined leaves and pale blue flowers in summer. Growing to a height of about three feet, but higher if against a wall or fence its large spreading habit of more than six feet makes it a superb choice for a sunny border with well-drained soil.
Escallonia ‘Golden Carpet’ is a new award winning golden foliaged shrub of 2013. An outstanding sport of Ecallonia ‘Red Carpet’, its compact, low growing habit of about twenty inches and bushy spreading habit of about four feet is sure to brighten up any space in well-drained soil in sun or part shade. During summer it will bear small red flowers that will contrast beautifully with the bright golden foliage and as autumn approaches the evergreen foliage will turn a lime colour.
The cotoneaster is an all round performer making a good ground cover plant. Its early summer flowers are an excellent source of nectar for bees and its lovely red berries will keep it looking bright and lively during the later summer and autumn.