Q Which plants would make a low, ev­er­green flow­er­ing hedge?

Michael David­son, East York­shire

Gardeners' World - - Q & A -

A BOB SAYS My best sug­ges­tion is the ev­er­green

Berberis ver­ru­cu­losa, which has yel­low flow­ers in early sum­mer fol­lowed by pur­ple fruits. If the hedge will be mostly in the sun, then taller va­ri­eties of laven­der would work, as would rose­mary – both are ev­er­green, aro­matic and flower over a long pe­riod. Though East York­shire may be a bit harsh for these Mediter­ranean shrubs, un­less you’re in a mild area. The same goes for Hebe ‘Im­poster’, with its white sum­mer flow­ers. Olearia x haastii, which pro­duces white daisy flow­ers, is an­other op­tion if your gar­den isn’t too ex­posed. Like­wise,

Pit­tospo­rum tenuifolium, which can look ter­rific but may fare badly in dry winds. A shrubby po­ten­tilla would be tougher by far and, although not ev­er­green, would be quite bushy. A MATT SAYS Why not con­sider mak­ing it in­for­mal? Try Fuch­sia ‘Ric­car­tonii’, with its crim­son tube and sepals, and vi­o­let-pur­ple petals, Hy­per­icum × hid­co­teense ‘Hid­cote’ for its bright-yel­low flow­ers from late spring to late sum­mer, or a po­ten­tilla such as ‘Ab­botswood’, which has sin­gle white flow­ers from mid­sum­mer to early au­tumn, or ‘Red Ace’, with red flow­ers that fade to a burnt or­ange. Also try var­ie­gated fo­liage for colour – Euony­mus for­tunei ‘Emer­ald Gai­ety’ has bold white leaf mar­gins with red tints in win­ter, while the leaves of Berberis thun­bergii turn a glo­ri­ous or­ange then red in au­tumn.

Rose­mary is ideal for a low, scented hedge in mild lo­ca­tions

Berberis thun­bergii at­rop­ur­purea bears yel­low flow­ers and red berries

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