Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 5
   October 2011
   Ornamental Evergreens

Evergreens in the summer garden   Evergreens in the winter garden
Ornamental evergreens add structure and interest throughout the seasons.

When you plan your garden, there are many things to consider. You should first decide the amount of time and effort you are willing to spend every year. Next, take into account the amount of sun exposure your garden receives, the soil type, the garden style you prefer, where you want the viewer's gaze to go and finally, the plants you want to use. It's best to choose a variety of plants that provide contrast in color, shape and texture. To complement your flowering plants, use foliage plants or plants that don't have a noticeable flower. The most commonly used foliage plant, and perhaps the least understood, is the ornamental evergreen.

There are many types of evergreens, and many grow to be very large, so take care when choosing which ones to plant. Although native spruce, cedar and pine can be attractive, they tend to consume space and block off views. They can serve a purpose in the garden, often as a hedge or privacy screen, and while this is a great way to employ them, you might also want to consider different uses for evergreens in your garden.

Monkey puzzle tree   Variegated Japanese red pine
A monkey puzzle tree (Auracaria araucana) adds texture to the garden.   A variegated Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) adds color.
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