The Q&A Archives: Background Evergreens

Question: I am looking for evergreen shrubs that would grow well on an east facing fence. Maximum height 5-6 feet, width, 3 feet. The soil is good now and I have irrigation, but the shrubs will be partly shaded by a large cedar tree. I currently have three plum passion nandina's but their foliage is too dark for this location. Something more vibrant and greener would be better. In front of them I have hydrangea's planted which are then fronted by azalea's and mixed smaller perenials and bulbs.
Thank you!

Answer: The woody perennial bed you describe sounds delightful! I'd plant something with a speckled leaf or a cream and white variegated leaf to lighten up the background. Euonymus japonica 'Matanzaki' has deep green leaves edged in creamy white. This plant produces small white flowers, followed by clusters of bright red berries. Euonymus japonica 'Silver Knight' has mostly cream colored leaves with bright green centers. Both plants tolerate average soil and shady conditions. Pieris japonica is a wonderful all-season plant. It's evergreen and the new foliage starts out white, changes to red and then matures to green. It produces bell-shaped flowers in clusters in the spring, making quite a show! A final suggestion is Pittosporum tobira 'Variegatum'. This shrub has medium-green leaves with splashes of creamy white, and develops clusters of bright white flowers in the spring. It's easy care and thrives in shade.

Hope one of these shrub suggestions appeals to you!

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