When you are making a list of perennials to add to your garden or if you are establishing a new bed, be sure to include some of the evergreen variety as they help with the structure of the garden during the colder months along with hiding some of the dying foliage of other perennials.
As with all perennials they show off their best after they have been in the ground for a couple of years but there are some of the evergreen type, such as liriope or the common name monkey grass, that will start off being a solid foundation for your garden structure. As professionals, those of us who work at Nature’s Friend, we can help you make good choices in your landscape beds. Sometimes when you are buying these plants at a garden center during the growing season it can be a mystery as to which ones are perennials, but we can provide you with some lovely evergreen varieties. If you are shopping on your own you can look at the tags to discover whether it’s an evergreen or not.
One of our favorites for winter interest is the hellebore, also called Lenten rose, because this plant produces lovely blooms right in the middle of winter! The common varieties produce a rose colored bloom that nods downward so they are especially beautiful when viewed from below, such as on a slope. This is a plant which likes some shade during the hot summer, and it will sometimes appear to be withering away during that season, but never fear, it will be back as beautiful as ever once it cools off. An additional bonus for this plant is that it will eventually be a ground cover as it drops seeds and baby plants sprout up all around.
Another evergreen which can provide interesting shape and structure is yucca with their needle like structure they are good for an exclamation point if you need one. A softer textured evergreen would be a Christmas fern; these provide a nice, soft feathery appearance even through the colder times of the year. These can be used nicely in combination with the hosta as they appear in the spring, but remember we recommend some shade for this duo as they become rather tired in the heat of the summer.
In addition another good evergreen ground cover to use is pachysandra; the other name is Japanese spurge. This is a really useful plant; it has glossy leaves and looks good even in the depths of the winter chill. Again, it will slowly spread out over any area where you need some cover.