Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
But, what you may not realize is what those floriferous shots aren’t showing you – the simple evergreen shrubs, ferns, grasses and groundcovers that are the anchoring foundations in these garden beds. In year-round interest gardens, simple evergreen plants create the framework or bones that support the entire design. They are also the plants most new gardeners don’t want to invest in – until they understand why, without simple shrubs, their seasonally overflowing garden’s gorgeous looks will melt into bare, weed-inviting ugliness come winter.
Perennials come and go with the seasons. Some are ephemeral, appearing only very briefly in early spring. Others strut their stuff for months on end from spring through autumn. Several appear as summer fades, lasting until freezing weather halts their beautiful show. And, even a few will color up the garden despite icy coats sheathing their determined stems. Although perennials can provide interest in the garden throughout the year, it would be very difficult to fill an entire garden with their ever-changing symphony – without also creating lots of holes during their seasonal pauses.
While deciduous plants can offer some amazing year-round interest including changing spring and fall leaf color, intermittent flowering, showy bark, twisting forms, colorful winter fruits and more, they are still mostly bare and twiggy during dormancy. These bare spots can disrupt seasonal privacy and create unwanted views at times. Plus, some of the showy aspects of deciduous plants are lost without a strong evergreen backdrop behind them. And, when the ground is bare – even though sturdy perennials are living just below the soil line – weeds will readily enter and take root.
Enter the evergreens. From Pine to Podocarpus, Lavender to Viburnum, Camellia to Hebe, Callistemon to Yucca, Rhododendron to Rosemary, Yucca to Blueberry, Grevellia to Yew, Clematis to Huckleberry, Juniper to Thyme, Carex to Sword Fern and so many more – there’s an evergreen for just about every zone, every garden style, and every season to add foundation, color, and mixed interest in the border.
In addition to filling in empty gaps and ensuring your winter garden offers something more than bare ground come winter, mixing in evergreens may also provide your garden with fragrance, flowers, food and so much more.
Need a vine?Consider an evergreen Clematis x armandii, which is covered in fragrant white blossoms in late winter/early spring. Or try out an Akebia quinata, which works well in areas without terribly harsh winters and provides nutmeg-scented purple blooms come spring.
Want a groundcover?
Thyme is a fantastic low-growing herb that comes in many forms. Sedum ‘Angelina’ is a fantastic ground-hugger that suppresses weeds but allows perennials to pop through with ease. Need something taller? Try Vinca minor in shade or a carpet Juniper well-drained locations in sun. Take care that your evergreen groundcover plays well with your perennials and won’t choke them out over time.
Want to lower your maintenance but still have blooms?
There are many fantastic evergreen shrubs and trees that require very little maintenance while still putting on showy blooms. Grevillea can provide airy form and winter flowers. Low maintenance Nandina provides a rainbow of foliar color year-round, plus it blooms in spring and has red berries in winter, and comes in sizes to fit just about any garden’s needs.
Need some privacy or just a backdrop?
Larger evergreen shrubs and trees can create privacy. Just be sure to select something that grows size appropriately. Place large, evergreen shrubs like Rhododendron, Camellia and Viburnum in the back of borders. Then install winter bloomers like Witch Hazel in front of them so their mid-winter blooms will be extra showy from afar. Even a deciduous barberry benefits from the background of a Threadbranch Cypress in summer!
Want some texture?
Flowing grasses and grass-like plants can add a unique softness to the mixed bed. Plus, they sparkle beautifully during frosty mornings. Consider Carex testacea – a grass-like sedge – to add hints of orange, green and bronze to beds. Need something for shade? Sturdy asparagus-cousin Liriopes provide a grass-like, strappy form, spread to hold slopes and bloom in color.
Do your perennials need some support?
Tall and heavy perennials may require something to help hold them up when they are laden with blooms. Rather than fill your garden with cages to lift up Dahlias and the like, try surrounding these weighty-blossomed droopers with sturdy evergreens to lean on. Perhaps plant a few Hebes to give your peonies a lift or weave your summer blooming lilies through the branches of a nearby Rhododendron.
Want to grow more food?
Mid-size evergreen blueberry, huckleberry and herb shrubs are perfect to pop into the middle tier of your deep beds where they will be accessible for harvest in summer, even if surrounded by annuals and perennials. In winter, their clothed branches will add color and fragrance to otherwise bare beds.
Need something to add architectural interest?
Even in simplified, gravel-filled beds, a few striking plants can add life and interest. Keep it simple with structural cactus or yucca to really make a statement. Or pop in a Pine of Podocarpus to gather mounds of fluffy snowfall. Even a simple fern, like Sword Fern, can provide that touch of unique, upright evergreen form that draws the eye even on a chilly winter day.
Rather than cultivate a garden that’s only gorgeous from spring through fall while woody and herbaceous perennials and annuals are showing off, take the time to integrate a few evergreens to keep your garden as beautiful as possible all year long.