Garden Design Tips – Top 3 Broad Leaf Evergreens

Garden Design Tips – Top 3 Broad Leaf Evergreens

Okay, I probably shouldn’t start out by telling you what my top garden design tip is but I just can’t help it.  My absolute favorite broad leaf evergreen is the Carol Mackie Daphne.  Now that I have let the cat out of the bag, here in more detail are my top three broad leaf evergreens.

Number 1 – Carol Mackie Daphne.  As I mentioned the is my favorite but it’s worth mentioning again, I LOVE this shrub.  Its Latin name is Daphne x burkwoodii and it’s hardy to zone 4.  It can get up to 3 feet wide with a mounded shape.  The fragrance it gives off when flowering in May is simply incredible.  A quick pruning after flowering keeps this spectacular specimen compact and beautiful for about 7 years.  Yes it’s unfortunate but they do have short life span.  I promise however you won’t be disappointed!

Number 2 – Green Gem Boxwood.  Everyone has to have at least a few Green Gem Boxwoods.  The Buxus mic. var. insularis ‘Green Gem’ is a staple for any border hedge.  It’s rated zone 5 and can grow 2 1/2 feet tall with a slightly wider spread.  The dense dark green foliage stays pretty much all year around.

Number 3 – Golden Spirea.  I know what you are thinking; this is a classic ‘industrial’ plant.  Yes the Spiraea japonica ‘Goldflame’ is usually spotted in mass plantings around factories and corporate buildings but there’s a reason for this.  They are VERY low maintenance and can take quite a beating.  Good to zone 2 these 3 foot tall and 3 1/2 foot wide shrubs are never a bad choice.

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Now then, I actually did have a tie for the top spot.  The Carol Mackie Daphne won the coin toss but there’s one other broad leaf ever green that I love and it works in so many gardens and locations.  It is Pachysandra or Japanese Spurge.  This ground cover words best in shady locations but is also great under evergreens!  Hardy to zone 3, the only thing to consider is Japanese Spurge requires rich, acidic soil.