Evergreen, Evergold or Everred?

After the warmest winter on record, spring seems to be dragging its heels and teasing me. Looking back over previous years pictures to find blog inspiration, I soon realised  that, in my garden at least, nothing much has woken fully yet. A few haven’t stirred at all. (I replanted a Peony in autumn and every day, I peer at the spot, searching for pink buds unfurling. But nothing.) Still lots of bare soil. Which I hate. It got me thinking about evergreen ground cover that looks its best during the winter/ early spring. The leading ladies of the cooler months, if you like…

Dry shade

Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae,  and Vinca minor:  dry shade ground cover that looks amazing right now. 

Dry sun

Sempervivums: how I love thee, let me count the ways. Planted in the sunny gravel that’s covering the  french drain in the front garden. Looks just as good in January as it does in June.



Not strictly ground cover, but still looking good in February. Carex comans “Frosted Curls” and Pittosporum tenuifolium “Tom Thumb”. A  combination from RHS Hyde Hall that would work work well even on a  smaller scale. Even better, in my humble opinion, if the Pittosporum had been clipped into spheres.



Fine blonde Stipa (or Nassella) tenuissima makes a fine contrast to the  burdundy-leaved Bergenia  purpurascens “Irish Crimson”. This is  Beth Chatto’s hot, dry gravel garden in January. I just about resisted the urge to tidy the dead leaves.



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