Evergreen plants are somehow the equivalent of the proverbial salt in the soup. They are the backbone of garden design. They structure the garden so you can use them as a basis for further design. Evergreen plants and shrubs give your garden a structure that visually ensures calm - especially if they are nicely groomed.
Don't go too crazy
Too many evergreen plants can give your garden a static look. A good guideline for evergreens is to use them for about 10% of your plants. This gives the garden the perfect combination of structural elements and colours and shapes that change with the seasons.
What kind of evergreens can you use?
There are actually many types of evergreens, like the classic cherry laurel, yew and boxwoods. There are also English yews, magnolias and barberry plants like Sacred Bamboo (Nandina domestica). Sacred Bamboo leaves do change colour over the year but do not fall off.
Sweet box (Sarcococca humilis) is a great alternative to boxwoods, which are prone to fungal diseases and pests.
It is also important that the leaf structures of the individual plants fit together. Too many completely different leaf structures can make the eyes feel overwhelmed, while too many of the same leaf structures look boring. A good mix is more appealing!
Deliberately choose your colours
Lots of evergreens are not really green - their leaves come in many colours. Sacred bamboo can have orange leaves, for example, while Lamb's Ear is silver.
Easy to see
Evergreen plants have a strong look, especially because many people cut back their other trees over the winter. This makes the evergreen easier to see.