Go back
Garden Furniture & Fencing & Patios

What Are The Best Hardy Evergreen Shrubs For Small Gardens?


Here in the UK it is common to have relatively small gardens and in modern homes the gardens are getting even smaller. This doesn’t mean that we should give up on developing our gardens altogether, we simply need to choose the right plants to get the look we want on a smaller scale.

Evergreen shrubs are a great choice for a small garden and can be purchased in so many varieties that you can have a splash of colour in your garden all year round. And best of all, there are some types of shrub that are especially hardy and need very little looking after, making them easier than ever.

Real estate agents say that a great looking garden can add as much as 20% to the value of your home and can really set it apart from other homes on your street. First impressions really do count, so the front and back gardens (no matter how small) can benefit from a little care and attention.

Choosing evergreen shrubs that are easy care and hardy is a great start towards getting the garden you want.


Contrary to popular belief, evergreen shrubs allow you to add colour and interest to your garden that will be consistent throughout the seasons

What Is An Evergreen Shrub?

An evergreen shrub is one that will keep its green foliage throughout the entire year – never dropping its leaves the way that many other trees and plants do. Shrubs also come as deciduous types and do die back during the Autumn and Winter.

Evergreen shrubs, however, allow you to add colour and interest to your garden that will be consistent and almost permanent.

While an evergreen shrub appears to retain its leaves all year long, they do in fact have a turnover of leaves, but the process is gradual and hardly noticed. This compares to deciduous, where the leaves fall all at once as an adaptation to the cold or wet season.

Evergreens tend to be more likely to thrive in warmer climates and where there are fewer nutrients in the soil, however some are able to withstand severe cold.


For homes in exposed areas of the country, shrubs prove ideal. The fact that they are closer to the earth means that they are more easily able to find the nutrients in the soil, and they are not prone to high winds and the damage that can come from the weather

What Makes A Hardy Shrub?

Most shrubs are able to to survive for around 20 to 30 years, making them one of the longest lasting plants you can choose for your garden. Shrubs have a similar structure to trees, but generally have several woody stems and are closer to the ground.

The fact that they are closer to the earth means that they are more easily able to find the nutrients in the soil and they are not prone to high winds and the damage that can come from the weather.

Shrubs are also hardy because they need very little watering or pruning and they grow extremely slowly. They are able to grow in dry or very wet soils, rockeries and in-between rocks and stones. They can therefore we used in almost any location in your garden.


Whatever the size of your garden, there's sure to be a shrub that will fit the space. For those with smaller areas, dwarf and miniature varieties are preferable

Shrubs In A Small Garden: The Benefits

If you garden is small you may want height and structure from your plant choices, but you may want to avoid large trees and bushes. These could overwhelm a small space and offer too much shade that could hinder the growth of other plants and grass.

Shrubs are the perfect choice because they offer so many different sizes, you can choose one that is perfect for the space. You can also use dwarf or miniature varieties as they will grow to less than 1 metre, and in many cases, stay much smaller than that.

Even if you choose a larger shrub of around 8 feet, you can prune and trim it to keep it to the size you want – this is easy to do because these shrubs tend to grow very slowly.

Shrubs are also an excellent way of providing colour in a small garden. With limited space and small borders and garden beds, you want colour that will last for the entire year and not take up too much space. You also want to avoid having to maintain these plants too much – so hardy varieties are perfect.


You can trim and prune your evergreen shrubs as you wish. This will ensure they maintain their shape, and encourage new growth of shoots. 

Maintaining An Evergreen: 3 Top Tips

Evergreen shrubs need very little care because they are so hardy. However a few pointers will ensure your shrubs last the distance:

● Do not overwater evergreen shrubs. They prefer to have a decent amount of water occasionally, rather than regular watering. For most of the year, normal rainfall should be enough. However if it hasn’t rained in a while and the ground is becoming dry you can top up with a good dose of water.
● You can trim and prune your evergreen shrubs as you wish. This will ensure they maintain their shape and encourage new growth of flowers and foliage. You will normally only need to do this once per year and you should follow the instructions for your particular shrub to get the best results.
● These hardy shrubs need very little in the way of fertiliser, but you can give them a feed once or twice a year, if your soil is especially arid.


From Daphne and Lavender, to Acuba and Camellia, when it comes to evergreen shrubs, the options on offer are almost endless!

6 Stunning Evergreen Shrubs To Set The Right Impression

There are so many evergreen shrubs that you can choose from, however we have come up with a list that includes some of the most hardy plants that will grow and thrive despite cold or dry weather and ones that require very little care and maintenance.

Best of all, they are ideal for small gardens, as they are small in size, and big in colour.

Daphne – 

This shrub offers beautiful, small flowers that are incredibly fragrant. The leaves can be plain or variegated and they tend to grown in a rounded compact shape.

They grow well in shaded parts of the garden where there is little sun.

Box – 

This classic green shrub can be shaped to meet your expectations – either squares or curves, giving plenty of flexibility. They are very tolerant of shade, and will grow well out of the sun.

If they happen to be in a sunny spot, you simply need to water them more often. They will keep their green colour all year long.

Fatsia japonica – 

This shrub features large glossy leaves that add drama to your garden. They are especially hardy and will cope well with windy spots along the coast or gardens that have very little sun.

They will come out in cream coloured flowers in the autumn and can be grown along borders due to their small size.


Choosing evergreen shrubs will give you the year round colour and texture you desire, without overwhelming your garden, or taking up too much space

Lavender – 

Yet another British class shrub, and so easy to grow. With a lovely colour for all of the year, these plants are from the Mediterranean, and therefore cope well with areas where it is dry and sunny.

Best of all, the flowers can be cut and used indoors for all kinds of purposes.

Acuba – 

This is known as one of the most hardy shrubs you can find, as they tolerate full shade, polluted areas and salty coastal spots.

With large leaves and red berries in the autumn, these plants are perfect for patio containers, or as borders along with other plants.

Camellia – 

With pretty flowers in the spring and glossy green foliage, the camellia is one of the most loved shrubs in our gardens. They can be grown to large sizes, but they will grow well with hard pruning, so they can be controlled.

They grow well in dappled shady spots, and need an acid soil. But once they are growing, they will produce flowers year after year.

Your small garden will look amazing with a variety of beautiful shrubs that are easy to care for and attractive to look at. Choosing evergreen shrubs will give you that year round colour and texture that you need, without overwhelming your garden or taking up too much space.

Seeking additional green-fingered advice on evergreen shrubs for your garden? Talk to our team of green-fingered experts today, by simply clicking the button below!