Hebes, are a wonderful shrub with a good growing habit adding structure and form to mixed planting and dense evergreen foliage acting as a main stay of the winter garden. With the added advantage of a long flowering season and coping with tough growing conditions including exposed coastal sites. There is much to commend this shrub and it’s many varieties. Here are some to consider.
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H. ‘Blue Clouds’: This small compact shrub reaches about 1m in height, with dense glossy green foliage with tints of purple in the winter. With long flower spikes of light mauve from August to October.
H. cupressoides: This unusual hebe is a one of the ‘whip cord or conifer’ hebes. With very different foliage. It is a dwarf shrub with spreading habit. With grey green conifer like foliage. Soft purple flowers in a small clusters June to July.
H. ‘Great Orme’: This is a small to middle sized shrub with a rounded habit and slightly lax growth. Long green purple leaves and long pink fading to white flower spikes in mid summer. Can be tender.
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H. ‘Black Beauty’: A beautiful small neat shrub with bark purple foliage, to 60cm. with small neat purple flowers mid summer. Can be tender.
H. ‘Emerald Green’: This is a small compost shrub with small mid-green foliage and makes a very dense shrub. Would work will as an alternative to a clipped box ball.
H. ‘Red Edge’: This shrub with it’s low mound forming habit and striking grey foliage with the leaves edged red in winter, makes a good low hedge.
Tips: Hebes are fast growing, but not all are hardy, even in the south East of England, if there is a particularly cold spell, it can kill sections of a mature plant or even kill a small one. But in southern climbs most are hardy, but if in doubt plant with some protection from other shrubs. They do make good low hedges and some of the larger variates informal taller hedges. As they are fast growing, they are not particularly long lived shrubs. They cope well with coastal areas and salt winds, not in the first line of planting by the sea, but in the second planting line.
I hope I have inspired you to add Hebes to your garden planting. If you would like help with designing your garden, then I know just the person to give you a hand. Give me Emily a ring on 01273 470753, to discuss your garden project.