As summer fades into fall, my attention drifts towards providing winter interest to our client’s gardens. Five of my favorite evergreen shrubs for their attractive color and texture, compact growing habit, low maintenance requirements, and all around good disposition are the ‘Globe’ Blue Spruce shrub, Hillside scotch creeper, ‘Emerald Gaity’ Euonymus, ‘Pierrick Bergeon’ Dwarf Austrian Pine, and Spanish Broom.
— Peggy Wright (Masters in Landscape Architecture)
‘Globe’Blue Spruce Shrub, Picea pungens ‘Globosa’, is an evergreen shrub with a pleasingly symmetrical form sporting bright blue needles. It will stay compact, but could potentially grow slowly to 4′ tall by 5′ wide. ‘Globe’ Blue Spruce can take either full sun or part shade, but does require soil with good drainage.
Hillside Scotch Creeper, Sylvestris ‘Hillside Creeper’, is a low growing (2′ tall), spreading shrub that can be used as a stand alone specimen or in a massing. This low maintenance sculpted shrub needs to be given plenty of space as it’s potential width is 6′-8′.
‘Emerald Gaity’ Wintercreeper, Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaity’, is the only shrub on this list that can tolerate (and seems to prefer in our climate) part to full day shade. It has a variegated leaf perfect to bring light to those dark corners of the garden. It will grow 2′-3′ wide by 4′-5′ tall, but will tolerate pruning to keep it smaller if desired.
Dwarf Austrian Pine Shrub, Pinus Nigra ‘Pierrick Bregeon’, is compact, hardy shrub mounding to 3′ tall x 4′ wide with a deep green tone.
Spanish Broom, Spartium junceum, is a medium sized shrub with leafless green branches and a pleasingly fragrant yellow flower. In Santa Fe, Spanish Broom needs full sun and a warm wall or other protected location to survive our winters.