By Victoria Fuller
Ahh Winter, most gardeners will agree it’s hardly “the most wonderful time of the year” especially when it comes to planting delightful new botanical pals! However, there is an entire family of plants who can survive year-round dramatic drumroll the Evergreens!
What does “Evergreen” mean?
The definition of an Evergreen plant is “one that has foliage which remains functional and green for more than one growing season”. This makes these plants an excellent choice for Canadian gardeners who don’t want to have to worry about digging up and replanting the majority of their gardens year after year. There are dozens of plant “families” that fall under the Evergreen umbrella, and these can vary to the extreme! For example, Coconuts and Pine trees are both part of the Evergreen family, how vast!
Evergreen plants are contrasting with “Deciduous” plants which lose all of their foliage completely each Winter (or dry!) season. These plants absolutely have their place in a Canadian garden, but we wouldn’t recommend trying to plant them during these frightful months when the air hurts your face.
So without further ado, here are our suggestions of a few different types of Evergreens that you could successfully transplant at the chilliest time of the year! We are confident that there is something for every type of gardener on this list so no matter what style or aesthetic you are hoping to achieve with your garden, there’s a plant here for you!
These stunning plants can come in both Tree and Shrub form, as well as also coming in both Evergreen and Deciduous varieties, so no matter where you live there is certainly going to be a Magnolia for you! The most popular (and hardy) variety of Magnolia is the “Cucumber Tree" (Magnolia acuminata) which is extremely tolerant of cold winters (although it does have Deciduous leaves, so if you’re looking for more of a year-round option we would recommend the Star or Saucer varieties) . Now the clue is in the name with these Magnolias: they can be trees, so don’t be planting these in your Cedar Planters Raised Garden Bed as they can reach heights of up to 25 Meters and a width of up to 15 Meters so they will need to be able to develop a sturdy root system!
These iconic Evergreen trees are probably one of the first plants that sprang to mind when you thought of “year-round and weather-hardy trees”. Fir trees are one of the most Winter-esque trees around and are often referred to as “Christmas Trees”, so with this in mind they are incredibly resilient and thrive in Canada year-round. Once again these trees enjoy developing sturdy root systems, so we wouldn’t recommend planting them in your raised garden bed, but in an area of your garden that gets plenty of sunlight and rain water!
If you’re looking to brighten things up in your garden all year round then look no further than the stunning Camellia shrub! Now Camellias can be a little sensitive to severe cold but they can handle a little bit of wind and snow so it may be a good idea to wait until the end of the season to plant a new shrub just so that it has time to acclimate! Camellias enjoy regular watering, partial shade, and moist well-drained soil, so they are the perfect choice for your Cedar Planters raised garden bed with its built-in drainage system!
Another iconic Winter-time shrub is the beautiful Holly! These gorgeous plants with their stunning red berries can survive even the harshest of Winter conditions and will also continue growing year after year (with the biggest Holly bush in the world measuring an incredible 25 Meters tall!). Plant your Holly in an area that receives four-to-six hours of sunlight every day and the soil remains well-drained but never dry!
These gorgeous landscape shrubs are an incredible choice for those looking to brighten up their pathways and add some excitement to the perimeter of their gardens! Rhododendrons come in a variety of varieties and colours and although they lose their flowers in the colder months, their leaves will remain and can sometimes even change colour from a rich green to a reddish-brown shade! Rhododendrons like to be planted in an area that receives partial sun (they need some sunlight to eventually grow some beautiful blooming flowers!) and they don’t need a massive amount of water (usually only around one inch of water per week!). Rhododendrons can also thrive in a raised garden bed, so great news for us raised-bed gardeners!
So what do you reckon? Are you leaning more to the Magnolia or Fir style, or perhaps you’re feeling the shrub lifestyle more? Let us know in the comments below as we always love to hear from you!