The RHS is encouraging gardeners to love ‘carpark’ plants – those super reliable, robust, everyday shrubs often found dotted across urban landscapes.
They’re a common sight on car parks, roundabouts and public spaces in the UK – but that’s exactly why you should grow more of them, says the horticultural charity.
‘Many of these plants have the RHS Award of Garden Merit and make an excellent choice for gardeners,’ says the RHS’s principal horticultural adviser, Leigh Hunt. ‘The finest give year-round colour and structure and can look beautiful in some of the toughest growing spots.’
Plants singled out by the RHS as superb value for money, providing year-round beauty in the garden for minimum care, include the red-stemmed dogwood, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’; Mahonia aquifolium which boasts evergreen holly-like leaves and gorgeous yellow winter flowers; and Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’, with small golden leaves which are easily trimmed into hedges, balls and cones.
All need just a little pruning to keep them neat, then feeding and mulching once a year; and in return they offer colour and structure in difficult corners and are capable of surviving deep shade or hot, dry spots.
You can find these as well as lots of other super-reliable shrubs in our garden centre here in Oundle. Other brilliant all-rounders we recommend include Viburnum tinus, with glossy evergreen leaves and white flowers in winter; Euonymus ‘Silver Queen’, a low-growing evergreen with attractively variegated leaves; and hebes, with handsome architectural foliage topped with powder-puff blue flowers in summer.
Plant them in sun or part shade, in any soil, and they’ll give you an evergreen background to set off more ephemeral seasonal highlights like perennials, annual flowers and spring bulbs. Now is the perfect time to plant, too, so pop down to see our knowledgeable staff and we’ll be happy to help you choose the combination that’s right for you.