Evergreens have the ability to keep their needles and color all year long. Grown in hundreds of varieties of shrubs and trees, each with its own growing requirement, size, shape and color, evergreens create a striking landscape presence. Oftentimes evergreens prefer full sun to thrive but tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Long-lasting and ever-vibrant, evergreens create color throughout the year and are ideal for lighting up a winter garden.
Little Gem Arborvitae
The little gem arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Little Gem') is an evergreen shrub with a slow growth rate and medium texture. The compact, dense form on the little gem arborvitae holds the thin, spreading branches that are horizontal. The spreading sprays on the little gem arborvitae hold the glossy, dark green and crumple-shaped leaves. Little gem arborvitae grows 1 to 3 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide, creating an ideal shrub to plant along a front perennial garden. Little gem arborvitae prefers full sun to light shade and well-drained, moist soil. The USDA Hardiness zones for planting this tree are 3 to 7a.
Camellia (Camellia japonica) is an evergreen shrub with a slow to moderate growth rate and medium texture. The upright, dense form and pyramidal shape of the camellia creates a formal landscape shrub. Camellia shrubs grow 8 to 15 feet high and 5 to 10 feet wide--ideal lining a backyard for a makeshift privacy screen. The bright blooms on camellia shrubs are semi-double to double and grow 3 to 5 inches wide. The flowers on camellia emerge in winter or spring and grow in a wide range of colors, including red, pink, white and variegated forms that have more than one color swirled together. Leather-like and lustrous, the dark green leaves grow 2 to 4 inches long. Camellia shrubs prefer partial shade and well-drained soil that is moist, acidic and high in nutrients. The zones for planting are 7 to 9.
Blue Atlas Cedar
Blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica f. glauca) is an evergreen tree with a clump-like growth habit and moderate growth rate. Large and commanding, the blue atlas cedar reaches more than 30 feet high and wide, sometimes growing more than 100 feet tall. When young, the silver foliage turns a bright blue to light up the garden landscape. The overly pointed leaves on the blue atlas cedar are grown in whorls, and the silvery gray bark is fissured to create an unusual texture. Blue atlas cedar trees have cones that reach more than 4 inches long that begin green and slowly ripen to a light brown. Blue atlas cedars prefer open, full-sun sites and well-drained soil. Adaptable, blue atlas cedar trees are tolerant of a wide range of soils types. The zones for planting are 6 to 9.