Sandhurst Garden Design

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Euphorbia in garden

Here at Sandhurst Garden Design, we are having an extremely busy Spring. If you are planning a garden make-over or considering updating your borders, then contact me to discuss your ideas.

At this time of year, the Euphorbia is looking glorious in the garden. This versatile perennial shrub looks fabulous planted with tulips in the spring border but is equally at home in a sunny summer border, gravel garden or in an area with some shade.

These architectural plants are part of the spurge family. They are easy to grow, require minimal maintenance and will make a great addition to your garden, providing a long period of interest to your borders.

The flower of the euphorbia is a called a bract which gives the plant its colour from the zingy lime of Euphorbia characias wulfenii to the red/orange of Griffithii ‘Fireglow’, and there is one to suit any colour theme to enhance your planting scheme.

Several of the varieties are evergreen giving important structure and form to your borders during the winter, other varieties like epithymoides polychroma die back during the winter months to below ground level and in the spring, produce masses of new shoots.

A good choice for a sunny site, and if you have the space, is the striking Euphorbia characias wulfenii with its blue/green leaves and acid yellow flowers in the spring. The garden designer Gertrude Jekyll described this plant as ‘one of the grandest of plants’, so it was clearly a favourite.

This fast-growing plant grows to about H 1.20 m and is fully hardy and is perfect for growing in a gravel garden, as once it is established is drought tolerant.

If you have a spot in your garden which is in partial shade, then a good choice would be Amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’. This compact variety produces an acid yellow flower on stems that have deep purple leaves that looks great planted with Hellebores or the purple leaves of Heuchera ‘Purple Palace’. H 30cms

If the theme of your summer borders is the hot orange and red colours then why not consider adding Euphorbia Griffithii ‘Fireglow’? This striking plant will stand out in any border with its dark green leaves, outlined in an orange/red that turns to a yellow in autumn. This plant looks great planted with grasses to give a contrast in texture to your planting. H 90cms

Finally, on a note of caution always wear gloves when handling any Euphorbia. This plant has a milky sap which may cause irritation to your skin and is very harmful to your eyes, but do not let that put you off, treat it with respect and it will grace your garden with colour and elegance.

Until next time

Julie

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