Plant of the Month
October 31, 2020 by James Cooper
As autumn starts to establish itself on the garden it is vital to have plants which will continue to contribute to the structure and colour of the landscape. This month we have gone for Rhamnus alaternus ‘Argenteovariagata’ – quite a mouthful of a name but a real star at this time of year.
An evergreen shrub originally from the Mediterranean region this Rhamnus is one of the most versatile plants. If left untouched it will form a large, rounded shrub of 4mx4m which has real presence and is useful for a central shrub in a large border scheme. We prefer to use it as a wall shrub where it will quickly cover a sunny wall or fence with bright variagated foliage.
Whilst it will resent being planted in the colder parts of the country it has proven to be hardy in the south east, particularly in seaside areas where it can be planted as a hedge.
The picture above shows a Rhamnus teamed with a Trachelospurnum jasminoides on a south facing fence. The Rhamnus will outcompete the Trachelospurnum so regular trimming is needed to keep the two compatible.
Rhamnus prefer to be planted in well drained soil, although they aren’t too fussy. We always position them to get a good degree of sun.
We like to team up with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ planted at the base of a wall trained Rhamnus which will bring an attractive autumn addition to the garden.
Whilst the Rhamnus may be a little difficult to come by, they are worth searching out.