Flat and trailing evergreen shrubs

Updated July 19, 2017

Evergreen shrubs provide year-round colour to landscapes, retaining most of their foliage to create constant vibrancy and texture. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, flat, trailing evergreen shrubs help to fill in low areas of flowerbeds and borders and can be planted in rock gardens or used as a ground cover in gardens.

Blue Rug Juniper

Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Wiltonii) is an evergreen shrub that has a rapid growth rate and dense, compact form with trailing branches. Low-growing, it reaches a maximum height of 15 cm (6 inches) and a spread of 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 feet). It can be grown as a ground cover. The plant features small, silver to blue foliage that appears closely along the stem and casts a purple tinge in winter. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil in throughout the British Isles.

Rockspray Cotoneaseter

Rockspray Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis) is a semi-evergreen shrub with a dense, coarse habit and flat, horizontal branches that become tiered over time. The plant grows up to 90 cm (3 feet) tall and 1.5 to 2.4 m (5 to 8 feet) wide. It features dark green leaves that are glossy and remain attractive throughout the growing season. In autumn, its foliage turns red to purple. The small pink flowers of Rockspray Cotoneaster that appear in early summer on new growth attract bumblebees. Following the flowers are the bright, scarlet-red fruit that mature in summer and last until autumn. Rockspray Cotoneaster grows best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moist soil. Hardy, it tolerates a wide range of site conditions and, once established, is drought-tolerant. It grows best in the colder parts of Scotland.

Purpleleaf wintercreeper

Purpleleaf wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei Colorata) is a rapidly growing evergreen shrub with a trailing, dense form and vigorous growth rate. It grows up to 45 cm (1 1/2 feet) tall and has a spread of 60 cm to 1.5 m (2 to 5 feet). The shrub's 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inch) wide, glossy green foliage casts a red and purple colour in autumn. Purple wintercreeper features green flowers, but it is grown for its evergreen foliage. It does best in full sun to partial shade. Tolerating a wide range of soil types, it thrives in well-drained, moist soil and can be grown throughout the UK.

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About the Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.