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Dear Diarmuid, I have a raised flower bed under my kitchen window. I would like some evergreen plants in it. My problem is the sewer is only about a metre from this bed so I can't use shrubs with roots that go too deep. Would ornamental grasses be OK and, if so, what type? Carol Doust, London Hi Carol, A lot of ornamental grasses die back during winter. Some have beautiful seed heads, but if you are looking for evergreen, I would choose Carex, which is a sedge.

It's a no-fuss plant that needs minimal maintenance, is tolerant of most soils and generally problem-free. It comes in a good selection of colours from the beautiful lush green of Carex evergreen, through to yellow colours of Bowles' golden sedge or the red fiery Carex testacea.

There's also the Carex comans bronze, whose fronds curl a bit, and an Everest with white-striped foliage. In spring, gently rake or comb through to remove dead bits. You can chop back for fresh growth but there's no need until they get scrappy- looking. So maybe do it every few years.


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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 22, 2014
Previous Article:JOBS for the week; IN THE GARDEN.
Next Article:TIMEFOR EVERGREENS; Enjoy year-round foliage by stocking your garden with a range of evergreen leaf shapes, textures and variegations.

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