You grow these shrubs purely for the leaf colour, so it’s a plant for the background as well a plant you can use to use as a contrast for other plants you have.


These are not the hardiest of plants, but can cope with our winters as long as they have some protection from the worst of the elements.


If you have a spot for one though, they really are worthwhile having, they also require very little gardening effort all year, so are a useful garden plant to have.


There are some large varieties and also some small ones, we’ve used one of the smaller varieties in the following designs:


FF sun 4 no-sneeze-garden black and cream cubres & balls


All gardens need backbones, something reliable, attractive, dependable and colourful, with a little thought, you can have a better backbone than more usual ones, (conifers, privet, forsythia, laurel). 


I think pittosporums are really good at this, I know wet cold soils can ‘do them in’ but even in colder gardens with a little protection from the weather by way of a wall or windbreak, pittosporums can really perform. 


There are big ones and little ones, grey ones, greeny yellow ones, shiny green ones and my absolute favourite is a shiny purple black one.


This has bright green leaves in spring that turn a deep shiny purple black – it needs a bit of shelter, but its really fab and much less boring than a privet hedge!


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