Evergreen shrubs retain their leaves all year round, in contrast to deciduous bushes that lose their foliage in the autumn before coming back into leaf again in the spring. It’s normally considered best practice to incorporate a mix of evergreen and deciduous shrubs into your borders with evergreen varieties particularly important to provide a consistent, year-round framework and maintain the structure, colour and interest in your garden even when deciduous plants are little more than bare stems. Evergreens are not only important for the appearance of your borders, but also provide year-round cover and protection for other residents of your garden such as birds, beneficial insects and small mammals. There are hundreds of types of evergreen bushes in varying foliage colours and every possible shape and size. While they generally tolerate a range of conditions, make sure the plant you choose is suitable for your site and situation, particularly in terms of aspect, soil type and hardiness. A common mistake is to impulse buy a plant that looks great in the photos without giving consideration to how its eventual height and spread compares to the space you have available, so it’s worth giving this some consideration too. Many evergreen shrubs produce beautiful flowers and autumn berries or fruits, so while they don’t offer the autumn foliage colours of deciduous varieties, there can still be plenty of seasonal interest to be enjoyed.