I want to share with you some photos of a box hedge design I planted last year. The area was a herb garden. It looked good for a few months of the year. But as the herbs grew, it began to look very tatty. Mint was running rampant, the chives looked a soggy mess after any rain shower and the rosmary and thyme exerted their dominance over all the smaller herbs creating a very unbalanced garden. In winter the herbs were cut back, creating a ugly, twiggy mass that did nothing to raise the homeowners’ spirits during the dark and dreary winter months.
However under the herbs there was evidence of borders that had been created in an interesting pattern. And in the centre of the herb garden was a box plant that once would have been shaped as a ball but became the favourite pee post of the owner’s dog. He has now passed away and the two female dogs currently in residence don’t poise such a threat to the growth of the box.
The herb garden was cleared and the edges of borders raised using a hard limestone that will fade to complement the colour of the stonework of the house. Topsoil was added to the borders and then planted with bare root box hedging.
The top of the box hedging has now been trimmed to develop bushy side growth and encourage the plants to thicken. And new growth is also being encouraged on the abused box ball in the centre with regular fertilising and careful trimming. The box is treated twice a year with a fungicide to discourage box blight and sprayed with TopBuxus fertiliser during the growing season.
Within a couple of years each border section of the design will be a solid block of box hedging, with the box ball at the centre. The area now looks good all year round, from ground level and looking down on the design from the upstairs windows of the house.