Friday, 24 August 2012

Boxwood bonanza

I went to Home Depot yesterday to pick up some hooks, eyes and epoxy to make trellises and install guide wires for some of the roof garden's climbers.  Naturally, I couldn't resist a look in their nursery.  I was happy to see that they had a sale section with plants marked down to $4.  Among the sale plants were some small "Green Velvet" boxwoods.  I've been thinking about planting a boxwood hedge for the past month but the cost made me hold off in the hope that as other plants grew in, the boxwood wouldn't seem as necessary.  At $4 a pop, I loaded the ten healthiest plants into my cart.  I'm a strong woman but I can't resist a crisp and classic evergreen hedge for the price of a bouquet of cut flowers. 

The spot I had in mind for them was along the front edge of the stone patio.  I'd deliberately gone for something much more free form at the beginning of the season but for the past week or two it's just been looking like a mess. 

I think I need a little more structure, even if I then rough that structure up around the edges.  The sweet peas were on their last legs and the plants I selected weren't tall enough for the space.  I want to cover the beige part of the wall at a minimum, but probably have something that goes up as high as the top of the parapet wall, covering the black aluminum flashing.  (The boxwood is about 12" tall at the moment, needs to be about 18" to cover the beige part of the wall, and 24" to be level with the top of the parapet.  According to the label, 'Green Velvet' grows slowly and tops out at 3ft.)  Evergreen is a big bonus because the patio is front and center in the winter.  In the photo above I'd already torn out a big clump of sweet peas from the left (see foreground) before I thought to take a "before" picture.

It took a while to relocated the plants that were doing well, once the sweet peas were out.  The heuchera 'Caramel' rejoined its friends on the right side of the garden, the languishing epimedium 'Bandit's were re-situated in what I hope is a shadier place, etc, etc.  Here's what the area looked like once I cleaned it out:

Then in went the bargain boxwoods:

My idea is to ultimately train some climbers on the railing behind the boxwood hedge and tuck some small white annuals or perennial white perma-bloomers in front of it for constant color.  As you can see, my Clematis 'Sweet Autumn' is already encroaching nicely on the iron railing from the right hand side.  Maybe a large-flowered early-blooming clematis on the left?  By next summer I also hope to have a long, narrow high top dining table and chairs on the patio in front of the new hedge. 

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