New Haven (WTNH) - Lifestyle expert Mar Jennings was back this morning with theessential starting point for any garden design: the boxwood.
The following was written by Mar Jennings:
Want to start your garden design? Begin with the boxwood. Peopleare often surprised that I have over five hundred that surround myhome. One might think with all these boxwoods I would have a gardenas far as the eye can see, but in fact, it's less than a quarteracre. Needless to say, for its official "size" it is loaded withboxwoods which anchor the entire property. They are, for me, thefoundation of any four season garden. The classic boxwood (Buxux)is an excellent shrub that can be used in many different ways.Often used as a border, boxwoods add an evergreen pop to a formalor casual garden, making it come to life even in the dead ofwinter.
So how can one begin planning a garden using this beautifulhardy shrub? Not to worry, Mar is here!
First and foremost, one does not need to overpay for boxwoods.Visit your local garden center for the best prices. Late fall is agreat time to negotiate with the nurseries as most will be 30-40percent off, but trust me you can do even better if you ask.
Assuming you have found boxwoods, now is one or two enough? Heckno, but it is a great way to start. Just like people build theirrelationship by giving them lots of company, your boxwoods respondto the same thing: boxwood company, that is. The more themerrier.
The idea is to begin with something that provides balance andinterest, then add color and texture as you build your garden. Ifind it hard to walk away from a well-priced boxwood and if it is atopiary shape then I'm in real trouble. That said, the boxwoodcould very well be your first step/investment to your gardendesign. Dwarf boxwood are excellent for a small hedge, while largeboxwood are perfect for balancing a doorway or scattered throughoutthe garden.
My garden is filled with color and details throughout. I simplybegan with 20 two gallon boxwood filling my car and by makingseveral trips as I refuse to pay the delivery charge. If you shouldbe so lucky to have a friend with a truck, borrow the truck! But dothe right thing: take it to the car wash when you are done- betteryet, wash it yourself for extra credit. I've been doing this for along time, otherwise my "truck friends" seem to disappear when theyhear I'm doing some gardening.
My collection continues to grow and now also includes plantersthat I winter over in the studio, but just like you I began with aplan of action to have a fabulous garden anchored by theboxwood.
I knew that this would only be the beginning as my affair withthe boxwood continues today. I buy the boxwood for their lush densegreen leaves but even better I enjoy the fact that the deer won'teat them. Yeah! Good for you, good for me, and even better forpeople that have deer issues.
A special note - if you find that your boxwood needs to bepruned several times within the season in order to keep its sizeappropriate for the space, you should probably move it or replacedit with a smaller variety. Boxwoods can be selected to growanywhere from two to fifteen feet, so simply ask before youpurchase. Getting the right one for your garden will ease themaintenance process. Choose your boxwood carefully understandingtheir particular growth habits and any space restrictions you mayhave. When in doubt, read the label!
But don't clip too early! If your boxwoods are immature andstill growing into their maximum height, you will want to let thenew growth remain for a year or two so that it gets establishedbefore you introduce it to the hedge clippers.
The constant beauty of the boxwood reminds me that no matterwhat time of year it is they are there for me. Today my investmenthas literally grown-they have reach sizes that I could never affordto buy as new. Everyone is greeted by my large, almost-endlesscollection, and most comment on just how amazing they are. Don't beafraid to start small; in time you, too, can have the same.
For more information and great tips, visit Mar's website at www.marjennings.com
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