(Photography by Kevin O’Gara)
This past weekend we took some time to take care of Tye Street’s curb appeal, and bring in some new plants that would create the foundation for a beautiful, classic garden in the two beds that line the front of the house. One of my favorite plants and a bush that makes a great backdrop or border for garden beds is the boxwood. While they take a bit of investment and patience to grow, their small leaves and branches make them a beautiful hedge bush and easy to shape. Since they’re so dense and have a broader shape, they were perfect for placing against the porch as eventually they will grow in to cover the old lattice and cinderblocks at the base of the house. The Winter Gem boxwoods we planted from Monrovia are also ideal since they’re one of the hardiest boxwood varieties. Boxwoods are one of my favorite shrubs because they’re very versatile, and can mix well into contemporary or cottage style gardens. For my dad’s house, I wanted it to keep a more simple, contemporary style in the garden while using all of the classic Southern plants I explored my last post with Monrovia. I also wanted to celebrate Monrovia’s 90th anniversary – that’s a long time to be growing beautiful plants for our gardens!
I ordered the boxwoods straight from the Monrovia website, and picked them up at a local garden center. The Winter Gem boxwoods have a moderate growth rate and can up to 4-6 feet in diameter when unpruned. For this variety, they grow both outwards and upwards, and should be planted about 2-3 feet apart. Since Monrovia’s been around for 90 years, you can be sure their plants come with instructions that will ensure a healthy plant. You can also check out their website for more information on growing boxwoods!
It’s important to follow the planting instructions provided to ensure your new bush (or whatever type of plant your adding) can successfully adapt to the new environment. These boxwoods required digging a hole about three times bigger than the pot, which helps ensure that the soil around the plant is loose and aerated. It also makes it easy for the bush’s roots to stretch out through the new soil. After planting, you’ll want to give all your bushes a good soak to settle them in. It’s also recommended to apply mulch to the top of the soil, which also has its aesthetic benefits.
The only existing plants before this were a hydrangea bush and a Jasmine vine that we planted last summer. It’s just started to stretch up through the porch railing, and as it grows larger, the incredible smell of the flowers will get better and better! We planted a new Jasmine plant on the opposite side of the house to mirror this one, and will be adding another hydrangea on the other side of the steps soon.
It’s amazing how different the house looks with the addition of these shrubs, even if they’ve got a lot of growing to do! Just weeding and mulching the beds made a huge difference, but the addition of the bright green bushes gives the promise of more to come as they all grow in. Do you have boxwoods in your own garden or patio?