When our privet was first planted, the fledgling hedglings didn't touch. A few years later it's not possible to tell where one bush begins and the other ends. When it came time for the first haircut, I insisted I wished to mimic a "hedge" nearby where each individual boxwood had been cut into a perfect globe, like a procession of green bowling balls. Mike, who'd installed the hedge, patiently explained to me how much excess work I was inviting with those green meatballs--once I committed to carving up the shrubs, there was no going back. I'm thankful for his advice. Life's busy enough.
Consider the location when chosing the shrub. Boxwoods do best with morning sunlight but they'll become sparse in full shade and grow pale in full sun.. Boxwoods are prized for their shiny flat broad leaves which stay green through winter, the color deeping into a blue green tone in cold weather. Clippings inserted in flower arrangements last for weeks. Wintergreen boxwood are well suited for zones five to eight. Emerald Jewel Boxwood is more diminutive, but stays fuller at the bottom.
Junipers can be restrained into hedge formation and thrive in locations with lots of direct sunlight.
hydrangea create a bilious effect, or rhododendrons give a smart pop of color each spring.
The key to maintaining hedge fullness--thin out thick areas by hand, and taper the top of the shrub a few inches. Be sure to "bevel" the top edges when trimming to allow sunlight to reach the bottom branches, avoiding the "crewcut" look. Sharpen handshears with the Shark to avoid bruising leaves which could cause brown edges for a few weeks. Brush the plant lightly afterwards to evict chopped foliage. Don't panic if one section looks a bit lower than it should, or the van doesn't quite stop in time. Minor indentations fill in quickly. Shrubbery flubbery is rarely permanent.
|Hydrangea Hedge Zone 5|
More Articles of Interest:
Shrubbery Flubbery -- The Effect of Ice and Snow on Evergreens
No More Bad Haircuts -- How to Trim Shrubs
Rockery and Roll -- Xeriscape Gardening