October 4, 2012

Topiary for the shade (or, what not to do with English Box)

I've had some lovely emails and comments wondering why the blog has been so quite lately. I can assure you the renovation hasn't stopped! Farmer Joe and I have been slogging it out in the garden, and while the work is important, it isn't terribly bloggable. However, I've put together a couple of posts to show you some of the projects we've been working on.

Some of you may remember my dismay when the large and expensive English Box topiaries flanking our front door took a turn a few weeks before Christmas. Recently, a kind nursery staffer gave me some advice that I wish I had heard $400 ago: English Box won't grow in complete shade. To recreate the large topiary ball 'look' with a plant that would actually survive, she suggested Chinese Star Jasmine grown over a round chicken-wire frame. While I'm sure the finished product would look lovely, I don't fancy having chicken wire greeting me at the front door each day. So, I've up-scaled the idea and replaced the chicken-wire with rusted wire sculptures by Manning Sculptures.  

By securing the sculptures inside the pot and planting the Jasmine at the base, the vine will eventually grow to cover the ball completely. Meanwhile, we have a lovely and constantly changing piece of art to enjoy.

In other garden news, the first flowering trees we planted two and a half years ago are finally rewarding us with a spectacular display of blossoms...

It's a great time to be in the garden!


  1. I love the balls Brooke! Might need to get some for my front pots. I can not get anything to survive in them and have been told I am not allowed to buy another live plant for them. Expensive lessons learnt here too. Glad to see you back I had been wondering where you were! xx

  2. ooohhh... so good to know re: boxwoods. I just purchased two for pots on my deck - luckily, lots of sun back there all year. However, we live near Lake Erie and I will have to baby them through the winter. Fingers crossed! Hope your new topiaries work out for you - looks like they will be lovely!

  3. They look so nice. I chose something similar for my mothers garden entrance as well! They look amazing!

    Welcome back!


  4. Gorgeous B! I love a good blossom tree:)

    Abbey x

  5. Hi Brooke,
    I don't blame you for not wanting to see chicken wire at the front door. Your wire sculptures are so much nicer.

  6. Ooo great to hear you online again Brooke. Was on the verge of emailing you as well, but went away myself! Love your sculptures and is the perfect way to grow vines. Looking forward to seeing some garden photos when you have something bloggable! xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)


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