While we like the odd bit of sharply clipped hedging – which is essentially a green wall – we have never been big fans of buxus. In fact we have both been known to scoff at it as possibly the world’s most boring and over-used plant. A few years ago when buxus blight first appeared in this country, we made plans and built up some camellia options for hedging instead.
We only had four short lengths of box hedging last week. Now we have one and that is a low layer of a tiered hedge. The buxus blight had not struck but we weren’t that happy with two of the buxus hedges which did not keep good colour. Besides, the camellias were getting somewhat too large in the field and needed moving.
The buxus was gone by lunchtime. That is our handy little tractor which was one of our better purchases 15 years ago.
Our choice for beside the driveway was Camellia transnokoensis which has very small leaves and a mass of tiny white flowers in season.
That is our Lloyd planting the new hedge this morning. He is hardier than both Mark and me. We do not go around with bare legs as autumn draws into winter. The plants went in at about 40cm spacings. We will keep the final height to around 120cm.
We cut the new hedges back by close to half. This reduces stress on the plants which will have undergone quite a shock with their move and we want to encourage them to bush up and grow densely, rather than the taller, willowy growth. It should only take one or two fresh growths and the hedges should look as if they have been there from the start.
We think we will be much happier with camellia hedges than the boring old buxus.