Box Blight, so disappointing, fortunately the Box Topiary is still looking healthy.
For the past three years we have spent a lot of time transforming the back garden. Previously the emphasis was on a garden that looked good in Summer.
Our hard work had been successful and the garden looked great even in the dullest of Winter days. However our four seasons garden took a really bad blow.
A major part of the new theme was the introduction of Box hedging and topiary, and as you have possibly guessed we were struck with the dreaded Box blight.
Part of the hedging within a couple of weeks of noticing the problem died off completely. I suspect that I had been over enthusiastic with the pruning.
I came across an article by Monty Don which covers this problem in an interesting and very helpful manner. Click on Montys link below
In Spring 2009, unfortunately we had to remove the Box, it had become such an eyesore. We decided to plant a new hedge, replacing with Box obviously would have been foolhardy. After narrowing down to a couple of options we made our decision. The first and possibly the preferred choice for appearance was Ilex Crenata, a slow growing evergreen Holly from Japan. This non prickly plant is described as frost hardy, has tiny leaves like Box and I promise it would be hard to tell them apart, I just had my doubts if it would be hardy enough for the Aberdeen area.
Our second option was the one we have settled for, Taxus Baccata (Yew). Well ok the price of this one suited our pockets best and although Yew is not so similar to Box, the plant is extremely hardy looks good and constantly is used for topiary and hedging. Initially the young plants have a loose straggly habit which firms up nicely after several trims.
My intention is to keep this hedge at about fourteen inches tall, more often if a short hedge is required Yew is usually grown to twenty four inches. However I have reason to believe that this plant which can be rejuvenated by cutting back to stumps after decades of being in the ground will behave well enough if kept dwarfed. unless of course anyone knows differently.
If you are interested in purchasing Yew hedging here is a link for the company which I used, I am very confident in recommending them.
Yew Hedgeing at Scotplants
Here below, three years later is the Yew hedge, I have actually been keeping it at 12″ high.