Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Boxwood Garden

I want to show some pics of the Boxwood Garden.  Sometimes I forget how much things have really changed around here over the years.  Then I run across old photos and I’m reminded we do actually get off our asses and get things accomplished once in awhile. 

And related, I want to show you my favorite new yard toy.  If you have a man in your life this is the perfect Father’s Day gift - assuming you have foliage in your yard that needs attention.  Also, if your guy has a tendency to be a tad lazy sometimes, like yours truly – even better.  These are very lightweight and easy to use.  In fact, if he’s very lazy and you generally consider him to be useless around the house and your intent is not to live in a Grey Gardens environment, these are lightweight enough for anyone to handle with no problem.  They’re from Greenworks.  You can order them online @ 

There are a couple of different options, i.e. battery size etc… And the site will tell you if there's a dealer in your area.

I’m into hedges, so there’s lots of trimming that needs to take place here on the farm.  Early on we stopped buying basic run of the mill power tools.  The cheap stuff doesn’t last around here.  Like most guys I like power tools, especially the ones that cut and mow things down.  My problem isn’t being able to use them; it’s taking the time to do the required maintenance to ensure their continued use.  I generally treat power tools like I do automobiles.  I use it until it stops, then I go get another one similar to the one I just broke.  Sometimes I don’t know if I’m more of an Oliver Wendell Douglass or more Lisa!

We already had a pair of industrial strength hedge trimmers.  The kind with an eight foot extended pole, gas powered and with a giant strap-on harness.  After about 15 minutes of using them you felt like you were going to pass out! 

See this picture of the boxwood garden.  That was about 10 years ago.  I copied it after a friend’s in California.  He used traditional American Boxwoods, which are slow growing.  I don’t have that kind of patience so I used Korean Boxwoods, which grow like weeds.  The next photo is the Boxwood Garden today taken from the same spot.  It really should be trimmed back about 3 times a year.  With the big trimmers I could usually manage to do it about twice a year.  And I dreaded it so much; I would put it off way too long.  It usually took all weekend.  Every 30 minutes I’d have to rest or die.  Then it would take an hour to get the trimmers cranked again.  Afterwards I’d be overcome with gas fumes, unable to stand up straight and my body would vibrate uncontrollably for 2 days. 

So when C told me he was going to waste money order an environmentally conscience battery powered trimmer online, I assumed they would not cut anything and break in about a week.  Actually, I assumed they would show up broken straight out of the box. 

But I was wrong.  This sucker works great.  I cut the boxwood garden in a couple of hours over Memorial Day Weekend.  Actually I started on Saturday and finished on Sunday, because with continuous use the battery only last about 90 minutes.  But it recharges quick enough and I finished up the next morning. The whole thing took about less than 3 hours including cleaning the paths and raking up all the trimmings.  Besides, if you need to cut for longer than 90 minutes at a time, hire a gardener. 

I trimmed all kind of things last weekend.  I would show you before and after pics, but I was so eager to get outside and use my trimmers that I forgot to take before pics.  Maybe it will also work for your guy too.

Oh…here are more before and after shots of the Boxwood Garden.

This is the second fall season after planting all 250 plus plants. 
The white picket fence was replaced with a new brick and wood panel taller version.

And today.  The fence panels are now white and with no curved top.
There's a 3 car parking pad on the opposite side of the fence.
Gates have been added and the fence now extends into
the front garden.

This spot was a driveway when we firsted moved here.  I didn't
like how it was positioned and it was slightly lower than
the side yard, so the boxwood garden was born.
The same view today which is now from the side walkway.  You can see a bit of
of how the side and front gardens have been relandscaped.


  1. Are you kidding me? That's gorgeous. I want to eventually rip out my cottage garden for something more formal. I would love to do something like this.

    Thanks also for your kind comments about the guest room. I know it's a little out there but I'm trying to do something that's honest and unique that people haven't seen before. I appreciate the open-mindedness. Some people aren't so kind.

  2. Where did you get 250 boxwood? mail order as well? (source)

  3. Anon,
    I should have sourced them from a wholesale nursey, but at the time I didn't know any better. So, everytime I passed a home improvement store I bought all they had, which was usually 25 or 30. At one point I had the store order the last 50 or so for me. Also, the garden was planted over one spring & summer season and not all at once. I started in March and finished up around October.

  4. ok, this is getting to be too much.........where do your talents end?
    love a good boxwood garden and yours is stunning!

  5. not sure how i could have missed this. i adore boxwood gardens and i'm so jealous. i seem to reside in a state of jealousy lately and it's not pretty. omg, this garden is so, so beautiful! and i love the little shaded area at the end with the table and chairs. you live in a proper paradise.


  6. We love a boxwood garden and yours is so chic! Love it! Thanks for sharing.
    xo E + J

  7. this looks great, good things come to those who wait-this is where designers and clients get lost, they just don't understand it unless it's instant. your wait was worth it.

  8. As an unintentional killer of anything green, I bow to you, Sir. That is one amazing garden!

  9. Enter GreenWorks Tools Father's Day Giveaway for a chance to win a GreenWorks Pressure Washer for your dad! Just visit our webpage:

  10. Good this be any more glorious?
    LOVE it. It's amazing how the boxwood have transformed through the years.
    I would find so much pleasure walking into and by this beautiful space in my yard.... it is truly breath-taking.
    So glad I found you today!


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