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Thursday, April 10, 2008

I goofed...advice needed!

Well I think I've had made a huge blunder. Last year I did a landscape design for a lady who wanted to rip out her boxwoods and replace them with flowering shrubs. She asked me if I would like to have the boxwoods and since my foundation shrubs were really ratty, I accepted. Mind you, this was in August. I brought the mature boxwoods home, planted them immediately and proceeded to water them like mad (remember there was a drought last year). They survived but there was quite a lot of dead growth near the bottom. I decided I would try to rejuvenate them this year by cutting them back severely. A few days later, I read somewhere that boxwoods should not be pruned so drastically because they are such slow growers. Oops!

Now I'm stuck with this - dreadful, no?



I didn't cut back as much on the other side because of what I had learned - still, this is such a pathetic sight.




Now of course I'm just sick and can't decide if I should just pull them out and plant something else or wait, endure this ugliness and give them a chance.

My question to you is - what would you do?

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17 comments:

  1. I wish I could help, but I don't know anything about Boxwoods. Maybe they'll surprise you and your pruning may not have been an unfortunate mistake. Is there some way you can plant around them to move the focus off them until they've had a few years to fill out? Or why not just rip them out? (I'd probably do that - they were a free offering, so it isn't as if you'll have lost anything, except for your labour.

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  2. Only one thing to do, rip those guys out and chalk one up to experience. This is not some experimental bed, it is your foundation planting, right, high visiblility. I love boxwoods, use the dwarf 'Wintergreen' for my knot garden. Available at Lowe's, grows three by three unpruned, so they don't get too large and are fairly fast growers as boxwoods go.

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  3. I think Frances and Kate are right take them out. You will look at them all year long and instead of enjoying your lovely garden all you'll see are the stubby boxwoods.

    Gail

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  4. I bought my first shrubs last year, planted them and didn't need to water them because we had 40 days straight of rain. So.. once the rain stopped I didn't water them... because I never had to.. and they died.. or so I thought. All the leaves were gone and they were ugly.. but I didn't pull them and they stayed ugly for the whole winter.. and now they are coming back with all new leaves :D :D :D

    As others have said you can pull them because technically they were free..but you would have to spend money to replace them...

    so ultimately it comes down to do you have more time than money or vice versa? Hehe!!

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  5. You could take them out and trim the roots systems then pot them up until they look better. It might be more trouble than it's worth though.

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  6. Hi Phillip !
    Thank you for stopping by my blog : )... I'm just reading and thinking about your dilemma .. if it was my situation, I'm afraid I would rip them out too .. they were a free item so it isn't going to cost anything in one aspect .. the other problem would be having to see this bad situation constantly .. waiting for something good to grow .. life is too short ! .. Take them out and get something you would really like to see there full force !
    Treat yourself Phillip .. go for it !
    Joy

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  7. I appreciate all the advice. I suppose I can now think about what I should replace them with. I would love something evergreen and blooming, maybe azaleas? Decisions, decisions.

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  8. Hey, you've got a great start on a bonsai. ;^) I saw a gorgeous yellow & green variegated Osmanthus. If I wasn't in Zone 5, I'd grow it. That might work for you though.

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  9. I transplanted some boxwoods about 3 years ago, they lost all the foliage on the bottom of each bush, it's taken about three years for them to look right. Good Luck

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  10. I'd probably rip them out too. I transplanted 11 five foot boxwoods hearing somewhere they transplant easily. This was in 2003. Today there are two left and I just recently ripped out two more. They did have new growth but it was pitiful and not worth it with so many more good plants. Good luck! Don't believe the garden books that say you can transplant them easily. This same book said barberries are hard to transplant. I acquired 3 five footers the same time and THEY all survived. Go figure.

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  11. They've had enough shock. Just let them alone and see if new growth starts. I've planted quite a few and some are fast growers so don't despair yet. Since you probably cut many of the roots when digging them up it will take time for the plants to develop new roots if they are indeed still alive. They are tough plants so I would give them a chance.

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  12. Where is this hedge, Phillip? Do you actually see it all the time? That would be a deciding factor for how patient I could be - how often I'd have to face the stumps!

    When you planted it did you water it in with one of those transplant solutions that are supposed to kickstart the roots?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  13. I would just say rip them out and learn from it. Why suffer looking at stumps when you can just get new shrubs to put in their place. If you don't want to throw them out do what someone else suggest and pot them up to use later when they come back.

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  14. I like the soft grey of the house and the colonial feeling of the paned windows and siding.A border with grey foliage such as Artemesia "Powis castle" and white and blue flowers...tall spikes of canterbury bells, larkspur,or Campanula pyramidalis for instance to contribute to the old fashioned quality. Another rift could be even more vibrant, with contrasting foliage in lime green and bronze-red foliage.Whaterever you do, it will sure to be beautiful!

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  15. I'd probably move and change my name so they couldn't find me again.

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  16. I'd love to see you post what you ended up doing with these. One suggestion I didn't see: how about putting some pots of annuals around them until you can tell if they will rally or not? It would give you something nice to distract the eyes from the nekkid bushes.

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  17. Boxwoods are indeed slow growers, but if the branches you cut off were dead, then you haven't lost anything and will have prevented insects and disease from getting a foot-hold.
    Feed and water, and just think of other things. The shrubs may recover quicker than you think, and will be bigger plants than if you'd started with gallon sized plants.

    I would NOT rip them out! If you do, send them to meeee ;-)

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