There are two lessons I have learned about shrubs that I would like to share with you.
1. Only plant Boxwood.
2. Only plant in the spring.
There you have it. Now, let me tell you what the heck I am talking about.
I know I have probably said this before and have trouble following my own advice, but I really mean it this time. I am only going to plant Boxwood from now on. No matter how “deer resistant” you think a shrub is, it probably isn’t. Everybody says that Holly is deer resistant. Guess what? It isn’t. Deer like to nibble on the ends of the branches. It drives me up a wall. I had to go out today to pick up some of that deer netting to put over the Holly bushes. As far as I know, Boxwood is the only shrub that’s deer resistant (well, besides Juniper), and I am going on personal experience here. I have never had a deer nibble on any boxwood shrub I have ever planted. Everything else…yeah.
The next lesson has to do with when to plant your shrubs. I have planted in both spring and fall, but spring planting works out much better, in my opinion. See, if you plant in the spring, the plant has time to grow and mature its sensitive little twigs that were over-fertilized by the nursery. All that new growth has time during the growing season to harden up. If you plant in the autumn, all that new growth dies. Period. It just does. Those nights in mid-January that offer us those wonderfully chilly sub-zero temperatures do a wonder on new shrubs. I have about six Boxwood shrubs sitting outside in the dirt right now with dead top halves. It’s pretty funny to look at. Top half brown, bottom half green. The good thing is that I expect these plants to take off this year and will most likely grown right through the dead areas.
Okay, since Home Depot had Boxwood shrubs in stock and it’s spring, I decided to grab a few today. Actually, I grabbed eight of them. I am going to plant three of them in that new mulch area next to the driveway and five of them in a row almost under the porch in the back yard. They are going to look really cool when they grow larger.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the Green Velvet Boxwood is “a hybrid of Korean Boxwood (for hardiness and compactness) and Common Boxwood (for excellent leaf color in both summer and winter).” You can read the rest of the description here.
Here is what I bought today.