In April of 2014 I wrote a blog about the history of Cloud Pruning and offered some basic guidelines. Shortly afterward, I had the good fortune of designing a front yard in which the client ask me to include the English Boxwood, Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa” , into the design. The final intent would be to create several boxwood “clouds”.
The first thing I did was to source the various sizes of round shaped Boxwoods available. I found the following sizes –
5 gallon – 18” wide
7 gallon – 26” wide
15 gallon – 30” wide
The larger the boxwood the more convincing and dramatic the final outcome will be. By using the three different sizes, I was able to create a “get the look quick” scenario. I took great care in placing the boxwood so that the groups appeared to be natural or “cloud like”. The billowy boxwood “clouds” are now the back bone of this garden and take center stage. Too often boxwoods are relegated to a hedge along the property line or along the edge of a colorful flower bed.
I carried the boxwood theme to the three extra-large Zinc planters purchased from Restoration Hardware. The boxwoods in the containers and in the front yard planting beds relate to the curved walls of this modern home. The containers also give a classic and clean look to the unique front door.
The new planting also includes Lavender “Lavandula intermedia “Grosso”, Santolina chamaecyparissus “Nana” and Leptospermum scoparium ‘Snow White”. These three plants were purposely selected due to their nature of accepting annual pruning. With time, they will be hand pruned into soft grey-green pillows. The lavender will maintain a “sphere” shape even when in full bloom as seen in the photo below of another garden three years after installation.
A mix of textures and the play of light on the carefully shaped shrubs will create a peaceful and meditative space. I will compose a follow up blog later in the year as the garden grows and include growing and pruning advice.