Hedging our bets

Box blight prompts Fountain planting overhaul
The low, formal hedges of box, Buxus sempervirens that encircle the Fountain have succumbed to box blight, a fungal infection that causes unsightly patches of die-back and severe brown discoloration. Box, an evergreen plant, has long been used for topiary and hedging but there are no effective treatments for box blight and resistant forms of Busxus have not, as yet, been identified.

This week, the Demonstration and Display team have grubbed out the box circle and, having dug over and prepared the beds, will be re-planting with Nepeta 'Walker's Low' to create a textured, evergrey border to the Fountain. This versatile plant with mid-blue flowers in early summer is used in combination with Stipa gigantea and Phlomis russeliana in the flanking beds.

This planting will make a quickly effective stopgap until plants of Berberis, which are being grown on behind-the-scenes, are ready for planting out. The Berberis, like the box, can be clipped to shape, and will restore the formal edging that echoes the circular portland stone wall of the Fountain.
Publication Date