soft pink roses climb an arbor with boxwood shrubs and a pea gravel pad beneath
Photo: Mark Lohman
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1. Fill Out Problem Areas in the Yard

It would be hard to keep a tidy year-round planting of perennials under the heavy shade of this rose arbor. A small pea-gravel pad edged with clipped boxwood solves the problem without detracting from the glorious blooms of the climbing 'Eden' rose above it. In late summer, when the rose stops blooming, the area becomes a restful green oasis with a more restrained, formal feeling. Use ball or square shaped hedges to mark the entrance to a path or frame a sight line.

TOH Tip: The best hedging plants reliably make leaf buds on old wood, that is, on previous years' growth instead of sprouting only on new branches. This way, if you cut back older sections, new leaves will sprout readily. Boxwood (especially Buxus sempervirens), English holly, common myrtle, English laurel, copper beech, and Irish yew should also bud from the bottom to the top so that there is leaf coverage all the way up. Not all shrubs do this, so you tend to see the same hedging plants used again and again.
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