Messages posted to thread:

Karen29-Dec-02 08:54 PM EST 6a   
Susan29-Dec-02 09:10 PM EST 6a   
Budding Poet31-Dec-02 12:48 PM EST 5a   
Karen31-Dec-02 01:28 PM EST 6a   

Subject: Potager hedge
From: Karen
Zone: 6a
Date: 29-Dec-02 08:54 PM EST

I want to change my veggie garden to a formal potager. I've gone through pictures and books and have come up with a design that I think will look lovely, but there's a hitch. My design incorporates a hedge to surround the veggies. From my reading, I understand that a traditional plant for the hedge would be boxwood. They're lovely little shrubs, but cost about $30 per plant. I'll need around 30 to enclose my potager - I'm not made of money. Any suggestions for another low-growing perennial that can be clipped? I was thinking of lavendar.

Subject: RE: Potager hedge
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 29-Dec-02 09:10 PM EST

Lavender was the first thing I thought of too, but I don't know how it would look clipped. I've never clipped my lavender - it's in perennial beds and a 3x5' bed of its own... The second thing that came to mind was Rosemary. It clips well into hedge-like forms but it's not perennial here (most of the time anyway, although I have had it survive sometimes...) Even as an annual, you can usually pick it up pretty cheap in places like Home Depot's garden center or local grocery store temporary garden centers. I usually only pay $1-$%1.50 for rosemary plants so that wouldn't be too bad of an annual cost..... (and maybe you'll get lucky and some or all of them survive the winter!)

Subject: RE: Potager hedge
From: Budding Poet (
Zone: 5a
Date: 31-Dec-02 12:48 PM EST


I can almost hear the till tolling but why settle for less. There is a thrifty solution.

Several years ago while hiking down a country road in England( simply because it had the same name as a road I walk my Dachsies along on this side of the pond) I stumbled into the amazing garden and nursery of Geoff Hamilton. You may remember his wonderful series on the Ornamental Kitchen Garden. He was England’s favorite gardening expert - kind of like Canada’s Donna Dawson. His answer to your problem was to purchase one healthy boxwood and propagate it by half ripe cuttings. In five years you should have enough plants for a moderate hedge of several hundred plants. Are you sure you need only thirty boxwood for your parterre? At a six-inch spacing, that would only give you fifteen feet of hedge.

Subject: RE: Potager hedge
From: Karen
Zone: 6a
Date: 31-Dec-02 01:28 PM EST

Hiya Bud and Susan.

How lucky for you to stumble across something so fabulous, Bud! And thanks for the great idea. Think I'll try that. In the meantime, I will also plant lavendar for an immediate effect. (I'm an immediate gratification kind of gal :-) And I also love lavendar.) I've tried rosemary in my herb bed a couple of times and it can't last over the winter, even with lots of shelter.

As for the calculations - it's a tiny plot, only about 5 x 8, and I had planned to plant 2 sides of it only. The other sides are bordered by a garage and trellis, which I plan to cover with a tie-down rose (John Cabot). The rose is already there, just needs some training. With taller plants at the back, a hedge would be hidden anyway.

I'm a relatively new gardener. We moved into this house 3 years ago, and lived in apartments before that. I'm not sure what you mean by "half-ripe cuttings." Elaborate?


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