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Planting a new box parterre

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Work on the new parterre is continuing well. The site was cleared last autumn of all the existing planting and shrubs. I had to remove two large Spirea, which was a shame but they did not fit in with the formal look I am trying to achieve in this area.


I have now planted a large, square box parterre with a small, square box parterre in the centre around the sculpture of the contemplative boy.



Fortunately I had four 25cm box balls left over from another planting job in the garden so I’ve used these on the corners on the large parterre to add a bit more interest.

The box is the common Buxus sempervirens. It’s only 10-15cm high now but will soon grow when the roots have established. I want to maintain the hedge at a height of 50cm. The garden owners are currently trying to source a small stone plinth for the sculpture.

The area is planted with snowdrops, which I was careful not to disturb when planting the box. I also planted Schuberti alliums and Apricot Beauty tulips for some late Spring interest.

For the Summer display I want to plant Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’ in the area between the large and small parterre.


This perennial is a favourite of mine for its long flowering period and its aromatic leaves. With an ultimate growth height of 50 to 100cm, the Salvia flowers will be clearly visible above the box hedging but not too tall to look out of scale.

There is now a continuity to the garden as the new parterre links with the adjacent extended parterres that are part of the new rose garden I am creating.


Looking forward to sharing images of this area as Spring and Summer progresses.

By James Todman

Topiary Specialist based in The Cotswolds, UK.

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