Anatomy Lesson: Form over Flowers

As the fullness of the summer garden and autumn colorful foliage melt into the background, shapes and form are brought to the fore. Half-forgotten ornaments are revealed as plants die back, clipped boxwood orbs break free from a covering of nearby lanky perennials, and in a corner another type of boxwood, trained as a standard, lift the eye toward a sheared yew hedge.

While this is admittedly a sophisticated look, break it down to the elements and you can do this. Start with a center focal point such as this concrete urn on a pedestal and plant a ring of boxwood shrubs around it. Tuck flowering perennials around the outer edge and inside the circle for a blooming summer display, and cut back hard in late fall to reveal this vignette.

Or, skip the perennials and go for this chic/simple look year-round. Choose some of the faster growing varieties such as Green Beauty BoxwoodGreen Velvet Boxwood, or Winter Gem Boxwood and shear into your preferred shape.

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