Evergreen Shrubs

mbuckmaster(7B/NC)April 2, 2008

OK, I have been lurking in this forum for several months, but I have to ask this burning question...what is the obsession with "boring" evergreen shrubs here in NC? Usually boxwood or something similar, trimmed tightly to form a mounding shrub that stays equally green (and boring!) all year long. No flowers, variegated foliage, different colored new growth, fragrance, visual interest, texture...nothing! With the long list of enchanting evergreen shrubs in this wonderful state, why do I keep seeing so many boxwoods?!

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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Cost and neatness. Some people just find them more attractive. I personally don't. Its normally people that think a yard full of grass and flower beds next to your house with trimmed boxwoods and not FLOWERS! hehe. its just how we roll in the dirty south...you can't change everyone.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:11PM
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Tammy Kennedy

I think some of what we assume are meatballs that don't bloom often turn out to be something that should never be meatballed like a gardenia, forsythia, azaleas, et al, and so they do have a brief bloom. A lot of it has to do with what the builder put there, too- some folks never think to change of question that dubious wisdom. boxwoods have their place, but not in my garden, thanks. If i'm gonna plant something- it better do something interesting- foliage, great form, flower, scent, somthin'. Gotta work to be in my garden! :)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:27PM
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I think that's the Home Owners Association syndrome! It's a pervasive disease that has spread across our state. Also, I've seen a lot of "landscape" crews with hedge trimmers that think they're supposed to trim everything into a meatball.

Until just a few years ago, I had always lived out on a farm in the country where I could do/grow whatever I wished. I'm now in a HOA neighborhood sitting on 4.5 acres. Now, you'd think that I could grow whatever I want here on this much land, but there are a lot of rules. I've managed to create a big flower garden by keeping it below the view from the road.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 8:49AM
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I've been told by some of my neighbors that it's time to trim my forsythia bushes, they're looking "too wild". Yikes, trying to avoid the meatball syndrome with them, want them to look a little natural...

I had never heard of trimming azalea bushes into straight hedges until moving to NC, now that's pretty much all I see around here.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:46PM
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All this makes sense to me...and boxwoods really are pretty nice in their own setting. The "meatball" term is pretty appropriate, though! That's exactly what a lot of it looks like.

I'm in love with osmanthus...better by far than boxwoods next to the house and a sight better than holly bushes too. The fragrance is unreal, and the foliage is interesting in texture and new growth (comes out dark red on mine). Come on, builders--put these in instead!! =)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Osmanthus fragrans is our "go to" shrub! We love the foliage, the fragrance, the adaptability and the lack of pests. It stands up to heat, too. They do get quite large (eventually) but can be kept trimmed to a suitable size (without the meatball look) to fit your space.

I also have osmanthus 'goshiki' which is prickly like holly, but has such beautiful variegation and coloring that I've got 3 mixed in my flower gardens. They grow only 6' x 4'. Put some coreopsis 'moonbeam' and carex 'gold fountains' with it for some green/yellow impact! :-)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 5:16PM
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Oh my how you guys are making me happy I'm out in the country now!! My last house had an HOA, and when I let my grass grow up a little to help establish the lawn, the president wanted to "cut my grass" to "help me out" with my landscapeing. I politely declined stating when I saw my grass needed to be cut, I would cut it, it was very young at the time. The same guy told me I should cut my holly bush because it was too tall, I actually had a holly tree (not sure of the variaty, builder planted) that covered most of my teenage daughters window. What a great deterant to sneeking out in the night by a teenager!! LOL It became a stragic placement of landscaping to help with an unruly kid. I personally just hated the intrusion on my property rights and my personal taste by inflicting someone elses taste on my garden and landscaping. But they wouldn't make a move to evict the crack head, animal abusers who lived two houses down from me that didn't even cut their lawn for the entire summer! What a farce!! My landscaping and yard were beautiful. I have pics of a lovely garden in the front for anyone to view. Sorry to be so opinoniated, but I got a really bad taste for HOA's living in a subdivision. I'm just glad I won't ever have to deal with one again!! :-)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 11:46PM
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