A Holly Hedge

Today was a gorgeous fall day, with clear skies, no wind to speak of, and mild temperatures after a cold night. We went yard saleing in Brunswick this morning, hoping to come home with one of two bandsaws advertised in the yard sale classifieds, but alas, the saws were sold before we arrived. I did find some baguette pans, and we found a nice 6 lb. sledgehammer which will be very useful.

On the way home we stopped at Skillins where we bought 80 lbs. of gypsum to add to the vegetable garden to help lighten our heavy soil, and some Holly Tone organic fertilizer for our acid-loving plants. While we were there, we took a gander at the trees and shrubs, all on sale. I found an oakleaf hydrangea cv. Alice, which I snapped up at 30% off. It has large roughly oak-shaped leaves, and in the fall, turns a gorgeous deep red.

I was hoping to find some holly bushes for the gap between the arborvitae and the lilac hedges. We saw some Blue Princess and Blue Prince holly bushes, but they just didn’t speak to me. Then I saw three Castle Spire female hollies, covered with berries. Where the Blue Princess spread to 6-8 feet wide, 8-10 feet high, and had glossy dark blue- green leaves, the Castle Spire holly is narrower, only 3-4 ft wide, and up to 10 feet high, with shiny dark green leaves.

At that size, thy seemed just the ticket for filling the gap, and they two were 30% off. We bought all three, knowing that we will need to add another male holly. As we set them in place, we decided we need two more, a male and a fourth female, to fill out the hedge and form a nice backdrop for the garden bed we have planned in front of them. We planted the hollies and the hydrangea after lunch, amending the soil with compost and some Holly Tone fertilizer, watering them well, and mulching with a thick layer of cardboard. We will wrap each plant in floating row cover fabric to protect them from the wind, cover the cardboard with hay and compost, and by spring, the grass will be dead, the worms abundant, and I hope, our new plants will be very happy. And I’m happy too, after all, when your best friend is named Holly, you certainly should have her in your yard!

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