|Portion of Xylosma congestum hedge facing the street|
|Another close-up highlighting the brightly-colored new growth|
The hedge was sheared a few weeks ago so it's currently sporting glossy new bronze foliage. This hedge, which extends along 3 sides of our property, is what finally prompted me to hire a mow and blow landscape service a few months after we moved in. Keeping the Xylosma under control requires shearing 3-4 times per year. My Sunset Western Garden Book says that, when grown as a hedge, it'll get 8-10 feet (2.5-3 meters) tall and wide but other sources claim that, left unpruned, it can get much, much larger. It can also be grown as a small tree or espalier, although I haven't seen it used that way in my own area.
This house came with multiple hedges, even hedges within hedges, but this one, if kept pruned, performs - and maintains its appearance - better than all the others.
|At the front of the house, the Xylosma hedge runs along the street. On the south side of the driveway a Ceanothus hedge sits atop an interior stacked wall, separated from the Xylosma by a 3-foot wide moss-covered pathway.|
Xylosma is evergreen here and attractive year-round, even right after shearing. It's said to be susceptible to chlorosis and white flies; however, I've seen no evidence of either. According to the sources I consulted, it remains evergreen where winter temperatures don't dip below 25F (-4C) and it's root hardy to 10F (-12C). It manages with low to moderate water. One site claimed "medium" deer tolerance, although I can't speak to what that means.
Odd as it may be, despite the clamor of a variety of spring-blooming shrubs, bulbs and perennials, Xylosma congestum is my pick as favorite plant this week. Please visit Loree, our host for the favorite plant meme, at danger garden to see her favorite this week and to find links to other gardeners' favorite plant selections.