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Ilex Crenata Blondie
A versatile landscaping plant, Japanese Holly Blondie is the perfect topiary or hedging shrub. These Ilex Crenata Globes are a great choice for topiary. It makes an excellent alternative to box. Ilex crenata Blondie gets its name because of the light green new growth each spring, which darkens to a glossy dark green as it matures. The leaves are oval and slightly pointed. Small white flowers appear in the spring and summer, followed in the autumn by glossy black berries much loved by birds. This evergreen shrub will stay green throughout the winter, providing a dependable backdrop in all seasons.
Reliably winter hardy throughout most of the UK, Japanese Holly Blondie will slowly grow to a height and spread of 3.5 metres over a period of 20 to 50 years. It responds excellently to pruning, even on old wood. Two prunings a year, in early summer and then again in September or October, will be enough to maintain the desired shape of this shrub.
Plant your Ilex crenata Blondie in late winter or early spring. These tough plants will tolerate any soil type, as long as it is nutrient-rich and well-drained. It will do best in a neutral to acid ph soil. If you are planting in clay soil, make sure to add plenty of humus to lighten it. As long as it is planted in the full sun, Japanese Holly Blondie will thrive in a sheltered or exposed location. It is not susceptible to pollution and so is an excellent choice in an urban garden.
With the decline of box as a hedging shrub due to blight, Ilex crenata Blondie has become a highly desirable replacement. It has many excellent qualities to recommend it for hedges and for all types of topiary including topiary globes. Its leaves are very similar to box, and it maintains a dense bushiness even after pruning. Japanese Holly Blondie can be pruned to maintain a very formal, geometric shape with perfectly straight lines, or left to take a more natural form.
Ilex crenata Blondie is an excellent topiary plant. It can be clipped into forms as simple as a potted topiary ball or a tall column by a doorway, or as complex as a green, living sculpture. Because they do well as potted plants, the topiaries are very decorative year-round on patios, balconies, or roof terraces.
Since its development in the 1990’s in Belgium, Ilex crenata Blondie has become a stand-out hedging and topiary shrub in UK gardens. It is dependable, disease-resistant, and beautiful in a variety of landscape applications.
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