Remember the box bush which my husband thought he might have poured hot water poured over? There's another bush now with dry, yellow leaves. Unless he's been wandering round the garden with a lethal kettle, our original diagnoses must have been wrong.
Do I have box blight? (Not me personally; the bushes.) It's a troubling thought. I have a lot of box edging and vague balls in pots. I've looked at pictures of box blighted leaves on the internet and they look musty in a way my leaves don't. But they don't look good either and I can't imagine they'll recover - so I've cut away the yellow branch from the box in the pot. What next?
My plan was that I'd follow this up with a good watering of organic feed. I still would if I could. But I'll need organic feed myself if ever I'm to get the top off that bottle. I've pushed and shoved and squashed the sides of the lid together, just as it says in the instructions - but it won't budge. Somewhere in the house there's a set of weights. I'l use them and go back in a week when my muscles are stronger. Meanwhile, I've sat the bottle of feed next to the pot, hoping this will inspire new growth from adjacent branches. The success of this plan depends much on the reading age of the bush and I have no way of asking it if it's got any further in its lessons than Biff and Chip; I don't speak Box. You may think my hopes are a bit overblown but I suspect there's more of a chance that this bush will read the promise of four cap-fulls to two gallons of water than there is of me becoming a body builder so it's worth a try.
The other challenge is where to face the pot. If I angle it so the cut-away side catches sunshine, it'll look horrid. If I make it face the wall it will stay hollow for ever. Box doesn't like to grow below the leaf line. It finds it as hard to push new growth from its woody parts as I find it hard to get the lid off the bottle.
So, for the moment, and probably for the next few years, I have a hollow bush.
(Unless it becomes 'Ex'.) (Or 'Late' as Mama Ramotswe would have it.)
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