Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Yay or Nay: Coffee Bag Boxwood Covers

Posted on | December 18, 2010 | 30 Comments

I picked a few burlap coffee bean bags from Snug Harbor Farm to cover up my boxwoods. I was hoping I could just slip the bags over the plants but that didn’t work. I tried slicing a slit up the side but the bag still didn’t fit. So I cut the two sides and wrapped them around. I wove two bamboo sticks in on the corners to keep the burlap upright and secure to the plant.

Greg is not a fan; he thinks they look really silly. He just came into the house with a comment of, “Wow your bushes look cozy!” Maybe he’s just grumpy from attaching tar paper to the back of the house? So what do you think: Do they look totally dumb or not so bad? If you’ve come up with clever cheap solution to cover your boxwoods please feel free to share. Keyword here is “cheap”.

p.s I finished all four. I don’t think they look too bad and and three out four of the coffee bags have these really cute festive stripes on them.

Related Posts:
Putting in Boxwoods

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30 Responses to “Yay or Nay: Coffee Bag Boxwood Covers”

  1. nole
    December 18th, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    I like them! Way better than trash bags, which is what I’ve got around my potted lilacs at the moment.


  2. nanne
    December 18th, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

    a gardeners gotta do what a gardeners gotta do….my hydrangeas are covered with a junkyard looking chickenwire and leaf contraption…really ugly, but functional and at least they are in the backyard.

    those bags would be so adorable if they were embroidered or applicaid with a pinetree or your initials….that might be a little too martha for your husband….



  3. Carla
    December 18th, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    I have a lot of boxwoods and have never covered them- I live in Chicago-land we get colder weather than you do- however you get more snow- fyi


  4. chelsea
    December 18th, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    I am on your side. I actually like it!:)


  5. jennie
    December 18th, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

    Yep, cute and better than plastic!


  6. joan
    December 18th, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

    They look just like plants bedded down for the winter are supposed to look – nice and cozy!


  7. Katy Elliott
    December 18th, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    Hi Carla!

    It’s not so much a snow issue but a salt and sun problem. Our house is right on the street and the salt from the trucks whizzing by comes pretty close to my house.

    But another reason I have learned from fellow gardeners is the sun is much lower in the sky and the leaves are off the trees which makes the sun much more intense in places that it’s not in the summer. Some boxwoods will burn from the overexposure.

    Also, I’m trying to get the neighborhood dogs to stop pissing on my bushes. Hopefully the burlap will help. :)


  8. Suzie Bee
    December 19th, 2010 @ 9:30 am

    Aw, I think they look really sweet! The colour just blends into the background.


  9. Sara
    December 19th, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    they look great. Does burlap hold damp and cold?


  10. erin, reading my tea leaves
    December 19th, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    i don’t think they look so very bad at all. just last night i passed a little burlap tipi (teepee) on the sidewalk. i squealed when i saw it, thinking i had just stumbled across some kind of public art piece. james had to clue me in to the fact that it was designed to protect the shrubbery. either way, i thought it was charming.


  11. Gina
    December 19th, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    I’m with the “you gotta do what you gotta do” post. Check out the knot garden at the Lee: burlap wrap. More interestingly, look at the “Little Lee” up by Abbot: burlap and teepees! Those mature boxes get strong enough winds to penetrate the burlap and I think that is why LS did it. They could get winter burn if he didn’t protect them. Though your garden site isn’t as windy as up the hill, by wrapping them you are protecting them from the direct blast of road sand/salt that your boxes will receive (repeatedly) this winter. It makes me smile when I see the burlap – it is a defensive act against the ravages of winter and a reminder that we care about our gardens.


  12. christie collins
    December 19th, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    I think they look pretty good. What if you put a red ribbon around the top so they look like presents? Or a bow and star on the teepee part?
    You have such great taste, you’ll figure it out.


  13. maureen lynne
    December 19th, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

    ….as a horticulturist, I advise my clients that burlap is one of the better products to use to protect plants from sun scald…and also from the wet, heavy snow that can weigh down branches causing misshaped plants in the spring…and come spring, you’ll be glad you took the time to wrap your boxwoods the season before….and in the spring, thoroughly water the plants to help flush out the salt that has accumulated over the winter….good luck,..maureen


  14. michele trimble
    December 19th, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

    yay yay and yay!
    i love your blog and look at it often. thank you for taking the time to produce it.


  15. Alice Almighty
    December 19th, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    Anything is better than a tarp and PVC pipes. Merry Christmas, Alice


  16. Steve @ UrbanCottage
    December 19th, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t snag those bags to make pillows. They look perfect.


  17. Katy Elliott
    December 19th, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    Thanks everyone for all great comments and words of encouragement!


  18. kelly
    December 20th, 2010 @ 12:43 am

    this is a brilliant idea! i wish i would have covered our escallonia hedge before the hard freezes the last few winters.


  19. Josephine
    December 20th, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    As a Master Gardener I think they’re a wonderful idea, for all the reasons Maureen said above, plus the burlap will let the plants breath a little as well. Personally I think they look adorable. Once summer rolls around using only organic fertilizer/soil amendments will also help combat soil salt build up. Synthetic fertilizers can actually add salt to your soil over time. The burlap is a great idea, Greg just needs to get use to it. Once they’re covered in snow you won’t be able to see it much anyway. :)


  20. Emily
    December 20th, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    I think they look fine! Everyone knows that its that time of the year for burlap garden covers and you did a fantastic job of making them look neat and orderly.


  21. jen jafarzadeh
    December 20th, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    I think they look adorable. I love the burlap! I’m not surprised Greg had that reaction though. When I returned from Brimfield with Hungarian feed sacks I was really excited about, Dan totally didn’t get it.


  22. Molly
    December 20th, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    I love all things burlap. So I think they look cute! And as long as they get the job done!

    It’s so much fun to keep up with your blog! I love a great renovation process :)


  23. Erika
    December 20th, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    I think they look cute!! And maybe you use a dog repellant like common chili pepper on the burlap a few times so the canines get the idea.


  24. mdasilva
    December 20th, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

    I think they are “hunkered down” properly as we all should be. Top them with a big red bow if you’re wanting a more festive look.


  25. Emma
    December 20th, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    I think they look great and with all the things you have going on in your renovation I’m amazed you had the time to do think about your boxwoods! I find my poor garden gets so neglected.


  26. Heidi
    December 21st, 2010 @ 12:37 am

    Maybe you could try some thick ribbon at the top or bottom… They don’t look bad, but the ribbon would “pretty” them up.


  27. Leslie
    December 21st, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

    Yay–the sticks look like party hats. I think they look just fine.


  28. Diana
    December 24th, 2010 @ 8:18 am

    I think they look fine, just looks like you’re trying to take care of what you have. You’re doing a fine job!


  29. ecig
    December 24th, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

    Excellent Idea. I love using burlap.


  30. Karen
    December 25th, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    If it keeps your plants safe for the winter who cares how it looks? Good idea. And very inexpensive.


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