I always look for new ideas and applications of materials while traveling. Observation, sketching, and copious photographs while traveling should be obligatory for any designer at all times but especially while traveling; who knows when you will be able to get back to have a look at a brickwork detail or new use of a material. I took this first picture in Milan in front of the Armani cafe (who else to look to for design ideas than Giorgio). I had seen really low and tight boxwood massing used by Russell Page and once I saw it here I knew I had to put it to use. It is now an application that I use often. It is akin to using the boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) as a groundcover. It is perfect when you want evergreen structure and formality in a design without compromising or hiding the architecture. It is almost liking creating a pediment to frame the architecture. I use bare root liners that I purchase from a wholesale nursery but boxwood cuttings are extremely easy to propagate and this could be accomplished by a homeowner as a great experiment in propagation. I find it works best if you let the plants root and establish for at least a year before pruning.
This was taken as we were still installing the liners two years ago.