Entry to The Herb Garden

Artist  Marjolein Bastin
Painted  2011
Medium  Watercolor
Subject Location  Netherlands

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Artist Notes

Oh my poor herb garden… The intricate network of boxwood hedges separating the herb beds from the gravel pathways have succumbed to box blight, a leaf and twig blight disease called Cylindrocladium buxicola. Goodbye boxwood hedges, boxwood balls, boxwood pyramids, and boxwood bird. They have all been affected, now grey and bare, they will have to be dug up.

Box blight reared its ugly head last year in the garden at the front of our home, affecting some yew bushes. Now almost everything around my studio needs to go. It is a very difficult fungal disease to control, affecting the twigs to their core.

The disease has spread throughout Europe. Even the beautiful boxwood gardens of the Palace “Het Loo” in the Netherlands have been affected. Just imagine, that’s 27 kilometers of boxwood hedges!

The first symptoms to appear are black spots on some leaves, which in turn dry out and drop. It quickly spreads to neighboring plants and there is very little you can do about it. I loved my boxwoods so much.

The scent of boxwood reminded me of my past so vividly, the gardens where I used to play as a child in Loenen aan de Vecht. It is a pure and pleasant scent of melancholy.

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