Ilex crenata ‘Green Hedge’ (Japanese Holly)

A compact evergreen box look-alike. The plants of this selected form are produced by cuttings, so are uniform and therefore perfect for hedges and topiary. Small white flowers in early summer and black berries on female plants.

An easy shrub in sun or partial shade, exposed or sheltered positions on any well drained soil except chalk. Regenerates from old bare wood.


Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Hardiness level Green

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Another compact evergreen box look-alike and while we may have listed a few examples of such things on this website already, that’s because we stock them, they’re all super, and we need to alert you about this.

“It may be true, as I believe it is, that the natural form of a tree is the most beautiful possible for that tree, but it may happen that we do not want the most beautiful form, but one of our own designing, and expressive of our ingenuity” reflects James Shirley Hibberd at the height of an Arts and Crafts topiary renaissance.

With the right plant, couldn’t agree more. And Ilex crenata ‘Green Hedge’ is the right plant.

Perhaps your tastes run to the formal and the restrained when it comes to hedging and topiary, or perhaps they run madly away from you towards Jacobean whimsy. Maybe, like a well-clipped lollipop, they float somewhere in the middle. We operate on an adapted Goldilocks Scale of such things, and reckon that with clipped and controlled forms too little is a waste of time and too much can actually be just right. And downright glorious, too. Since we’re bear-adjacent at this point you must visit the cottage garden at Beckley Park in Oxfordshire to see some of the nicest examples. No cuddly-sweet blobby confections here, the bears loom with Cubist menace and have a properly commanding presence, all deep-green and dense.

We don’t have angular bears but we do stock and maintain this shrub in boules, balls, elevated pompoms or sharp-sided allsorts. No limits on imagination here so book a session to speak to our Garden Designers about your plans and we’ll take care of you. Porridge can be provided.

The nitty-gritty: plants of this selected form of Japanese Holly are all produced by cuttings and so have a solidly reliable character and demeanour which is perfect for hedging and topiary-ing. They do small white flowers in early summer but most things do and really you’ll be using this for structure and architecture and leaving the floral heavy-lifting to other things. Black berries will be produced on female plants and the birds do seem to like these.

It’s an easy shrub, characteristic for a Holly, and won’t be much fussed in sun or partial shade or exposed or sheltered positions. Do give it a spot that’s well-drained, and it will be happy on any soil except chalk.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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A plant lovers dream…
It is an absolutely wonderful treasure trove for any plant lover and we will be back (frequently!) The plants are all in superb condition, with an enormous variety to choose from. The staff are very professional and knowledgable, but also friendly and helpful.