This naturalized thirty foot row of Green Santolina is about 10 years old. It receives little attention. When it finishes blooming, it should have a good pruning. However, this row has never been pruned and we enjoy the way it flows outward as it grows unchecked.
A more traditional use for Gray and Green Santolina is in knot gardens. Knot Gardens are a lot of work and I have always admired those stalwart souls who measure, plant and prune, prune, prune. Knot Gardens are illusionary employing different colors of plants to form the different sections of rope causing the eye to see the over and under of the knot. Knot Gardens are really best viewed from a second or higher story balcony on a balmy day in spring. Although, covered with a light snow they are definitely magical.
Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs has quite a decent section on knot gardens. It includes several nice diagrams in case you want to make one for yourself. All Knot Gardens are parterres, but not all parterres form a knot. The name parterre (pronounced PAR - tare) is from Old French ‘par terre’ literally translated ‘on the ground’. It is a flower garden having the beds and paths arranged to form a pattern.