These four mini boxwood balls in a little line are Buxus suffruticosa, the true dwarf boxwood, and if left unpruned they will form interesting undulating mounds of tight foliage.
I was hooked by the description --- a cloudlike effect.
Yes, please, I would like a line of cloudlike foliage bordering my Japanese maple. I planted four round buns close together and waited to see clouds.
Just like this, which I saw at Missouri Botanical Garden a year ago last May. I don't make these things up. I see real examples of achievable garden designs, and want to try to do the same in my garden.
These dwarf boxwoods were indeed soft, cloudlike, undulating.
But instead of clouds, I am beginning to see a rectangular green wall. These are merging into a solid mass and starting to look like you could sit on them.
Could I have made all three of the most basic mistakes a garden designer can make? Did I plant these dwarf boxwoods too close together? In too straight a line, without staggering the plants?
And to finish the trifecta of basic mistakes, did I plant too few? Just four? Really?
Never mind. You may see a short straight wall of dense green blobs, but I see delightful clouds under the richly crimson 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple.