Garden Clippings for Sept 23, 2017
In our home landscape, other than dandelions, we have more Boxwood plants than any other plant. There is a Boxwood hedge bordering the Rudbeckias in the south garden and there are Boxwoods planted at the base of the wrought iron fence. There is another hedge around the back of the square water garden and more Boxwood at the base of the new cedar deck. If I added them up, I’d probably reach close to 150 plants.
Needless to say, I love Boxwood plants.
Boxwood is a slow growing, well behaved broadleaved evergreen with small dark green glossy leaves. Like Holly, Boxwood’s leaves remain on the plant instead of dropping each fall.
Boxwood is often grown as a hedge plant, giving it a classical look. It is the perfect choice for elegant gardens you would find in old European estates.
What I appreciate most about Boxwood is its versatility. Boxwood grows in both full sun and deep shade. It doesn’t require much water and has no fussy soil requirements.
If left unattended for several years, Boxwood can reach a metre of height or more. If it receives an annual pruning, it can be kept down to one foot.
Pruning Boxwood plants is a breeze. I usually prune mine into a low mound, but they can easily be cut into squares, globes and pyramids. Those who are crafty can manicure them into shapes of birds or animals. About 25 years ago, Lakeview Cemetery used about 150 Boxwood plants to write their name at their main entrance. They are pruned once a year to keep the words legible.
Boxwood is tough as nails and rarely suffers from insects or disease. Several years ago horticulturalists began hearing of Boxwood Blight, a disease that had the potential to wipe out entire crops of Boxwood grown in wholesale nurseries. That threat seems to have gone by the wayside.
Because Boxwood is slow growing it is not inexpensive. Plants that are 18 inches in width can easily set you back 30.00 or more. For those planting a Boxwood hedge, I recommend buying Boxwood in gallon sized pots in order to keep costs down. Plant at 12 inch spacing.
Several cultivars of Boxwood are available. The oldest, Boxwood ‘koreana’, or Korean Boxwood is rarely used anymore, having been taken over by ‘Green Mound’ or ‘Green Gem’, both of which have improved dark green colour. ‘Green Mountain’ grows taller and forms a pyramidal shape on its own.