Boxwood is an evergreen, broad leaf plant that make great hedges and fences and can also be used as topiary for your garden or landscape. There are many varieties of boxwood and you can choose the one that will look best in your natural settings or home exterior.
Boxwood Hedge – Green Borders
Landscape artists, home owners and gardeners alike prefer to use a boxwood hedge extensively for creating attractive fencing around the periphery of the property. Since colonial times, boxwood has been used for garden hedges both in Europe and America, and many public gardens still use this style. Though this plant goes well with Colonial structures, modern day homeowners have begun using boxwood for framing their gardens and lawn edges. You can use boxwood for a number of purposes like framing a terrace, driveway or walkway, to screen in porches, create a framework for arbors and climbing roses, etc. A boxwood hedge is great to define boundaries in spaces where you do not want to add too much of rigid lines or blocks. Growing them is also pretty easy as they can survive in any sun condition. You can let them grow to the desired height from anywhere between 2 to 15 feet. Depending on the species, boxwood grows in spherical, straight or columnar shapes and can be pruned to the desired shape.
Japanese Boxwood – Compact Shrubs
Littleleaf boxwood plants or Japanese boxwood is a low-height shrub with small oval leaves that is found in a variety of cultivars. The most commonly used are Kingsville Dwarf that has dense dark green leaves, Green Pillow which is an evergreen variety and Curly Locks that has twisty branches and bushy yellow-green leaves. Japanese boxwood is a slow-growing shrub unlike regular or American boxwood and may reach an average height of 3 feet. The leaves are rich green in color, glossy and around an inch in length. The plant is actually an excellent specimen for landscapes and private gardens and because they are so neat and compact, you can grow them in planters also. They are also used for fencing lawns or hedges and look really well with formal gardens. And eventhough it grows slowly, the plant is easy to transport and provides great bedding specimens. These plants are also more resistant to pests but they cannot survive in severe cold unlike other species.
Winter Gem Boxwood – Surviving Winters
If you live in a region with harsh colds, your boxwood leaves might turn brown or bronze during winter. An exception is the winter gem boxwood that has great tolerance for even harshest colds. The plants are broad leaf evergreen varieties that grow in a round dense formation and look beautiful during winters with glossy bronze tips. They even look good during the spring with yellow-green stems and form a good contrast to other flowerings plants. The shrub can grow from 3 to 5 feet in height and has an unruly foliage, so you will have to prune it regularly to maintain its shape. Use boxwood as foundation plants for other foliage or even as boundaries around your landscape and gardens, because not only are these plants really low maintenance, they are hardy and pretty in a simple, formal way.