Boxwood Shrubs Landscaping IDEAS
Choosing your boxwood. All boxwoods are in the Buxus genus, with around 70 different species and hundreds of cultivars. Common, or English, boxwood (B. sempervirens, USDA zones 5 to 8) gets bigger, grows faster and has more pointed leaves than dwarf English boxwood (B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’, zones 5 to 8). Dwarf English boxwood is particularly prized for topiary and edging, as its slow-growing habit and dense form requires less pruning.
Both littleleaf boxwood (B. microphylla, zones 6 to 9) and Korean boxwood (B. sinica var. insularis, zones 4 to 9) have narrow leaves and a compact form. Of all the Buxus species, Korean boxwood can survive in the lowest temperatures (down to Zone 4), making it the best choice for cold-winter regions.
Designing With Boxwoods
1. Accentuate a garden gate. The gate may officially mark the entryway to this garden, but a pair of large boxwoods gives the arrival real presence. Clipped into sculptural balls, the boxwood looks good year-round and could be wrapped with twinkling white lights in winter.
2. Add structure to informal gardens. Looser gardens can benefit from the addition of boxwoods to add structure to free-form beds of perennials and billowing grasses. Boxwoods look attractive year-round, which can help ease transitions in the garden as flowers fade and perennials die back, or if beds are left bare in winter.
3. Edge a garden bed. The top choices for low-growing hedges are boxwood varieties that have been cultivated to stay compact, such as dwarf English ( sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’), Wee Willie (B. sinica var. insularis ‘Wee Willie’) and ‘Morris Midget’ (B. microphylla var. japonica ‘Morris Midget’). Plant along garden borders to define planting beds or edge the beds of a kitchen garden.