Traditional LandscapeTraditional Landscape, New York
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Boxwood(Buxus spp.)King of structure. Useful as a hedge, structural backdrop, bed accent or container plant, boxwood is a workhorse throughout the garden. In partially shaded beds, it grows best with dappled-light exposure, such as under tree canopies. Cold hardiness depends on the species: B. sempervirens is hardy to minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 26.1 degrees Celsius (zones 5 to 8); B. microphylla is hardy to minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 20.6 degrees Celsius (zones 6 to 9); B. sinica var. insularis is hardy to minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 31.7 degrees Celsius (zones 4 to 9). Foliage can turn brown if exposed to lower temperatures than listed.Plant combination: Boxwood (Buxus spp., zones 4 to 9) of various sizes: EvergreenWater requirement: Regular; low once establishedLight requirement: Full sun to part shade
4. Tile. Interspersing a few glazed tiles within brick paving works surprisingly well to bring color to a walkway. For this garden, the cobalt-blue tile pulls the color down from the doorway trim of the house for an integrated look. A simple, all-green planting palette draws attention to the hardscape materials and keeps the design from looking over-the-top.
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; find your zone) 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.
1. Boxwood (Buxus spp.)Boxwood has been a popular landscape shrub for more than a thousand years. It’s featured prominently in traditional European garden designs, but it is equally at home in a modernist landscape. Prune this European native into any shape desired or leave it to grow in its shaggy, but naturally attractive, form. There are varieties for hedges from 10 inches to 10 feet tall. It is at its best in cool, humid climates.Where it will grow: Hardy to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 29 degrees Celsius (USDA zones 5 to 9; find your zone)Light requirement: Full sun or partial shadeWater requirement: ModerateMature size: Depends on varietySee how to grow boxwood