Sunday, May 26, 2013

Boxwood: Trim or not to Trim

Clive Nichols Photography
Are you like me, do you love boxwood surrounding your home in your landscape?

I was first introduced to boxwood many years ago when we first bought our home. It helps to add some structure to your gardens as well as a touch of formality.

 Hyland Garden Design
Best part is the deer won’t touch it. Boxwood contains alkaloids that are toxin to deer as well as to humans. We have a lot of roaming deer here in the country so my garden palette is somewhat limited to what the deer won’t eat.
 Sweetgum Horticulture
With over a 150 varieties of boxwood there’s something for everyone in every shape and form. Boxwood can be planted to form green walls and allee, low borders or tall as well as different textures and size of leaves.
My image
This is one of our upright box and a very slow grower. I’m hoping someday he’ll fill out his container but until then we’ve given him some height with a pretty iron ornament.
 Landscaping Network
Boxwood is a tough shrub, which is good for us since it gets buried under mounds of snow in wintertime.
My image
This is one of our dwarf boxwood and he was MIA for months this winter under the snow but when the snow finally melted he showed us all the growing he had been doing when I thought he was sleeping.
The Scout Guide
Did you know that shearing your boxwood into balls and hedges stresses your shrubs?
My image
Since our home isn’t formal and I prefer a somewhat wild untamed look we left these two boxwood to their own devices and let them grow. What do you think trim or not?
Southern Living
Even in a pot they don’t always need to be sheared to look good.
 My image
Since these dwarf boxwood are being used for a low hedge I’ll give them a little bit of shearing. They’ll grow to three feet if left alone and I don’t really want them that tall.
My image
I know these alliums have nothing to do with boxwood but they’re finally opening and I wanted to show you. I planted up eight different varieties of alliums last fall and as they open I’ll give you a show.
Happy Memorial Day everyone and if you really want to make someone’s day go thank or hug a service person.


Boxwood Terrace said...

Hi Deborah - Your landscaping is looking so lush! One question is how do the professionals get those perfectly round trimmed boxwood? I've tried it myself and it is tricky to get the perfect shape (and I don't have the need for a professional landscaper!). Any tips?

Room Seventeen said...

Boxwood, I love it! Pruning is al lot of work, but I asked a gardener this year :-)

The enchanted home said...

LOVE boxwood! My favorite plant for any yard, I think to prune or not depends on the home and style of the a more rural less formal setting, a more natural look works great whereas in a more formal setting pruned boxwoods are a crowning touch. All I know is I love them inside, outside, natural, pruned...they are just gorgeous! Hope you are having a relaxing weekend Debra:)

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

The same is true of holly--I like natural, neighbor goes NUTS with trimming and formal

Unknown said...

We have lots of boxwood here, formal and otherwise. They add so much richness to a garden. Yours look gorgeous!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Debra, good evening!i was hoping to see one of your beautiful posts today.

I laughed out loud this morning at your comment, I have to say if menopause is the thief of memory I have been in menopause for the last ten years,

Your boxwoods look beautiful. I love boxwoods, and planted three in huge urns this past month, there look fabulous,so far. Hopefully the heat will not kill then.

I think yours look wonderful, hard to believe the little dwarfs made it through the winter.

Thankfully you did not get ny snow this weekend!

Looking forward to new posts.

Have a great weekend, xx Elizabeth

Victoria said...

I love boxwood and have always used it in my gardens. Trimmed or loose, it all looks good, but in my garden I use it as low hedges and trimming is a must. Your garden is looking lovely after a very difficult winter.

La Dolfina said...

I am boxwood crazed!!!
I just put in close to 50 little English balls as a hedge in front of my roses. We put a large obelisk boxwood tree in a large black glazed pot and 2 spirals in urns flanking our couch.
I also have several larger balls in pots placed about in our gravel side yard and finally 2 huge gorgeous balls in our front entry. I have to stop now!! N
I am definitely in love with the elegance, formality and structure of boxwood!!!!
I will do a post showing it this week.
Hope you are having yourself a lovely long weekend. Your yard Iooks so fresh after a long winter's nap!!!

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

Love boxwood, although they are very slow growing and I am very impatient so boxwood and I are not always a good mix. I like the less formal, untrimmed look for a change, especially in a more informal setting. x Sharon

Leslie said...

Hi Debra, I think I just deleted my comment .. if not, you will get two! We use lots of boxwood here in the PNW because it's hearty and as you say.. resistant to deer. My husband isn't as fond of it as I, so we have a combination of things that grow well in this area. I like the way the boxwood look potted on my deck and in urns flanking my entrance. To trim or not to trim? I guess that depends on where they are growing and the space you have. They certainly look beautiful either way!!

Your alliums are so pretty!! It must be wonderful to get outside and do a little gardening after the long winter you had:)


Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

You just can't go wrong with boxwood! I have quite a few, around the house and plan for more of the English miniatures, that really don't need trimming. I am not a fan of the japanese variety that are cut into box shapes. Just love those round balls everywhere!

La Contessa said...


Decor de Provence said...

You're such a treasure trove on information!!
Sorry I have been so distant, I'm expecting our third child and I'm trying to make it through the first trimester... It's been really rough! Your blog always brings joy to my heart! I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Debra!

Much love to you!!

Stacy CUrran said...

Absolutely beautiful examples! I love boxwood, too. Hope you are anjoying the holiday :)

Karen said...

I do love boxwood, but I confess, I stress my boxwood by hedging them. Most of them have told me they don't mind since they look very healthy and happy but I have had a few the have protested and look beyond stressed and a bit unhappy. :D
Enjoy your weekend.

Woodside Park said...

Boxwoods and favorites!! We trim our boxwoods. But, I also love them irregular and natural. Happy Memorial Day!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely stunning ... thank you for this post!

Anonymous said...

I love the look of it too. Oh, how I long to have beautiful gardens to stroll. Sadly, I am a helpless case when it comes to gardening. :( xoxo

Nella Miller said...

Hi Deborah, so nice to see you posting again! Another boxwood lover! Never enough for me...I keep adding more as the budget permits! I prefer them trimmed, it adds a bit of a formal touch to my woodland garden, but I'll take them any way I potted also. Your garden looks lovely..
Great post! N.xo

Taylor Greenwalt said...

I love boxwood one of my favorite plants for the yard...I just planted some in pots....

michele said...

love boxwoods! i have chosen not to trim in this house, and sometimes i think they look raggedy and sometimes i like em. the main reason to not trim here is my laziness and aversion to depending on landscapers and strange men hanging around. i love the look of a well manicured garden but i think my heart is of the wild cottage variety. :)

smiles to you.

Unknown said...

Your comment had me cracking up! I guess there really is no such thing as a day off...but I think I wanted to take one! :)

Love boxwoods and they are heavily used in our landscaping. We have up to 5 deer traveling through our neighborhood at a time, so I'm glad they help keep them out of my hedges!!

Love alliums...such a happy flower! Please post them as they bloom!

Welcome to Spring!
xoxo Elizabeth

Karena said...

Dear Debra, I love the look of boxwood's when they are beautifully trimmed. After seeing you natural ones though and the different species, I can how nice the show naturally.

Art by Karena

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Stacey said...

Love boxwoods and love how Spring is everywhere around you! We have holly and have been thinking of trimming them, but might not now if doing so will cause them distress...

designchic said...

I love boxwoods in any way, shape or form. Yours are gorgeous!!

debra @ 5th and state said...

personally i love them tightly sheared, even in an informal setting, it's the contrast i so love

your gardens are beautiful deborah!

zanetastyle said...

Hi Debra, just like boxwood and planted it last year in Calgary climate despite being warned that it won't survive the winter...well, IT DID, and now I know I can plant is just the best plant, staying leafy green in winter and I love it shaped...just the french garden classic...
hope you are well and see you are into full gardening too ((:
hugs Z

Splendid Willow said...

Big time boxwood fan over here! Thank you for the education (one of the reasons I love your blog and YOU so much!) - had no idea about the poision and no wonder some of my bushes did not make it - I probably stressed them w. new "haircuts"!

Hugs to you.


Pura Vida said...

Debra this was a wonderful tour. I like both...trimmed and natural, but the whole post was just lovely

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Hi Debra,
Why can't you have them both ways!? We planted 30 miniature boxwoods in the front to line the flagstone and brick walk, they are mostly round and some a little egged shaped- we have never done a thing to them!
Though we were recently told we should selectively prune branches from the inside for air flow and stave off browning/dead branches.

I like them both ways even in a woodland setting such as yours!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello Debra! I hope you had a beautiful week! And some nice weather. Enjoy your weekend.


Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Debra- Your boxwood looks fantastic au natural! It so fits your landscaping -very, very pretty!

I have a few boxwood at my home, but looking at your photos I need more...

Did you know a few years ago I bought rooting hormone and was able to root a boxwood cutting? Just a little two inch shoot I clipped in Spring. That little plant was growing at my old house - I bet it is pretty big by now. I will sneak a look at it next time I am in my old neighborhood!


p.s. I just updated my LinkedIn profile and you came up in the lists - I thought it was because you "invited" me, but now I think it was a LinkedIn suggestion. (I've never done anything on the site, but some of the groups look very interesting to join - might be fun)

Fashion-isha said...

I love boxwoods! They're the cleanest and easiest way to make your garden look great!

Sarah said...

I'm a fan of boxwood and enjoy using it in our garden. I've never let it go "wild", but I like the look. May have to try that in a section of our garden. I'm a fan of topiary, and boxwood is a good one for shaping. '-)

Unknown said...

Beautiful. Your yard is lovely. I have alot of boxwoods as well, NEVER enough!
xo Nancy

Unknown said...

Hi...Loving these photos!
I just wanted to stop by and let you know of a giveaway being hosted by Koralee of "bluebird notes" blog to help celebrate the opening of my Etsy shop: Daisy Pink Wish.....if you have the time, please visit....we would love to see you enter!

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