Boxwoods are an easy-to-grow shrub that makes a perfect hedging plant. The boxwood hedge can be formal or informal. Formal hedges can be ideal for old-fashioned gardens and are created with professional and precise pruning techniques. Informal hedges are closely grown plants that have been allowed to keep their natural growth form. Either type of hedge is suitable for the home landscape and can lend texture and interest with border function.
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Boxwood hedges can be made from American, Korean or the more traditional English boxwood. Both have the same tight growth habit and can be pruned rather strictly with no ill effects. Boxwoods lining both sides of a path can keep a gravel or cement walkway from looking boring and adds colour and vivacity to the area. A boxwood hedge makes a formal statement when flanking an entryway or front porch. Formal pruning can be done to make the hedge into a straight line or the plants can be allowed to remain in their natural shape for a country garden feel.
Boxwood mazes are featured in some of the old gardens of Europe. The maze is a stylised presentation of the bushes and requires a plan and judicious and constant pruning. It may take years for the full maze to come to fruition, and it will take vigilant upkeep to maintain the shape. Boxwood can grow 15 feet high but usually are clipped lower in a maze. The maze is constructed of numerous boxwood hedges that connect into the shape of the maze.
It may not be for everyone, but boxwood's easy-to-shear nature means you can shape them almost any way you wish. You can border your front yard with a hedge made out of boxwood balls, cubes and numerous other forms. Set the plants closely together but in an "S" shape, and prune it into a wave. A checkerboard look can be achieved by closely grown boxwoods that are staggered and pruned square. It is more effective if you alternate different types of boxwood or use variegated bushes in every other planting. Shapes are one of the most expressive ways a gardener can put her personal stamp on the home landscape. Boxwood hedges provide limitless variety as a creative property barrier.
Formal Vegetable Garden
The vegetable garden is an ideal place to use boxwood hedges. They can create miniature borders between different beds, both raised or flat. Boxwood hedges can be used to line out the border of the vegetable garden or to create an attractive entry. The hedges can help hold the different shapes of the individual beds, such as diamonds or triangles. Vegetable garden hedges need to be kept cut low so light is not obstructed to the edibles. The boxwood hedge is a unique organizational tool in a home produce garden.
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