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Outdoor Plants, Spring, Blog

Landscaping with Boxwoods

April 5, 2022

Boxwood Sunrise

Sheridan Nurseries is the industry leader in boxwood cultivation and development and were the first to introduce Boxwood to Ontario almost 100 years ago. Today we have over 70 acres devoted to growing boxwoods on our farm in Glen Williams, Ontario.

A little bit of history

Landscape Architects Howard and Lorrie Dunnington-Grubb immigrated from England in 1911 and founded Sheridan Nurseries in 1913. They desired to replicate the classic English garden experience and needed an ornamental hedge plant that would be hardy enough to survive in the cold Ontario climate. They saw a huge potential to introduce boxwoods to Ontario gardens.

 

In 1922 they obtained the original Korean Boxwood seedlings from Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum. It would take ten years to develop the seedlings into saleable plants, and the first boxwoods were officially introduced into the Sheridan catalogue in 1939.

 

These seedlings were the original ancestors of many generations of hybrid boxwoods that have been developed at the Sheridan Nurseries farms.

 

Today, boxwoods are one of the most popular choices for ornamental landscaping, allowing gardeners to create unique designs and motifs that enhance the look of their home or business.

 

Types of Boxwoods

Boxwoods are one of the most popular choices for landscaping because of their versatility and easy management. The evergreen foliage comes in various sizes and provides a year-round structure that can be trimmed into unique shapes and designs.

 

Sheridan Nurseries is proud to have cultivated these fine varieties:

  • Green gem boxwoods: Globe-shaped dwarf boxwood. Excellent for borders, bonsai, or container gardens.
  • Green mound boxwood: Mound-shaped boxwood. An excellent choice for plant beds, hedging, and container gardening.
  • Green mountain cone boxwood: Upright. Perfect for large-scale designs and mass planting and is the best boxwood plant for taller hedges.
  • Green velvet boxwood: Globe shaped. Easy to trim. Ideal for plant beds, bonsai, hedging, and container gardening.

Boxwoods are the perfect addition to just about any area of your garden. They provide structure as a border along garden beds and paths, and they also add a sense of grandeur to your home along the edge of driveways or in entryway containers.

 

How to care for Boxwoods

Boxwood care is minimal, requiring some simple trimming to maintain their shape and regular watering to keep their lush green colour.

 

We locally grow over 350,000 boxwoods every year in Georgetown, Ontario. Each plant is cared for up to 10 years at our farm prior to sale. Check out this video for a view of our farm.

Where to plant Boxwoods
  • Boxwoods love a mix of full sun and shade and do well in traditional garden settings and containers.
  • Plant individually or in groups in the garden, leaving enough space for definition and trimming.
  • Plant a line along the edge of your property to create a privacy hedge. Over time the plants will grow together to create a green wall that offers seclusion without the need for fences.
  • If you live in an area that gets particularly harsh winters, consider planting in an area of your property that offers shelter to avoid damage from high winds.
  • The plants can be wrapped to protect them from wind and winter salt.

 

Drainage

Boxwoods are hardy plants that can withstand drier climates. To ensure healthy roots, planting boxwood in an area with good drainage is recommended, adding organic matter for additional nutrients. Do not plant in areas where water can pool, such as near eavestroughs or low-lying areas of your garden. If you plan on keeping your boxwood in containers, make sure your pot has adequate drainage.

 

Avoid overwatering

Boxwood is susceptible to root diseases, so only water when needed. Once the plant is established, the boxwood will require less frequent waterings, with rainfall usually providing adequate moisture.

 

Fertilize your boxwood

  • Fertilizer is the best way to promote healthy growth and discourage pests. Evergreens are mainly foliage plants and require a lot of nitrogen, and the most common formula for this group is found in Parkwood® Evergreen & Tree Food 14-7-14.
  • Apply fertilizer in the spring using a balanced phosphorus and potassium blend. Boxwood also responds well to applications of nitrogen. Apply to the root zone beyond the crown of the plant to avoid contact with the roots.

 

How to use Boxwoods in Landscaping

Boxwoods are the perfect, easy-to-maintain garden feature that offers significant visual impact.

 

  • Edge Gardens: Define your garden space with boxwood. Trim to the perfect height to provide a barrier for delicate plants and flowers.
  • Entryways and gates: Place in containers on either side of your front door or along the side of gates to make a statement to guests.
  • Soften edges of gardens or buildings: Use along the edge of buildings to soften lines and create a more welcoming space.
  • Mass planting: Create stunning visual displays and designs. Remember to leave enough space to prune evenly.
  • Dividers: Divide areas of your garden or apartment complex without building fences.
  • Window Boxes: The perfect addition to window boxes for year-round foliage. Pair with flowers or create unique shapes for stunning individual designs.
  • Parking areas: Define your parking areas by planting boxwoods along the edge of parking lots.

 

When is the best time to plant boxwood?

Plant boxwoods in the early spring, late fall, or late winter, and it’s recommended to plant boxwood before the weather gets too cold. Planting in the fall allows time for the roots to establish before winter. Do not plant during the intense heat of summer to avoid drying out the root system.

 

Ornamental boxwood should be planted 3 to 5 feet apart and trimmed to maintain shape and size. If using plants as an edging or hedge, plant 1 to 2 feet apart.

 

Steps to planting a boxwood

  • Create a hole as deep as the root ball and twice the width.
  • Remove the plant from the container and shake the root to loosen them for planting. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches of the root ball exposed.
  • Water immediately after planting and fertilize with Parkwood Transplanter to help reduce the shock and promote root development.
  • Surround with 1 inch of organic mulch to lock in moisture.

 

Best soil conditions for boxwood

Keep the soil well-drained. Boxwood grows best in soil conditions with a pH of 6.8 to 7.5.

To help your boxwood adapt to its new surroundings, follow these five steps for planting boxwood.

 

If you are ready to enhance the look of your garden, visit Sheridan Nurseries. Our plant experts can help you create stunning landscapes for your garden using boxwood as decor, edging, or a privacy hedge.


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