Boxwood - an evergreen garden decoration
It is difficult to find a more suitable plant for honing the skills of the “garden sculptor”, creating evergreen hedges and various figures in your own garden than boxwood. This plant is a "French aristocrat", a favorite of topiary art, with proper use, it can create a fabulous landscape in any garden.
This shrub with a compact elongated-rounded crown densely covered with dark green, leathery, neat oval-shaped leaves. Always preserving a green look, boxwood remains the undisputed decoration of the garden at any time, even out of season. In their homeland, in the countries of the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, East Africa, Central America, Japan and China, boxwood bushes rise to a height of 6-8 meters, and in the form of a tree such a plant reaches its thick crown of 15 meters. In our latitudes, only specimens grown in the Crimea can boast such dimensions. In particular, centennial boxwood grows in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, growing without a haircut, the height of which barely exceeds 5-6 meters.
Boxwood is a very durable culture and, with proper care, can live up to 500 years. And although the boxwood genus has more than 30 species, the best and most reliable for our gardens has been and remains the evergreen - lat. "Búxus." The Greeks called it Buchus, which translates as "dense" - this is the main value of boxwood. This unique plant is also called the "iron tree" because its wood is sinking in water. In addition, it grows very slowly, the trunk thickness does not increase over the year by more than one millimeter.
Recommended boxwood varieties
Boxwood selection is carried out in the direction of creating interesting new forms and varieties with motley, golden, bleached or bordered leaf color.
Boxwood "Marginata". Each leaf is decorated with a yellow border around the edge.
Boxwood "Aureovariegata". Its leaves have an interesting yellow speck.
Boxwood Latifolia maculata. Young, growing leaves appear in golden color, and the lower, ripening, turn green.
Boxwood "Compacta" - dwarf variety.
Boxwood "Curly Locks". Interesting bizarrely curved stems and unusual appearance.
Where to plant boxwood?
The ancient Romans and their Mediterranean neighbors gave intricate and architectural forms to boxwood. Due to some mitigation of the climate in our area and a long period of acclimatization, having planted a boxwood in our garden, we will also be able to give our imagination a walk around, creating green mini sculptures. Today boxwood is in demand and loved by landscape designers and is often found in our gardens in sheared or free-growing form.
- Boxwood, grown in a topiary manner, is distinguished by the most prominent ceremonial places. Boxwood has a special place in the gardens in a regular style. He deservedly enjoys the attention of people who are partial to interspersing eclecticism - “combining the incompatible”.
- Boxwood is also subjected to a sanitary haircut, while it retains the natural shape of the bush, and fits particularly well into the diverse plantings of other ornamental shrubs or conifers. Such groups act as natural scenes or different in texture of green spots on the lawn.
- Solidly planted solid specimens of boxwood are sheared in the form of a geometric shape or an artistic figure.
How to cut boxwood?
If you want to grow a thick, uniform and healthy border or hedge - be patient, the height of the boxwood is gradually increasing.
Young bushes are cut under one comb, first at a height of 15 cm from the ground, after the growth of shoots - at a height of 20 cm from the ground, and so on. This method will allow you to get a hedge with a thick branched crown, which eliminates the appearance of holes, bald patches or an unaesthetic appearance of the hedge itself, when bare thick and sparse skeletal branches are visible below, and a lush growing top is on top. For one summer season, boxwood with 3-4 such haircuts grows 15-20 cm annually. The last haircut should be carried out no later than the end of August, so that the young growth that has appeared has time to mature before the onset of frost.
Boxwood geometric figure
Boxwood haircut is carried out using appropriate frames. To give boxwood a geometric shape in the form of a sphere, a cube, a pyramid, a trapezoid, an ellipse, and so on, ready-made frames made of iron mesh are used. The frame is put on a bush, and everything that remains outside the form, bulging from the mesh cells, is mercilessly cut off. Only the haircuts that regulate and maintain the given shape follow.
Complex figures from boxwood
Boxwood is formed differently when it comes to the figure of a person, animal, piece of furniture and other complex shapes. Then the branches of the adult boxwood are given the necessary shape with the help of hard rods and thick wire. The corresponding branches are bent, fixed, and the remaining ones are tied to the already set skeleton or removed altogether. Creating such a figure is the most complex process, requiring not only patience, but also enthusiasm and some artistic skills, such as a sense of proportion, symmetry and harmony.
Boxwood miniature garden
Gardens in which boxwood bushes or sculptures grow are historically marked with a sign of success, wealth and respectability. But in addition to the open areas of the garden, it is planted in tubs and decorated with fantasy sculptures on patios, terraces, balconies and loggias, and they also use boxwood in miniature gardening. Do-it-yourself garden to be placed on your windowsill, isn't it a miracle? A great idea of an original gift for your loved ones, as well as for those who dream of their own garden, but do not yet have such opportunities.
To begin with, we need to choose a container where we will open our future garden, it can be a wooden box, a basket, a decorative wheelbarrow, a beautiful wide pot or any other container.
We put drainage on the bottom of the pot. Boxwood in open ground does not tolerate the proximity of groundwater, so it will also be more comfortable in a pot with good drainage and nutritious soil.
It is necessary to determine the style or theme of your garden. It can be anything: from oriental style to English or a fairy garden. You will need pebbles or any other filling (gravel, pebbles) of any size and color to create a garden path. To give zest and naturalness to your miniature garden, consider choosing small architectural forms in the form of small benches, wheelbarrows, figures, or toy-sized flower pots that can be made from improvised materials using lids, bottle caps, thimbles, etc.
The most important step is the selection of plants for a miniature garden. The emphasis should be on the brightest and largest plant, for example, a boxwood bush. This plant is often planted in pots, because it quickly adapts to limited spaces, and the evergreen grows slowly.
Such a plant will adorn the garden throughout all seasons without losing its decorative effect. The partners are less tall plants in the form of sedum, ivy, fescue or creeping thyme. Growing, they will fill the general background of the garden, emphasizing the grace of boxwood.
Sometimes, to create a dream garden does not require large financial investments, just show a little imagination and attract such an interesting evergreen plant as boxwood!