Boxwood Landscaping Techniques

What You'll Need
Flower pot (plastic containers)
Bamboo sticks
Clipping scissors
Boxwood (Buxus Raffia variety)
Guide string
Tape measure
Bamboo stakes
Manual & Electronic hedge trimmer

Among the many varieties of garden shrubs, boxwood shrubs are the preferred choice for garden landscaping projects. Boxwoods are recommended for creating miniature hedge patterns, since their foliage can be easily pruned in specific patterns. Boxwoods have compacted foliage, making them perfect for border planting. There are no strict rules for landscaping with a boxwood shrub. However, you should know about the two fundamental techniques that are synonymous with boxwood landscaping.

Landscaping Topiary Technique

A garden topiary is created for ornamental purposes only, i.e. for beautifying the garden. Topiaries can be understood as garden sculptures created by pruning/clipping the foliage into creative patterns. Boxwoods have a slow-growth pattern, helping to retain the clipped pattern for a longer period. Boxwoods have low-to-medium vertical growth, providing an accessible height for repeated pruning. Common boxwood topiary designs include:

  • Balls & Cones
  • Spirals & Obelisks
  • Twisted Stem Patterns 

Topiary Landscaping Instructions

  1. Preparing Boxwoods— select boxwood plants with a stable-looking trunk. The plant should be at least one-season old. Remove the boxwood plant from the garden bed, using a shovel. If you are using retailed boxwoods, dust-off the roots after extracting plants from their pots. Clip-off the lower branches around the base of the trunk. You can use clipping scissors for this. This is done to define the trunk area of the boxwood.
  2. Preparing Topiary Container— place the plant in a container that is about 6-inches wider than the boxwood’s root ball. Fill the gap between the plant and the container’s surface, using the garden top soil. Stake the trunk with a bamboo stick. The staked boxwood provides an upright plant with a visible trunk that is easy for repeated clippings.
  3. Clipping Boxwoods— regularly clip the lower branches. You should also prune the side shoots to negate excessive sideways expanse. When the plant begins to show substantial development of new leaves, start pinching the leaves. The pinched branches/leaves serve as the point of fresh and faster growth. Clipping scissors are recommended for making precise patterns rather than shears.

Boxwood Hedging Technique

Boxwood hedges are used for establishing garden borders, i.e. separating the garden into different sections. Common Boxwood or Buxus sempervirens is ideally suited for this purpose. A hedge has to be crafted to make it suitable for such particular purposes, i.e. it needs regular trimming.

Hedging Landscaping Instructions

  1. Preparing Hedge Pattern— establish the design of the hedge. Common choices include straight-line, diagonal and curved hedges. Using a tape measure, mark the intended length of the hedge on the ground. Using a hammer, pound the stakes about 10-inches apart, along the marked line. Tie a guide string to the stakes.
  2. Planting the Hedge— using a shovel, remove the sod under the guide string. The trench should be at least 10-inches wide. Plant the boxwoods into the excavated trench. Fill the empty space around the root ball with the dug-out soil. Water the trench. Wait for a few weeks for the plants to develop new leaves.
  3. Trimming the Hedge— use the electric hedge trimmer for shaping the topmost foliage. You can use a manual trimmer to cut-off any odd growth or wild shoot development. Manual trimmer is recommended for precise, smaller trimmings. When trimming the sides, ensure that you maintain any planned inclines for the foliage. Trim every three weeks to ensure that the hedge develops in the intended shape.