Graham Blandy BoxwoodBuxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy'
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Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Graham Blandy Boxwood is a unique and very special variety of the American boxwood that grows naturally into a very slim, upright column of evergreen leaves, just 1 or 2 feet wide, and up to 15 feet tall. Grow it as a powerful vertical accent in the garden or paired on either side of an entrance or garden feature. Use it in a planter or container for height on a small patio or terrace. Create a super-narrow hedge in a limited space or place it among shrubs for a dramatic contrast. This plant is easy to grow, and you will be amazed at how tight the growth is, without any need for trimming. This is a very different boxwood from the plants used for hedges, but it is just as easy to grow from zone 5 all the way into zone 9. For something beautiful and unique, this plant is it.
Grow the Graham Blandy Boxwood in full sun or partial shade. Plant it in any garden soil, just as long as it is well-drained. Fertilize when young with evergreen fertilizer, and water new plants regularly. Once established it is moderately drought resistant, and it rarely suffers from serious pests or diseases. Even deer and rabbits usually leave it alone, and it doesn’t even need trimming. For a powerful effect in your garden, this easy-to-grow plant cannot be beaten.
There are just a few plants that will make a very tall vertical accent and remain permanently thin. The Sky Pencil Holly is one, but for a leafy evergreen, rather than a conifer, there is nothing that beats the amazing Graham Blandy Boxwood. A narrow column of small green leaves, every branch grows straight up, creating a spectacular narrow plant that never deviates or grows wider with age. These narrow vertical accents are perfect for framing an entrance, or for creating a focal point in a long part of the garden. Grouped at the corners of beds they bring a powerful formal look more easily than anything else can, especially in smaller gardens – and they don’t need tedious trimming to stay that way. You can also make a remarkable narrow hedge, by planting a row at 12-inch intervals. With a little trimming they will grow together into the thinnest tall hedge you have ever seen.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood is a unique variety of the American boxwood. We usually associate that plant with neat, clipped hedges, usually small, but sometimes up to 6 feet tall. So seeing the narrow pencil of the Graham Blandy Boxwood is a fascinating surprise. It has tiny glossy leaves, and every stem grows tightly upright, never branching sideways. The result is a narrow evergreen shrub that will soon be 6 feet tall and just 1 foot wide, and can be developed to at least 15 feet tall, while remaining no more than 2 feet across at the base. Older plants may produce a display of tiny, creamy-green flowers in spring, especially if you don’t trim – and you really don’t need to trim this plant to retain that narrow look.
Plant the Graham Blandy Boxwood in full sun or partial shade, in any ordinary garden soil. Like all boxwood plants it likes good drainage, and soil that is not constantly dry, but once established it has good drought tolerance. Both deer and rabbits generally avoid boxwood, and it has few serious pests or diseases. Although it looks dramatic, this plant is very easy to grow, and because of its natural upright form, you don’t need to trim it, although you can give it a small trim to keep it super-neat if you wish to.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood will grow from zone 5 to zone 9, thriving in ordinary garden conditions. In areas with a lot of winter snow it may need a little help to achieve its maximum height. In fall, to protect the slender branches from breaking, attach a piece of twine to the trunk at ground level, and spiral it up the plant, tying it at the top when you are done. It only takes a few moments, it is almost invisible, but it protects your bush from snow damage.
Reaching 6 feet is easy, but your bush needs some encouragement to reach its possible height of 10 to 15 feet, and even more, without the risk of breakage in storms. Drive a sturdy metal stake into the ground behind your plant, and then attach it to the stake as it grows. You can replace or extend the stake to get more height. Again, this only takes a little time, but the result is worth it. By supporting the plant, you will encourage it to put it energy into growing taller, and then the sky is the limit.
Although called ‘American’ boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) grows naturally in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and probably the British Isles. In Europe and Britain it has been cultivated for centuries, but the first boxwoods that arrived in the colonies were from Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Those very first plants, brought over in 1653, were planted at Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, which is part of Long Island, N.Y. This larger plant became known as the American boxwood. The small hedges seen so often are usually called English boxwood, and they are a much smaller variety (‘Suffruticosa’) suitable only for small hedges. This difference is why the Graham Blandy Boxwood can grow so tall.
The exact origin of the ‘Graham Blandy’ variety is not known, but the National Arboretum first grew it in 1971, while European sources suggest 1985 as the first year, so it is almost certainly an American variety. Our trees are grown from stem pieces taken from correctly identified plants of this unique variety. This plant is always viewed with amazement, and it is always in high demand. We have a limited stock, so order now while we can still satisfy your needs.
The best time to plant the Graham Blandy Boxwood is in the early spring or fall. This gives the plant a chance to establish its roots before the extreme temperatures of summer or winter. However, as a hardy plant, it can tolerate planting at other times of the year, provided it is watered adequately and protected from extreme weather conditions.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood should be watered regularly when it is young or newly planted. Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought, but it will thrive best if it receives regular watering. During hot, dry periods, it may need additional watering. However, it is important not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. The soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings.
Yes, the Graham Blandy Boxwood can be grown in a container. Its narrow, upright growth habit makes it an excellent choice for container planting. It can provide a striking vertical accent on a patio or terrace. However, it is important to choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the plant’s mature size and to ensure that the container has adequate drainage.
An evergreen fertilizer is recommended for the Graham Blandy Boxwood. This type of fertilizer is specifically formulated to provide the nutrients that evergreen plants need. It is best to apply the fertilizer in the early spring, before the start of the growing season. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and methods.
To encourage your Graham Blandy Boxwood to grow taller, you can provide it with a sturdy stake for support. Attach the plant to the stake as it grows, replacing or extending the stake as needed. This support helps the plant to put its energy into growing taller. However, remember that the ultimate height of the plant will also depend on its growing conditions, including light, soil, and water.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood is a relatively hardy plant that is not typically bothered by serious pests or diseases. Deer and rabbits also tend to avoid it. However, like any plant, it can occasionally be affected by common garden pests or diseases. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of trouble and treat any issues promptly to keep your plant healthy.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood is a hardy plant that can tolerate cold winters, as it can grow in zones 5 to 9. However, in areas with heavy snowfall, it may need some protection to prevent the slender branches from breaking. Wrapping the plant with twine in the fall can help to provide this protection.
Yes, older Graham Blandy Boxwood plants can produce tiny, creamy-green flowers in the spring. These flowers are not particularly showy, but they can add a subtle touch of color to the garden. The plant does not need to be trimmed to produce flowers, so you can enjoy this feature even if you prefer a more natural growth habit.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of ways in landscape design. Its narrow, upright growth habit makes it an excellent choice for creating a vertical accent in the garden. It can be used to frame an entrance, create a focal point, or add height to a garden bed. It can also be planted in a row to create a narrow, tall hedge.
The Graham Blandy Boxwood is a slow-growing plant. It can take several years to reach its mature height of 15 feet. However, its slow growth rate is offset by its unique form and the year-round interest it provides as an evergreen plant. With patience and proper care, your Graham Blandy Boxwood can become a standout feature in your garden.