Low hedges are a great way to bring order and structure to your garden, and they create a classic look that works especially well with older homes. The most popular and useful plant for this is English boxwood, which clips easily and always looks fresh and green all year round. The problem is that in colder areas it is not very hardy and can turn brown and die back in winter. Other types of boxwood, especially the Korean boxwood, are hardier, but they do not make such attractive, dense hedges. So plant breeders have answered the prayers of gardeners in colder areas and blended the beauty of the classic English boxwood with the hardiness of Korean boxwood, to bring us the Green Velvet Boxwood. This plant is an absolute winner in any garden, with its moderate size and dense foliage, but it is a special blessing for those who live where the winter plunges to minus 30 degrees. Those gardeners have previously only looked in envy at the beautiful boxwood hedges of gardens in warmer areas, but now they too can have the perfect, all-year boxwood hedge.
Green Velvet Boxwood is a low-growing rounded shrub that will reach 3 or 4 feet in height, and spread outwards by about the same amount. It has small, rounded leaves that are glossy, thick and an attractive shade of rich green. Left unclipped it is a useful shrub for all-year permanence in foundation plantings around your home, or as a background plant among other shrubs or flowers. Most gardeners will choose it for clipped specimens or hedges, to bring order and formality to their gardens. It will grow well in sun or partial-shade, so it can be used all over the garden – wherever you need a round globe or a low hedge. It looks perfect on either side of a doorway – in the ground or in a pair of elegant pots – or as globes or other simple shapes among dwarf shrubs and flowers. Planted as low hedge it can edge a pathway, a driveway, flower beds, or features like fountains or ponds. Wherever you need a strong green line drawn, Green Velvet Boxwood is your ‘go-to’ choice.
The English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) is a dwarf form of the American boxwood, which is actually a European plant brought to American in 1653 to adorn the colonial gardens. It was not hardy enough for colder areas, and so other boxwoods from Asia were introduced in the 19th century, including the Korean boxwood. That plant (Buxus sinensis var. insularis) is much more reliable in cold climates. Canadians know well the problems of gardening in cold climates, and it was Sheridan Nurseries, in Montreal, Canada, who used the English and Korean boxwoods to develop ‘Green Velvet’, which they released in 1973. This tried and true hybrid variety was awarded a Gold Medal in 1997 by the prestigious Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
This is obviously a special variety, and regular boxwoods, especially cheap seedlings, will not have the winter hardiness and dense, rounded form of this plant. Our plants are grown for us by specialist growers using stem pieces derived from those original Canadian plants, so we know that you will receive the true Green Velvet Boxwood, and not some cheap and inferior substitute.
Choose a sunny or partially-shaded location for your boxwood specimens or hedge. For a hedge, place the plants 12-15 inches apart in a row, preparing the ground before you plant by adding plenty of rich organic material to the soil. The Green Velvet Boxwood will grow in most well-drained garden soils. If you are going to clip your plants into round balls, or a hedge, begin clipping soon after planting, to develop a dense structure. You can clip you plants several times a year, if needed. Wait until the new growth begins to turn darker green, and then clip. Do not clip late in the fall or during the winter. Always slope the sides of your hedge inwards a little, to keep the leaves growing right to the ground. Use a fertilizer for evergreen plants in the spring, and again in mid-summer for the strongest and healthiest growth. You can also leave you plants to develop naturally. They will become an attractive dense, rounded bush about 3 feet tall and wide.
Green Velvet Boxwood is a superb and hardy plant that has many uses in your garden. We have a good supply of plants, but we know they will sell quickly, so avoid disappointment, order now and your plants will arrive in a just a few days. Then you can start growing this great plant in your own garden, and see for yourself what a performer it is.