The Q&A Archives: Hedge for front yard border

Question: I'm trying to decide on what type of plant to use for a hedge to border my frontyard. My house was built in 1928 and is an English cottage style, so I thought boxwood would be a good choice. I haven't seen any that grow in my zone 10-11 and it might be better to have something faster-growing. Do you have any suggestions for a boxwood that would thrive in zone 10-11 with partial/full sun or some other hedge plant?

Answer: There are two different boxwoods that just might fit the bill. The taller of the two is Buxus 'Green Velvet' which is hardy to USDA Zone 4b. It's a 1973 Sheridan Nurseries hybrid introduction with a rounded habit and vigorous growth which holds color well through winter. Ultimate height is anticipated as 4 ft. The shorter one is English or true dwarf boxwood, B. sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'. It is the most popular and most widely grown cultivar of all boxwoods, predating 1753 in the United States. It is a low (often less than 3 ft), slow-growing, compact shrub which rarely averages more than an inch of growth annually. The plant is rounded with tufts that resemble a cloud. With annual shearing you'll have the formal hedge you want, plus visual interest because the foliage has a slightly different appearance. Or, instead of boxwood, you might consider planting lavender or rosemary. Both can be sheared into a hedge shape and both produce seasonal flower. Best wishes with your garden!

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