The Q&A Archives: Alternative to boxwood

Question: I have a plan from a landscape designer that includes boxwoods under our front windows. I have never liked boxwood, and would love to know some alternatives. Would holly work well? I'm in zone 5b

Answer: A somewhat similar textured plant is the inkberry holly, Ilex glabra. You might be able to use one of the blue hollies, however it would require regular pruning to stay small under windows. If you want just a quiet green backdrop, yews might be an option although they too will require regular pruning to stay small. You could possibly use a smaller cultivar of Pieris japonica although this is a little different texture, but it does bloom in spring which might be nice depending on your design. You might also want to ask your designer for substitutes. Good luck with your new lanscaping!

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