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"Why I've Fallen Out of Love with Stinky Boxwoods and Better Shrubs to Consider"


For years, boxwoods have reigned as a go-to shrub in landscaping due to their versatility, hardiness, evergreen appeal, and the markups that landscapers can make on them.


However, after tending to these stinky shrubs, watching them get buxus blight and ugly brown holes, I've finally asked myself "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING JANET?"


Have you smelled a boxwood? No, it's not a dead opossum or opossum pooh you're smelling - it's the boxwood stink wafting thru your landscaping.


Ask yourself, do you want your guests smelling opossum pooh when they come to your front door?


Exploring alternatives, I've discovered a multitude of reasons why my enthusiasm for boxwoods has waned, and why other shrubs deserve consideration in landscaping projects.


Firstly, maintenance can quickly turn into a boxwood battle. While initially touted for their easy upkeep, these shrubs demand frequent trimming to maintain their desired shape. Neglect them for a while, and they become a shaggy mess, losing their aesthetic appeal. This high maintenance aspect often catches homeowners off guard, leading to frustration and extra time spent in the garden.


Moreover, boxwoods are prone to certain pests and diseases. Boxwood buxus blight, in particular, has become a widespread concern, causing defoliation and unsightly brown patches. Controlling these issues requires significant effort and sometimes the use of pesticides, compromising the eco-friendliness of your garden.


But fear not! Several alternatives can offer the same or even better benefits without the boxwood woes. Consider the following options:


  1. Dwarf Yaupon Holly: Resilient and easy to maintain, this evergreen shrub boasts small, glossy leaves and requires minimal pruning, making it a low-maintenance choice.

  2. Japanese Holly: With various cultivars available, Japanese holly offers diversity in size and shape. They're more resistant to pests and diseases compared to boxwoods, making them a hardier option.

  3. Dwarf Fothergilla: Known for its beautiful, fragrant white flowers in spring and vibrant fall foliage, this shrub provides visual interest throughout the year without demanding excessive attention.

  4. Inkberry Holly: A native North American shrub, inkberry holly thrives in various conditions and showcases dark, glossy foliage year-round, adding elegance to any landscape.

  5. Leucothoe: This shade-loving shrub features colorful foliage and graceful arching branches, adding texture and visual appeal to gardens, especially in shaded areas.


By considering these and other alternatives, you can diversify your landscape while reducing the labor-intensive care that boxwoods often demand. These shrubs not only offer aesthetic value but also present a more resilient and low-maintenance choice for gardeners looking to break away from the boxwood monotony.


In conclusion, while boxwoods have had their time in the landscaping spotlight, exploring other shrub options can provide a refreshing change that requires less effort and offers equal, if not superior, visual appeal. Experimenting with different shrubs can bring newfound joy and ease to your gardening experience, allowing you to create a stunning landscape without being tied down by the demanding nature of boxwoods.


Thanks for reading! Would love your comments!

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