By Devin Almonte
Our home’s exterior landscape has a very modern, french-country feel and is filled with gorgeous English Boxwoods throughout its gardens. I love the look, feel and smell of the English boxwood. Of course, its unique scent is both equally loved and hated by admirers. For me, it’s fragrance is reminiscent of the sound and feel of those warm, northeast, summer breezes coupled with lazy days reading and relaxing on the porch with a glass of mint iced tea in hand. There’s nothing quite like it.
There’s no doubt that I love the English Boxwood. However, it is particularly susceptible to disease and more specifically, boxwood blight, which is a type of fungus that can spread the disease quite quickly to and from any neighboring boxwoods.
This is exactly what happened to our mature, English Boxwood hedge, which used to beautifully accent our front living room windows. The disease came on quickly and spread fast, leaving our magnificent hedge looking like it had been through a California wildfire, leaving it scorched and bare without a drop of color left on its leaves. I’m devastated that its life had come to its end.
I have decided not to replace this hedge with another English Boxwood hedge. I don’t have the time to give it the treatment and care it deserves, which could leave it ripe and open for greater risk of disease. It’s also slow-growing, which will leave me with that same feeling I get when I’m waiting a lifetime for my toast to be ready.
I find that a great alternative to the English boxwood is the Manhattan Euonymus. This is my kind of shrub. Instant gratification is at the top of the list because it is super fast-growing and will fill out your space in no time. It’s brilliant, green color adds dimension and character to any garden. It’s an evergreen, so you will have colorful leaves from top to bottom year-round. As a bonus, it also sprouts beautiful tiny pink fruit during the fall months. And if you don’t have a green thumb, it’s nearly impossible to kill, even if the deer stop by for lunch from time to time. In fact, some Manhattan Euonymus owners enjoy such lunch visits and claim that frequent lunch visits by our furry friends promotes pruning and frequent pruning promotes growth. However, if you are extra worried about the deer, make sure your hedge is in a high traffic area, where deer will not want to venture and during the quieter months of winter, you can always wrap with protective garden netting.
Fast-growing evergreen with brilliant, shiny, green foliage. When pruned, tit is excellent as a hedge for more formal and neat appearance. Summer season produces flower clusters which give way to small ornamental fruit during the fall months.
Full sun best. Will also work in shaded areas with a slower rate of growth.
6-8 ft tall, 5-6 ft wide without pruning.
Weekly until established.
Strong resistance to disease.
All comments written above are my own opinion and thoughts as it relates to gardening.
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