February 25, 2017


how much do i love thee….it is endless & forever

Box however, is becoming elusive. Here in the Chicagoland area we are experiencing disease, and now shortages. As I began to check stock, knowing of impending shortages, I was alarmed to find my favorites ‘Glencoe’, and ‘Green Velvet’, are unavailable until AUGUST! 
Having just finished a design yesterday, with massive quantities of Box proposed, we are on the hunt. 
So what is happening, what is the disease and what to do? Canker and Blight, both are a soil borne fungus.
 Canker; entire stem browning to death appears like this below
Blight; is a defoliation
Since it is more fun to talk design, let's have a brief chat on these issues first. It's all about your recognition and management.

If you want an accurate diagnosis, take a clipping to your County Extension Service. But erring on the safe side, treat both the same.
  1.  Cut out the affected stems. Between each cut dip your pruners in a jar of bleach. 
2.   Remove all dead/fallen leaves around 
       the plants. Left alone, they will re-infect. 
       Discard diseased limbs, do not put into the compost bin     
3.   Spray monthly in the growing season
      with a Fungicide. This Copper Fungicide is a good choice
Ok, back to the fun!
Boxwood is so versatile, clipped into formal shapes, rounded, square, hedged, topiary, even animal forms, to name a few. England and France have taken this to an art form.

In formal gardens
Rustic gardens. Personally loved the tightly sheared box settled in to the free form of all else. CONTRASTS!
Brilliant in containers
Here is an image of my garden in early spring. You can imagine that this view is attractive all year as the Box element looks the same season after season
Here is a wider view. I would like to take your eye to the far right, there you will find a massive box. Look really close, can you see a chicken, the face and the upright tail? These attempts take FOREVER!  
My landscape crew had a massive brain freeze and cut off the head and the tail!  WHAT?!? These guys are good, really good. Oddly, no one knows who the executioner was 😡
 The Europeans do not hesitate to add Box to their veg and cutting gardens, for the sole purpose of aesthetics........nice!

                                                         Let's dream...........
 This is a client who enjoys the snugness this hedge provides without impeding her views
The former garden of the uber talented Loi Thai of Tone on Tone blog, Swedish antique specialist, shopkeeper, designer, and best of the best on social media, he is well loved. Photography by Helen Norman
Did you get any ideas? If Boxwood is in your future, secure it now!

This image stopped me in my tracks. Ever notice how an image can reach out and grab you, you can't stop staring? This is it for me. Pay attention when that happens to you. Recognize what it is that pulls your heart & soul in, why are you drawn and take note. Try incorporating those elements into your life or let it rest in the place of your dreams to visit again and again. The aspect that draws me in is the contrast of a motionless plant and the movement of the wood straps. Contrast!
LOCAL NEWS!  see below, this will not scroll down 😡
THIS WEEKS CLASS…….Lean Fake Calligraphy
Yes, you can do this in a few hours.
Course includes, instruction, macro mini pen from Japan, 
Rhodia fine paper notebook
Thursday March 2nd. 7pm  3 spots left  $30.00
SG GENEVA;  630.232.1303



  1. Hi Debra,
    I love boxwood and have a massive amount in my garden. I will say, the boxwood out front struggled this year. I removed about 4 and had to replace them. I don't believe it was canker or blight. They just look like they're struggling so I cut some of the bush and hope they rebound this spring. I'll be watching for the 2 diseases you mention.

  2. hi karen!!
    yes, hopefully it is not one of the above, as it is risky to place another in the same place being soil borne

  3. Here in Virginia we have been fighting the Canker/Blight for several years.
    We have found one problem is using gardeners who do not bleach their tools. The "boxwood man" in Richmond is an expert and knows precisely how to trim boxwoods, many of which grow to 12 feet or more here in the South. He disinfects his tools and makes his workers do the same. But the regular gardener...?? Many people think their usual gardener is qualified to trim the boxwoods. They do so (not pretty) and then bring their dirty tools to another house. You MUST speak with your regular gardeners and stand by with a bucket of bleach when they drive up.

  4. GRC, you are spot on! it is mandatory and hope i conveyed that. i have a friend in charlottesville and remember the first time i went, i was stunned at the size of the box and stunned when i was told wisteria is a weed. very covetous!!

  5. O M G- Debra! We've been dealing with this "canker?" issue for about 4 seasons now, and NO one seems to know what it is or what to do about it. THANK YOU-thank you-thank you!

  6. I am such a fan of boxwoods and have ones that are 50+ years old in my front yard - always trying to protect! Now if I could just create a garden like Loi's, I'd be ecstatic! Happy Monday, Debra.

  7. So sad with what's going on! I will need lots of boxwood at our new home - wish me luck. And thank you sweet friend for the shout out. You are the best, Debra.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...