An Unsolicited Opinion on Boxwoods: A Shrub Rant
Boxwoods…FRIEND OR FOE?! Boxwoods are a common landscaping shrub and can be found in almost every neighborhood (and probably every street) in Palestine. You may not know what a boxwood is off the top of your head, but you’ll recognize it in the pics, I promise!
Oh…boxwoods…I have a love-hate relationship with them. Don’t get me wrong…I am not a complete boxwood hater. Well, maybe I am. The photo above is a great use of boxwoods–they are clean and crisply manicured and they definitely add interest to the landscaping. I like boxwoods when they are not the ONLY landscaping in a yard and when they are mixed in with other (preferably blooming) shrubs. However, boxwoods can also date a house, especially when it is the only shrubbery in sight. This is a prime example of the dating effect that boxwoods can have (the green shutters don’t help either, but that’s another post 😉 ):
Boxwoods also will grow into wild shapes when left untrimmed:
Another lesser known tidbit is that certain types of boxwood can leave an odor that is easily mistaken for cat spray, which is not the first impression you want to give when someone walks up to your house for the first time (especially if you are trying to sell it…yikes!) I’m willing to bet that many a cat has been blamed for spraying, when in fact, it was the boxwood by the front door that did the “spraying!” The poor, poor kitties!
I am not a professional landscaper, but I do know what looks good and what sells houses and I’ve never had a single client tell me “I will only buy a house with boxwoods!!!!” I have had requests for pecan trees, azaleas, camellias and dogwoods, but not once has anyone ever swooned over a boxwood. And they never will…because it’s a boxwood. There is nothing wrong with boxwoods as a plant species, only in the way they are so blandly used. Make the neighbors (and more importantly, yourself!) swoon–make sure that you are mixing it up and not relying on a strict boxwood diet in your yard.
Lisa E. Priest is an unwitting shrub activist and local REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or at BuyPalestine.com.