Friday, January 16, 2009


Buxus sempervirens, or Common Boxwood, is one of the joys of Virginia, and Lexington gardens have lots of it: shaped into tidy mounds - as here - trimmed into thick hedges, arranged in formal patterns and parterres, or growing essentially free, when it can reach heights of 20 feet or more over time. (I've not seen any boxwood topiary in Lexington yet -- if you know of any let me know!) You (almost) can't go wrong with boxwood and red brick.

As a transplanted Northerner, boxwood and cardinals are the two things that delight me most about Virginia winters. The sight of a red cardinal sitting in a boxwood hedge will take the chill out of a cold snap, such as we're having right now. (Today's predicted high temperature: 21° F [-6° C]; tonight's low: 5° F [-13° C].)


Peter said...

Thanks for the centigrade indications!! (I have a campaign ongoing against the F!! ) :-))

mkhansen said...

I do it just for you Fahrenheit-phobes!

James Hemby said...

Some time ago when I attended W&L
(1977 - 1981) there was a huge scandal involving the basketball team (had to be the men's team because the University was not coed then) and the campus boxwoods. After a victory (who can remember over whom now), several players late at night jumped into the bushes and decimated several (dozens?). Initially, no one knew who would have done such a senseless and destructive thing. They later confessed and were punished but it was a rare on-campus act of vandalism that left the campus grounds and the honor system violated.

mkhansen said...

That sounds so unlike the usual W&L behavior. (There's a fair amount of rowdiness and inebriated high-spirits, but very little vandalism. I don't recall seeing any.) It's a shame, too, because boxwoods grow slowly and take a long time to reach maturity. Ah, 20-year-old basketball players think very little of horticulture.