Low hedge – Full Sun – Southern Exposure

(Question)

I am quite keen on a low (12-16″ hedge (and the same width) to act as a border for a small front yard with southerly exposure and full sun. The soil is somewhat sandy and drains well. The span would be approx 24′ across and 14′ deep (the side of the walkway on each of my and my neigbour’s side). Boxwood is very much what I’d like to do, but I understand there may be challenges with full sun applications. I’d prefer that dark green leaf. Can you recommend a variety or something similar which will thrive under these conditions?

(Answer)

Boxwood (Buxus) would most likely be the best choice for the type of border that you envision for your front yard. Even though boxwoods grow well in full sun, some cultivars perform best with some afternoon shade.

Winter sun is perhaps the main problem with boxwood; the sun and wind can cause the leaves to desiccate once the ground is frozen and the roots are unable to absorb water. The use of mulch around the hedge will allow the soil to retain moisture during the growing season; during the winter, winter burn may be reduced with the use of an anti-desiccant (an organic spray that is applied before the temperatures fall below freezing). Such products can be obtained from your local nursery.

‘Green Velvet’ would probably be the best dark green cultivar for the size of hedge you plan. ‘Green Velvet’ is a particularly hardy variety and holds its colour well into winter, For more information, please see: https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=243327&isprofile=0&