Let’s Talk Boxwood

ways to use boxwood to decorate
When we moved into our house 13 years ago next week, there were two long boxwood hedges lining the sidewalk to our front door.

After a while we began to notice an odor that smelled like – there’s no delicate way to put this – cat urine. Turns out that’s a distinctive boxwood odor, although some people either don’t notice it or aren’t bothered by it.

We weren’t those people, so we took out the boxwood hedges and replaced them with yews.

But I really like the classic look of boxwood. And we have a large boxwood hedge along our treeline in the back yard that is far enough away from the house that we don’t notice the odor. So lately I’ve been going out there and clipping sprigs of boxwood to put in a container in our family room.


This is a fresh bunch that I just clipped, but the old bunch had been there for months. They were dry of course, but still green. Just a lighter, more grey shade.


I put some more clippings in this silver estate sale ice bucket in my dining room.


I like that I can put out something fresh that will last such a long time.


Back in December I clipped boxwood branches from the same bush to put in my Christmas fireplace garland.

Christmas garland after

And I have this faux boxwood wreath hanging over my kitchen sink. I don’t have many fake plants in the house anymore, but this one stays.

No Sew Cafe Curtains

Fresh and fake boxwood aren’t the only choices – boxwood can be preserved. It’s pretty pricey to buy that way, so I’ve pinned some DIY instructions to my Plants and Flowers Board on Pinterest. I’ve yet to try it though because the yard clipping thing is working so well for me.

This summer my love of boxwood caused me to brave some more boxwood shrubs outside. I didn’t plant big rows of them, but rather some small shrubs in pots.

I started with the concrete planters on my front porch. The shrubs I bought were pretty tiny so I planted some white begonias around them which helped fill in the pot.


I also planted two more shrubs in larger planters on the patio.


For these I added metal orbs I got from Nell Hills last fall.


I like that these are so much more low maintenance than pots of flowers.


So I’m curious: are you a boxwood fan? How do you use it in your house and yard?

Never miss a post! Sign up to receive Creating This Life posts by email.

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp


  1. nan, odessa, DE says:

    Julie, one more thing we both enjoy! Hope you are using not just boxwood but Dwarf English Boxwood!!! Other boxwood will grow faster than dwarf and not work as long in pots. Check the care of these plants, don’t over water and don’t have soggy soil.

    I can’t say enough good about boxwood. I have 15″ clay pots of boxwood lining my brick patio. During winters (DE) I just move them to a protected area (facing South if possible) around and close to the foundation of my home. Lovely all seasons. I can see this protected area all winter. The pots are lovely in the snow.

    In late August, I buy 3-4 Dwarf English Boxwood (can’t find them after this season) to use in the silver ice buckets inside from Christmas to Valentine’s Day. I have wrapped the pots in burlap and used them on a buffet.

    I have a back screened veranda that everyone uses to enter HOME and I make an attractive window box by setting these boxwood containers inside a window box. I add/delete changes from pumpkins to panies with these same dwarf English boxwood as the bases. When spring arrives I either pot or plant and begin the next season of boxwood.

    Susanne Hudson, Douglasvill, GA is the person who gets credit for my enjoyment of boxwood. Be sure to GOOGLE : Susanne Hudson, Douglasville, GA. SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE, May 2008 has a lovely spread on her home/yard. Lots to read about this lady on GOOGLE. Good stuff!!!!

    1. Such great information, Nan! I am going to be on the lookout for those Dwarf English Boxwood. They sound delightful! Love that Christmas to Valentine’s Day idea.

      I’m off to Google that SL article.

  2. I’ve been eying boxwoods but my neighbors on both sides have tons so wanted something a bit different–I settled on a hebe that has a similar leaf pattern as boxwoods but has enough differences to shake it up and it looks great in a pot next to my potted hydrangea–exactly what I was looking for! Love your pots and what you did with the orb, mine’s just been sitting on the deck amongst some pots but you’ve inspired me to try something new!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.