To the best of my recollection, the Boxwood plants used to make this entry way sign at our local high school are Buxus ‘Wintergreen’ also known as Korean Boxwood. ‘Wintergreen Boxwood is one of the best Boxwood’s to use as a low hedge like we did here to spell out the word Perry. This planting is at the very front entrance to Perry High School here in Perry Village, Lake County, Ohio.
Mike! Why don’t you know the exact variety that you used?
Here’s the story. My son Kevin and his girlfriend, “eventually to be wife” Gracie came to me at the end of their senior year in high school and said they had a crazy idea. Would it work? Would I help them? Yes it will work and of course I’ll help you.
They wanted to make living welcome sign at the entrance to the High School as a class gift to the high school. So they told me what their budget was, they had some money left in the class account. I suggested they do the following . . .
- They draw out what they wanted to do and present it to the school administrators and get permission to proceed.
- Contact a few local nurseries and see if they could find a local nursery that would donate the plants. I knew somebody would, our local growers are good about things like this.
- C.M. Brown Nurseries right here in Perry offered to donate the needed Boxwood and Shane Brown told them which variety would work best. Thanks Shane!
- I told them to line up a few strong backs because we’d have to move about 10 cubic yards of topsoil with wheelbarrows in order to build the mound needed to make this bed.
If I remember correctly the ornamental grasses that you see in the photo were already there and we just moved them to where they are now.
The strong backs were there, shovels in hand when the topsoil truck showed up. Two hours later we had the bed built. The plants were already on site so it took us a short while to get them positioned just right to spell out “Perry”. We planted them and mulched the bed.
Initially the plants were planted about 12″ apart and I believe they were one gallon plants so it took a few years for them to fill in nicely. I used to sneak over and trim them once or twice a year to make sure this effort turned out as expected. Since then the school maintenance staff has done an awesome job of keeping them trimmed and keeping the bed welcoming and inviting.
This spring a kid from a rival school approached me about donating plants, he wanted to do the same thing at his school. I offered up the plants but he must have decided on another project because I didn’t hear back from him. I think he was doing an Eagle Scout project.
As a point of reference I think Kevin and Gracie graduated in 2006, they can correct me if I’m wrong. I took this photo in December 2016. So ten years later this “Class Gift” still looks great and serves and a very worthy purpose.
Questions, comments or mean things to say?
Pete Sygnator says
Mike, I love your articles. I find them very interesting and informative. I am a former homeowner now living in a condo and have very little area to garden. We have hideous above ground cable television boxes at several locations on the property. Former gardeners planted hollies and arbor vitae to try to hide the boxes but they were slowly devoured by our local herd of deer. We did some research and discovered that deer apparently HATE boxwoods. We were trying to decide which variety of boxwoods to plant to obtain a nice sold 2′-3′ green hedge around the utility boxes. I said “Let me check Mike’s site” and here is the answer! Korean boxwood sounds like just what we need. We’re in Massachusetts on the Connecticut line so we’re probably approximately the same latitude as where you are in Ohio. We’re going to try the Koreans and see how they work. Thanks so much!
I am guessing the first owner of the house I currently live in did a mistake choosing a fast growing variety of boxwood bushes for a hedge by the walkway to the front door of the house. Now, 20 years later, those bushes are taller than a Japanese maple growing next to them. I will not be able to heave the snow over that hedge one more winter.
I understand that this board is visited by enterprising landscapers/nursery owners. I see how much small boxwood bushes cost at a store. I understand that bushes of that size have certain value. I also understand that digging them up involves a lot of labor. I offer these bushes to anyone who would dig them up and fill back the bed with dirt. I am perfectly OK to wait until optimal time for transplanting bushes (late September? October? early November?) as long as agreement is reached.
Please let me know if anyone is interested.
Couple of things.
1. This blog is visit by people all over the world so this really isn’t the place for your offer.
2. Secondly, there’s no two way communication here, no email etc. We do that extensively in our members area; http://backyardgrowers.com/join
3. Your plants, if growing close together as it sounds, are probably worthless to anybody in the trade. A homeowner? Possibly.
4. Your offer would reach far more local people if you put it on craigslist or another local page.
When I posted the comment, I was under impression that this was a local, Northeast Ohio board.
Mike, can you remove my original comment?
Not a problem, it is confusing.
Tom & Sue Rice says
My husband and I would like to plant a hedge beside and behind our garage. The exposures are north and west. Would the boxwood work here or can you recommend something else. We live in Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan. Thanks,
Boxwoods would work but it would make for a slow growing hedge. Not sure how big you can buy them or in how much of a hurry you are in.
Tom & Sue Rice says
Thanks. Is there anything else you would recommend? We don’t want a huge hedge, but something to put against the garage to make mowing easier.
It really depends on the setting, the amount sun etc. Lots and lots of things would work.
Dedicated server says
When planting boxwood, locate them in an area that is protected from winter wind to avoid a condition called winter bronzing. Aside from watering and mulching, growing boxwood is a low maintenance task, unless you wish to keep them as a sheared hedge.
Dennis Gunzenhauser says
I’ve been receiving your emails for several years and look forward to many more. I’m interested in your plant propagation system, when will it be back in stock for purchase? I lost about 500 feet of tree line along my driveway, thanks to the Emerald Ash borer, and would like to propagate some shrubs, boxwoods and rosie barberry, to fill in some of the space. I’ve used your method of the plastic containers with sand and have had some luck, but I’d like to try on a bigger scale using the system.
Very soon, long before softwood cutting season begins we’ll have these, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/ in stock. Early April for sure.
Sir , i have looked all over for one particular boxwood. A kingsville dwarf, seems very hard to get. Would you have a source. I from South Texas, wintergreen easier but kingsville boxwood ID much rather have . any help would be great. Keep doing what you are doing. Thank you
Sorry Ken, I’m not familiar with it, probably more popular in warmer areas, I’ll bet our members in the warmer states grow it. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
I love the information you publish. I have a question. I work in a corporate setting and have a very good job. The money is also very good. The challenge is that my wife has taken very ill as of late. And my job requires me to travel 4 days per week. I need to replace my income and I’m wondering if you know anyone who makes over $200,000.00 per year in sales out of their backyard nursery. I NEED a way to stay closer to home. I need your advice. I thank you for your consideration.
I think $200,000 a year in gross sales out of a backyard is unrealistic. Many nurseries gross in the millions, but they have a lot of acreage and a lot of employees. The reality is that not many small business owners earn even close to that. Some? Yes. I don’t promise people any kind of income let alone a number like that. But I do teach them how to start with very little and grow that into what ever they want it to be. But it does take time.
Arnold Onlooker says
Your honesty in this subject matter is important. Thanks!