Japanese boxwoods have been a part of American landscape since colonial times, used as specimen, foundation and border plants. Boxwoods are common as hedge plants to outline formal gardens, define borders and many other uses. Many topiary structures use boxwoods, and the shrub is just as common left to grow to its own shape as it is to be tightly pruned into detail.
Landscape Design Basics
Eye-catching landscape design elements revolve around texture and color in plant foliage and bloom. Choosing colors that complement or contrast each other is a matter of personal taste. When choosing a landscape design, consider the style of your house, the amount of sun availability, soil quality, personal taste and the amount of work involved. Japanese boxwood sun needs full sun to part shade and work well as a green backdrop to any type of shrub.
Flowering shrubs offer contrast in texture with the small, tight leaves of the Japanese boxwood. Most flowering shrubs grow in a flowing, natural shape compared to the precise lines of a well-trimmed boxwood. The right flowering shrub for your garden depends on your growing zone and sun availability.
Focus on available foliage colors. Varieties of barberry range from gold to bright red to give depth of color to a foundation garden. Beauty bush, cypress, juniper and spirea all offer many colors and textures. Look to leaf shape and size as well as color to create a well-rounded space.
Boxwoods provide color, shape and function through the seasons. When looking for other shrubs, think beyond the current season. Look for shrubs such as forsythia and lilac that give color in spring as well as summer. Look for the oranges and reds of autumn and textures offered in winter such as the berries of winterberry or the bright red twigs of witch hazel. Evergreens, such as arborvitae, grow into cone shapes or can be trimmed into spirals and other designs for interest. For the best selection of shrubs right for your area, visit your local full-service garden centers in each season.