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Box substitute

SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954


I'm considering a dwarf box hedge at the front of a couple of borders.  (Garden's got a formal style.) Before I go ahead, are there alternatives I should consider? I've seen ilex and a box leaved lonicera that do similar things but I'm not sure if they could be kept dwarf enough? Any others?

Soil is clay. Acidic. One border is full sun.  Other partial shade, moist.

Much appreciated!



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874

    If box leaved lonicera is L. pileata I think it could be kept small enough, if it's nitida It might be more rampant. I think either of them would need clipping more often than box if it wasn't to get straggly

    I've seen euonymus used. The smaller leaves ones are quite box like

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    Ooh yeah, I looked at euonymus too.  Can you get non variegated versions?  Didn't really want to gaudy silver/gold.

    Not sure why I'm even looking for an alternative to box.  Something's just making me keep reconsidering.

    Handy tip about the extra clipping. Tam Nut. My garden design is getting more and more formal but I don't have the time for that.  But I guess that's the way I'm built!

    i just watched Christine Walden on iplayer re Britsh Garden Rivival re bedding plants and I found myself straining to see the ballustrading and formal hedging behind! weirdo!

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    Found euonymus japonicus microphyllus ie box leaved euonymus.  Looks good. Ta v much, Nut.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874


    They won't get box blight will they

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148

    There's quite a few smaller versions available of lonicera, noodle. I think you've made a good decision going for the euonymous/lonicera instead of box. Much more forgiving and pest free!

    I love formal too - would love a parterre image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    Would love a parterre too (and a gardener!)

    I can imagine hubbies face if I started carving up the lawn.  His ideal garden is an expanse of grass with a strimmable hedge round the edge.

    Does anyone know where I can get seed for such hedging? Or small plugs?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148

    I think those would be pot grown only Snoodle. You could buy a couple of plants and do cuttings but I think it would take a few years to get something substantial enough for even a low hedge. Try some of the hedging companies online but I think you'll have to just part with some cash...image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Nicky NickyNicky Nicky Posts: 76

    Hi supernoodle, I have been looking into pretty much the same thing for a while now. Are you looking to grow everything from seed? As that will take a while to fill in even a low hedge. Have you worked out a design and the number of Meters that the hedge will run?

    The run can soon add up. I highly recommend planting plug plants. Im not sure on how long and therefor how many plants you require. But take a look at these two sites (same company) just one is for larger orders 200+ plants

    They claim to be the largest cell growing company in Europe. So also very competitively priced. Im going through a yew thing at the moment and have a vision of a formal garden full of yew.

    Hope this helps a little. Plus that page has a few other examples to check out.



  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    Hi Verdun, I've got a pittosporum tom thumb on your recommendation last year (actually is part of the border I'm now trying to edge) and am very pleased with it.  Ta  I'm tempted by a pitto tenufolium golf ball or two elsewhere in the garden.  Do you have any?

    There's two areas to edge - either side of a patio   - one ready for its hedge, and one prob not ready for a year.  So poss could buy pots grown for the one side, and take cuttings and get growing for the other side. Greenhouse arriving soon so keen to get it to pay its way! Plus have never propagated so keen to give it a go. (And judging by my excitment of first growing from seed I think I might like it!)

    Thanks for your recommendations all.  I'll give them some thought.  Main concern though is keeping them small enough. And getting something consistant  - coping with sun and matching the hot colours border one side, and coping with partial shade matching the (probably) more purples border the other side. Hence avoiding the yellows and silvers of euonymus.  Although could do yellow on hot side, silver on other.  Ho hum...   

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