A Front Yard Landscape Update, Green Beauty Boxwoods Growing Like Weeds!

Welcome to the 597th Metamorphosis Monday!

Over the past few months, I’ve had several requests to give an update on the front yard landscaping I completed back during Spring 2016. I’ve been meaning to share an update because I’m absolutely stunned how much the Green Beauty Boxwood shrubs I planted back then have grown!

Here’s a before photo that was taken that May not too long after I planted all the shrubs. Let me tell you, these boxwood shrubs weighed a ton! All the Green Beauty boxwoods were balled-and-burlapped so they were super heavy. We weren’t getting a lot of rain during that time, so the ground was pretty hard. I had to water it before I could even dig.

Boxwoods and Hydrangeas for the Front Yard Landscape


It was out of sheer will that I got all the holes dug and these babies into the ground! lol  I tried to space them out well so they would have plenty of room to grow. You can read more about this project in this post: Landscaping with 4 Varieties of Boxwood Shrubs.

When I returned from Ohio a few weeks ago, the boxwoods were all growing wild and wooly. My neighbors tell me we got tons of rain while I was away during the spring, so the shrubs were badly in need of a trim.


They were definitely getting bigger than I wanted. I don’t like for foundation shrubs to grow to the point where they are blocking the windows. I don’t mind if they come up a little into the window but I like keeping them down where they don’t block the view or take over half the window–if you know what I mean.

Trimming them back and into the round sphere shape I wanted was more than I thought I could do with my little hedge trimmers. So I let the guy who cuts my grass do the trimming with me keeping a close eye out that he didn’t cut them too far back.


Here’s how they look now, still so big! Notice how big the Green Mountain topiary in front of the column has gotten!

Boxwood Shrubs, Before and After


Here’s how they used to look.


Here’s a Before photo from when I first planted the Green Beauty Boxwoods back in May 2016. The two smaller boxwood shrubs up front are called Baby Gem and they are supposed to remain fairly small.


Here’s how they all look today. I can’t believe they’ve gotten this big in just 4 years! When I was planning this landscaping project, I had read that boxwood shrubs were slow growers. Well, apparently these Green Beauty Boxwoods didn’t get that memo! I guess they are very happy planted here, even the Baby Gem boxwoods up front are getting big.

I purposely bought the boxwoods in a big size back then because I wanted an “instant” landscape. By Golly, I think I achieved that goal!  If I had known they were going to grow this quickly, I probably would have purchased smaller shrubs and saved some $$$ and my poor back from having to dig such big holes. They are the perfect height right now, hope I can keep them around this height for many years to come.

Boxwood Shrubs Grew Quickly


I wasn’t here to trim back the Limelight Hydrangea before it set buds, so it looks very gangly. I’ll trim it back a lot at the end of next winter so that it will fill back out. The leaves are looking yellow. We’ve been getting a lot of rain so not sure if it’s gotten too much rain or needing a particular nutrient. Any ideas?

Boxwood Shrubs Grew Quickly


Here’s how the Green Beauty Boxwoods on the other side of the porch looked before trimming.


I actually love shrubs in their natural growth shape, but I can’t let these go crazy or they will be covering the windows before long. Plus, if they get too big, I don’t think they can’t be trimmed properly without looking terrible. Also, I made the decision many years ago to keep this area looking a bit more formal since it’s the front of the house, so that’s why I’m going with the rounded “ball” shape for these boxwoods.


Here’s how they look after their recent trim. If you know a lot about taking care of boxwood shrubs, please let me know if you think these look okay. Hopefully, my yard guy did a good job with trimming them.

Landscape with Boxwood Shrubs


The poor benches on the front porch didn’t get cleaned for three months while I was gone! They were caked in grime and pollen.


I was hoping that the finish wasn’t ruined.




Thankfully, they cleaned up nicely.


These benches were definitely a great buy for the porch, they’ve held up quite nicely here on the porch.


I hope you enjoyed this little landscaping update! The front porch is getting painted in a few weeks, so I’ll share another update once that’s completed.

Have you been making a few landscape updates this spring? It’s never-ending, isn’t it? lol Get one thing looking pretty and something else starts falling apart! Arggg!


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Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Your boxwoods have filled in so nicely. I lost a boxwood last year to winter burn from our harsh Illinois winter. It makes me a bit shy to replace it with another one, but I love the shape and texture of them . Thanks for hosting, have a great week!

    • Sorry that happened, Pamela. I’m really surprised how hardy these have been, even during a severe snowstorm we had a couple of winters ago. Here’s a photo from that storm and they survived it with no problem. The snow only lasts a few days here, then goes away thankfully. We do get the occasional ice storm which always breaks the top out of my magnolia tree.

  2. Ha – yes you’re right Susan – it’s always something with home maintenance! 😉 Loved seeing how your plants have grown though. We’re zone 8 up here in Portland, so your boxwoods might do well here too. We’re redoing our backyard this summer, and I’m collecting ideas. Thanks as always for hosting this great party, and hope you have a lovely week!

    • Thanks, Barbara! I do love the simplicity of boxwoods and their year around greenery in the landscape. Good luck with that summer makeover! My backyard definitely needs that!

  3. Charlotte Bordelon says

    Your garden looks beautiful! I love the round shape of the boxwoods. I have azaleas planted and they are getting crazy, but everytime I go to trim them they are blooming.

  4. Boxwood look so nice! Hydrangeas that yellow are likely in need of a good does of Espoma Iron-Tone fertilizer. It words well for me in SC.

  5. Jon Anne Winstead says

    Boxwoods look great! What did you use to clean your benches? They cleaned up great!

    • Thanks! I just filled a big tub full of hot soapy water…had a little Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Then I rinsed them well afterward.

  6. Jane Clary says

    LOVE those benches. Would you share where you purchased them?

  7. Regality3 says

    Dave’s Garden is a valuable resource for plant information: https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/125602/

  8. When my son moved a few years ago the Boxwoods were all overgrown. They just hacked them back severely, and they eventually all leafed back out.

  9. Katherine says

    I know quite a bit about boxwoods. Make sure that they don’t get so tight at the tops that no sunlight can get into the bish. Otherwise you’ll end up with leaves only on the outer tips and a dead looking bush in the middle. I trim mine like yours with a hedge trimmer and then go back and reach down into the bushes and remove the thicker stems and limbs. They still have the pleasing shape but are looser and allow light down inside.

  10. Susan, your wild and wooly boxwoods looked so cute. They reminded me of all the PEOPLE who looked wild and wooly, unable to get haircuts during their lockdowns, lol. They came out looking great though. So glad you were able to come home after such a long time away with basically just cleaning and no damage to deal with. I bet you have nice neighbors who keep an eye out for you.

    We have a lot of boxwoods and one got sick and died, leaving a weird gap. But when we priced ones of a similar large size, we got such sticker shock we didn’t replace it. Not sure what to do with that gaping space. A large flowering plant like a hydrangea might be nice. If you have any suggestions, let me know. If I knew how fast your ‘slow growing’ boxwoods would grow, I would have gotten a little one and waited it out, lol.

  11. Susan, yours look really good right now. Our house faced north like yours. We planted boxwood in front, staggered and away from the windows, and kept them beneath the window frames like you. After 14 yrs, they really needed to be yanked and replanted, and I would’ve chosen something even smaller than what we got, something like your Baby Gems. So many times the new varieties of plants yield an actual planting of one the originals from which it was grafted, that it’s hard to even know with the tag what you’ll end up with. I always had ours trimmed in fall, and then just cleaned up a tad in June. Hopefully, you’ll have another 10 yrs without having to be concerned about replacing.

  12. Brenda s. Lawrence says

    Wow, I thought boxwoods were slow growing too, but evidently the variety you selected are’t or like you said, they love it where they are! I’ve never seem them grow and get wooly like that. lol I always thought you didn’t have to trim them because they grew so slow. Goes to show what I thought I knew! They look great now. All your shrubs has grown so much! I hope you find out what is going on with your hydrangea. I so love the two you have! Hugs, Brenda

  13. franki parde says

    I just watered all my boxwood this morning…I love the rounded look!! My “guys” are looking…peak-ed…read where there is a boxwood disease “hitting”…even Martha Stewart is worried…franki

  14. Kathleen says

    I love boxwood. Most of mine are Japanese variety and a few African. I sheared one bed into a hedge and then I have several individuals down the driveway that grow naturally. Also bought mini boxwood to line around a flowerbed. They really are slow growing…like six inches in height. They are so cute with their tight little leaves. Also had one get “sick” and die in the middle of the hedge so I replaced with a gallon size. Talk about sticker price! Used to buy gallon for $3.98 and now they are $9.98 or higher. Love your gems and hope the limelight just missed its pruning (and you) and not sick.

    • Kathleen, a few years ago when I priced some about the size of ours, they were $1,000!! I couldn’t believe it. The seller said it was because they ‘grow so slowly.’ Haha. He should have Susan’s soil.

      I wonder if your mini boxwoods would work in another place I have. I wouldn’t want them to get more than about 16-18″ wide, at most. Will yours grow that big? Thanks.

      • Kathleen says

        Hi Pam. Mine are very small and I don’t shear them that much. They are 12 inches tall and about 10 inches wide. I also picked up one on clearance at Lowe’s that was in bad shape and put it in a pot (this was about four years ago) and it’s about the same size and still in the pot (maybe I need Susan’s soil too). I’m in zone 9. I can’t find my info. I think it is j. compata..extra dwarf. And now that I brought out my Western Garden I see my African boxwood is not related to Buxus at all, but has the same qualities.

        • Kathleen, I forwarded your photos on to Pam, thank you for sending those for her…that was nice of you!

        • Kathleen, thanks so much for answering. I’m going to keep track of those names and see if I can find them in my area. Sounds like just what I need. Thanks again for taking the time, and thank you Susan, I’ll go look at those pics. (Apparently, I’ve got mail.) Fun!

  15. Michele M says

    WOW! They certainly have grown! I think your yard guy did a fab job on the reshaping of your boxwoods.

    We have many many boxwoods here and keep them shaped up, too.

    Franki’s comment above mine – we had a bit of a boxwood illness here in mid Ohio a few years ago. I lost one of my smaller ones. We feed our shrubs and trees with nutrients and the blight has gone. Hope it stays gone.

    Your curb appeal is beautiful, Susan. Looking forward to the porch painting reveal!

  16. Catalynn says

    Wow they’ve really grown and I think the trim looks fabulous!
    Your porch is so lovely, the benches are the icing on the cake, so pretty!
    I’m always inspired after reading your posts… you always have the best ideas… I’m wondering where you purchased your porch light fixtures from, we’re looking for new ones for our house but all the ones I’ve found are too small and insignificant… I’d love some large ones like yours if you wouldn’t mind sharing the source. 🙂

    • Thanks, Catalynn! I purchased the lighting from Home Depot Expo back in 2008 when the porch was being completed. I like big lanterns, too…love the impact they make. The lighting is by Quoizel Lighting: https://www.quoizel.com/ . I miss Home Depot Expo, wish they had never closed.

      • Catalynn says

        Susan..Thank you so much for answering, I’m going through the site and already found a couple that look perfect.. I’m very impressed with the quality and larger sizes, they make a statement which is exactly what I love about your porch fixtures.☺

  17. About your Limelight Hydrangeas: they don’t fare well in pots long-term and likely need more sunshine. Too much water, too little direct sunlight usually causes yellowing leaves. Consider transplanting them into the ground with eastern/southeastern sun exposure, as the 2 types of Limelight Hydrangeas were developed to thrive in sunlight, unlike the blue and pink types. Hope this helps, Susan.

  18. If you haven’t been fertilizing (feed) your Limelight Hydrangeas you need to do so on a routine basis. Plants in containers need feeding much more than those in the ground because nutrients in the container soil is leached out quickly. Feed hydrangeas regularly with Espoma Holly-tone. Holly-tone fertilizer for acid loving plants also lowers your soil’s pH. Plus, a well-fed hydrangea will have bigger, better blooms. I agree with Nan of TN that your Limelights would probably do better if planted in the ground where they get at least 6 to 8 hours of sun a day. Your box woods look great.

  19. Thanks so much for hosting each week!! Stay safe, healthy, happy!!

  20. That was a lot of growth. I don’t have boxwood, but I trim my hedges with floral scissors (really sharp), so I am pruning versus hacking with an electric trimmer. The electric trimmer cuts the leaves and they burn easily. Mine are really full and green while others in the neighborhood are scraggly and thin at the bottom. Last year when it was so hot, after I trimmed the hedge, I covered it with a sheet to keep it from burning. My house faces east with direct sun most of the day.
    I love that bench on the porch. Is it wood ? In the photos it looks like metal.

  21. Cyndi Raines says

    I love box woods, we have ours shaped in squares and look nice also. Your gardner did a great job at trimming. Yes, we have been VERY busy painting fences,repairing fences, painting decks, and I even totally cleaned out a bed of perineals and planted Cosmos, Dahlia’s and Wax Begonias, the perineals were then transplanted at the edge of our woods. It was a lot of work, but I’m very happy with the results. The weather has been in the mid-to- high 90’s so I’m getting a bit of a break, can’t take that kind of heat and humidity, but I know the list of projects is still waiting, lol.

  22. Hi Susan,
    We have Boxwoods in front of our house and along part of our driveway. They have been there since 1967. Last year I knew I would have to do something about how huge they had gotten. We had trimmed them every year, but maybe not enough or all the rain we had been getting here in the South caused them to really grow. I cut them WAY back last summer to only sticks shaped in rounds. I was really pleased with how they filled out late last Summer and early this Spring. I was really hoping they wouldn’t die, because I remembered how expensive you said they were.

  23. Thank you so much for hosting! This week I am sharing how to make a DIY outdoor shower curtain! Hope you had a great fourth and wishing you a great rest of your week!

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