Boxwood Topiaries for a Traditional Landscape

Welcome to the 240th Metamorphosis Monday!

How’s your Labor Day weekend going? I hope you’re having a fun one!

Well, it took some doing but I finally found a couple of matching boxwoods for the planters I purchased recently for the front porch area.ย Remember these large containers I purchased a couple of weeks ago? ย They replaced the too-small concrete pots that had been there for years.

Lattice Containers with Pyramidal Boxwood Topiaries


Amazingly, these lattice-styled containers fit the area on either side of the steps like they had been designed to go there! They are 24 inches square and that’s the size of the area on either side of the steps. Lucky break, there!

The tricky part came when I went shopping for boxwoods in a pyramidal shape. Nurseries are kind of low on stock in mid-August since no one in their right mind plants shrubs in Georgia in August! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, almost no one.

About a week ago I called a nursery I hadn’t visited in ages that’s located about 30 minutes from my home. They had 3 boxwoods. I only needed two but was glad they had three from which to choose. Recently, I found two boxwoods in another nursery but they were not remotely “matching” in size. Since these were going to be displayed symmetrically on either side of the porch, they really needed to be very similar in size.

Trying Out Planters for the Porch

I drove out to the nursery, picked them up and headed back home. I had already taken one out and loaded it onto my trusty garden cart when I took this photo.



I also purchased this professional grade potting soil since the folks at the nursery said it was the best for container gardening.

Fafard 52 Mix Professional Planting Mix


I knew I needed to drill holes in my containers; I had read that online and the folks at the nursery mentioned it, too. I drilled 4 holes with the biggest drill bit I had. I also moved the drill bit around a good bit while drilling in an attempt to widen the holes as much as I could. They looked bigger in person but they look pretty small in this picture. I hope they are big enough, otherwise I’m going to have some unhappy boxwoods.

Since I couldn’t make them quite as big as I would have like, I drilled four holes instead of the suggested three. I know it doesn’t look like it, but they are about the size of quarters. What do you think? Are they are big enough? I hope so since it would be a pain to dig the boxwoods back out and dump all the dirt out to make them larger.

Drilling Holes in Planter


Once the holes were drilled, I started adding the awesome potting soil.

Planter Filled with Potting Mix


Then it was time to plant the boxwoods. The boxwoods were balled and burlapped so once I got them into the ย dirt, I cut away the twine that had held the burlap, as well as the burlap from around the very top. The burlap will naturally rot away but the nursery recommended cutting it away from the top saying occasionally a piece of burlap will end up sticking up out of the dirt and showing if you don’t.

Planting Boxwood Topiary in Planter


Here’s how the container on the left turned out.ย I added a few annuals around the base of the boxwood for some color. This is a Green Mountain Boxwood (Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’). You can read more about it at the Monrovia website. One of the things I really liked about this boxwood is it retains it’s color through winter without a lot of bronzing.

Container Gardening with Boxwood Topiaries in Lattice Planters


Ivy would be beautiful around the bottom too, wouldn’t it? Although, I wouldn’t want to put anything in that would create a lot of competition for the boxwood.

Boxwood Topiary with Annuals


And here’s the container on the right side of the porch.

Container Gardens with Boxwood Topiary in a Pyramidal Shape


The view coming down the walkway…

Boxwood Topiaries for a Traditional Home


The view from the other direction…

Boxwood Topiaries in Lattice Planters with Annuals for Traditional Landscape


Boxwood Topiaries for a Front Porch


I considered going with spiral topiaries or some other fancy shape, but ultimately I decided on a simple pyramidal shape.ย I felt like a classic Christmas tree shape would be the best look for the porch since there are columns right behind the containers. It will be so much prettier once the shrubs go in sometime in the next month or so. I can’t wait to see this front area completed!

Boxwood Topiaries in Containers with a Pyramidal Shape


So, do you think those holes I drilled were big enough? There are four and each hole is about the size of a quarter.

Looking forward to the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

Update: Recently, I made a change in how links will display for Metamorphosis Monday. Each time you visit, the links will rotate and display randomly. This ensures all participants will have a chance to have their link displayed at or near the top. You’ll easily be able to tell which links you’ve already visited since the links will change color, once clicked.

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  1. Hi Susan,
    I love the new pots and boxwood plants. Your landscape project is looking beautiful. I love your blog and enjoy all the posts. Thank you for your wonderful talent in the tech world.
    Have a great weekend.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

  2. Your new pots and topiaries are just beautiful and compliment your home wonderfully, Susan! Your sod is looking really great too. Thanks for sharing your yard updates with us and for hosting your party too!

  3. Oh, my word, Susan- bravo! Bravo! BRAVO!!!
    They are perfect and those containers are too – wow, that is stunning.

    Well done, ma’am!

  4. Hi Susan. Your planters look great! The holes don’t look very big in the picture, but if they are the size of quarters, they should be plenty big enough. If you see lots of water come out after you water them, you’ll know that they were big
    enough. ๐Ÿ™‚
    BTW, the lawn is looking great. Nice and green.
    Thanks for hosting again this week.

  5. Hi Susan,
    I am starting once again after the summer break.

    TY for the never ending inspiration. You always rock, Lady.
    Enjoy the week to come.

    /CC girl

    Where can I link my post? I couldn’t find the linky thing.

  6. Your boxwoods look absolutely perfect! The quarter size holes will work fine even though they do look smaller in the picture. I wonder if you put any rocks in the bottom of the pot before adding the potting soil because that would help with drainage. Your front porch keeps getting prettier & prettier!

  7. I wonder why my comment vanished. What did I do wrong here?

    Hope I can sort this worries, soon.

    /CC girl

  8. Carole Zanath says

    Susan, the boxwoods are beautiful — my favorite bush. We have many of them in our front and back yard. They certainly compliment your lovely home. The only thing I would do differently is not to add the flowers. The boxwood by itself is enough (but that’s only my opinion). I love reading your posts and seeing all the great ideas you have. You are a very talented lady and I wish I lived near enough to tour your home. Hugs!

  9. The quarter size holes should definitely be big enough and they look wonderful! With the annuals they look like they’ve been there all summer. Nice job.

  10. Susan, what a difference those planters make! They have really added to the charm of your beautiful front porch & the boxwoods’ height & the planters’ width are perfect. (On a side note, I LOVE boxwoods! Love their easy care, their shapes, their “green” smell after a rain.) I DO think the holes you made will be enough. I do a lot of planting in containers & my holes are usually smaller than a quarter’s worth & my plants have done just fine. I know my plant geekiness is coming out, but the potting soil you used looks gorgeous to me, rich & loamy. I look forward to seeing the new boxwoods in all of their glory during each season.

  11. Golly gee and jumpin’ Jehosephat, Susan! It is only 6am here in Texas and your BNOP is in my email box. Don’t you ever sleep? I thought I would sleep in since it is a holiday and I don’t have to get up for work but here I am reading my emails!!! I LOVE YOUR BOXWOOD SHRUBS AND PLANTERS!! They look absolutely perfect in front of your porch. The flowers add just the right amount of color and the shrubs match perfectly. You did good, Girl!!!! I think you drilled the right amount of holes and the right size. I made holes in one planter too big and too much water always drained out and my plants dried out too quickly. If you have to, you can always go back and drill another hole. Knock on wood quickly that you won’t have to do that! I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day. Your front yard and porch are looking like pictures from Southern Living. When did you say the photo shoot is for the cover of House Beautiful????

  12. Love the box woods,they are the perfect touch on either side of your steps! Isn’t it crazy how expensive they are to purchase that size? Pretty, though! Thanks for hosting and I hope you aren’t working too hard on this holiday weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Love your boxwoods in your handsome lattice planters Susan! Enjoy your Labor Day!

  14. Nice choice- they look great! I know those were heavy looking at those root balls. You’ve really taken on the outdoors lately! I’m sure the water holes you drilled will be fine. Anything to let the water out so the roots don’t rot.

  15. Your containers look great! They really do fit into that space perfectly.

  16. Susan, they look beautiful. They make such a statement in those pretty pots. Quarter sized holes sounds pretty big to me, but then, I don’t know much about that. Thank you for hosting. laurie

  17. Susan,
    Great looking boxwood topiaries!!!
    What an amazing transformation taking place in your landscaping, dear friend!
    I’m sure the holes in your planter are sufficient…usually get one drainage hole in a planter.
    Here on the Prairie, we always put a layer of rock in the bottom of the planter
    before filling with potting soil…better drainage.
    This allows water not to pool at the root base and keeps the roots healthy.
    “Mr. Ed” and I did a “walk~about” after Worship yesterday for Mums.
    Have my list made this morning and we’re going to freshen the porch for Autumn!!!
    Thanks for sharing all your progress!
    Have an amazing Labor Day and thanks for hosting MM each weeek!!!

  18. Love the look of the boxwoods, Susan…classic! Happy Labor Day!…hugs…Debbie

  19. Becky in SC says

    Hi Susan, the shrubs look amazing! A little something that I do when planting in containers, is to lay a coffee filter or used dryer sheet on top of the drain holes. This prevents any dirt from clogging the holes.
    And I hope you’re having a wonderful Labor Day weekend as well!
    โ™ฅ Becky in SC โ™ฅ

  20. Susan your planters look perfect there! Love boxwood and those flowers too! I am planning on changing a few things in my garden soon too.I will wait until October when the prices drop down to 80-90% off.Thanks so much for hosting!

  21. The topiaries are beautiful…I like the touch of color on the base of the boxwoods!

  22. Your new box woods and planters look perfect!! They will also be great for Christmas with lights. Susan, your home looks perfect. All the work you did payed off in how beautiful everything looks. I bet you get many nice comments from your neighbors!

  23. Yes! Yes! Yes! Your boxwoods are gorgeous and the flowers make them look like they have been there for quite a while. You made the perfect choice and the 4 holes should be plenty! Thanks for hosting and Happy Labor Day!

  24. Those are beautiful Susan! You did a great job….and yes, I think the holes are just fine. All you needed was a place for the water to go! I’m curious to see it all finished….bet you are too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Susan,
    I love the size you purchased of boxwood. They really look wonderful in your new containers. I can just see you wrestling with those boxwood and getting them planted. You have made excellent choices in your new landscape design. Doesn’t it feel great to have accomplished so much and in August? Enjoy Labor Day and take time to relax and enjoy this last holiday of summer.

  26. Good job, Susan! The boxwoods look marvelous! I know it is hard to find them right now – they’ll resupply soon for the fall – these look full and healthy! I think you did put enough holes. Sometimes I put gravel at the bottom so that there’s space to have water filter through. I can just imagine how lovely these will look for the upcoming holidays – love it! I do appreciate you hosting –
    Have a wonderful week,

  27. You are so talented Susan, your ideas always turn out wonderful. I have ideas and talk with my husband about them and he begins to think there’re good too. If I’m lucky he’ll do them for me. Just wondering….does your husband ever help you do some of these amazing things you come up with?

  28. Norma Bethea says

    Looks great!

  29. Your front porch is so classic and the boxwoods are the perfect touch! I really like the addition of color too.


  30. Beautiful! I love a symmetrical look at an entry and those are gorgeous topiaries!
    I’m jealous, though, because our landscape looks so awful this time of year and my annuals are on their last legs. I know Atlanta has been getting a lot of rain and everything is looking so lush at your place! Enjoy!

  31. Rosie Moreno says

    Hi, Susan: your front porch looks GREAT. My first impression was : “Oh, how lovely and welcoming! I bet those boxwoods are going to be festooned for the Christmas season when you put up your beautiful Christmas decorations!!” Be assured that all your labors have been worth it and your home is admired by many!

  32. looks gorgeous!! it’s awesome that you found some pots that fit just perfectly, I think if your holes are about the size of a quarter then that’s fine for the size pot you have, love your porch, so pretty!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks for hosting, have a great Labor Day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Hi Susan ! They look great! A lovely addition to your curb appeal! Thank you for hosting the party!

  34. Suan, the boxwoods look great in that planter. I love Fafard potting mix but it is hard to find here. Once i found it at a wonderful nursery that’s about 10-13 miles from me, the next time I went back, they didn’t have it. They were selling another brand. I think that some of the nurseries sell what the manufacturer gives them a big discount on or bonus for selling that brand. I saw the same thing done in food distribution when I worked there. Miracle Gro dominates the market but I hate it. I find it is full of “junk” that was not processed enough. You’re paying for a lot of small twigs that were not ground up fine. Your nursery steered you right. How long will those annuals last before you will need to change out to Fall plants? I know your climate there is a lot different then here in Md/DC/Va. I can see some Fall changes coming here already. The mums are coming out in the stores already and I’m not ready for Fall. I have seen changed in the annuals; we are in a dought situation now, despite watering, the zinnias, salvias and angelonia seem to have slowed down producting blooms. I see some trees starting to show their Fall colors.

  35. Thanks so much for hosting! I really like the way your new planters and plants look. I’m so not a plant person so I have no idea if the holes are large enough. Fingers crossed they work perfectly for you!

  36. Hi, Susan! Your planters are gorgeous – so classic! I think you’ll be fine with the holes you made. The annuals you added are icing on the cake. I love seeing your updates!

  37. The boxwood is in perfect proportion to those gorgeous containers. I love the lattice pattern. It is so traditional and so up to date at the same time. I personally like the flowers in with the boxwood. Those are little Callie’s aren’t they?

    • Thanks, Candy! I found the petunias and verbena at Home Depot and unfortunately, it didn’t say on the label. The pickings are kind of slim this year so I was surprised to find anything. Ivy would be pretty hanging down over the edge too, wouldn’t it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. The boxwood is just beautiful, Susan, and I think you are probably safe having the 4 holes. Thanks so much for hosting!

  39. Oh, Susan, the entry looks wonderful, nice job!!! I love boxwoods and they are perfect in those new planters…..I think the holes will be fine. So classic, yet fun with the addition of the small plants…..have a great day!!!

  40. Hi, Susan! I think you picked the exactly perfect shape for your boxwoods – the planters look fabulous and you hit the jackpot with those 2 plants – they are almost identical – not an easy feat! I really love the front entryway now (AND the red door :P)! All you need is that black cast iron door knocker (OK – or gold to “match” the rest of the hardware) & you’ll be complete. I think that shape of boxwood is perfect – think of how cute it will be at Christmas! Thanks for sharing & hosting! Happy Labor Day!

  41. I think I see Christmas lights on those trees or maybe even orange for halloween.. Good Job.


  42. Susan, it looks beautiful! You’ve done so much to beautify the front of your home!
    Be a sweetie and thanks for hosting your party.
    Shelia ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    They look lovely, Susan. I very much like that classic, traditional look. I liked the lattice planters right away, and I think this type of plant looks perfectly at home in them. If the holes are the size of quarters, I would think you’d be safe. It IS weird, because they looked about the size of a pencil eraser in the picture, to me. But at quarter size, I would think 4 would be sufficient.

    Can’t wait to see what else you come up with in your landscaping project. I know it will be beautiful!

    (You and that trusty cart, lol.) ๐Ÿ˜€

  44. How lovely Susan, I think those planters and boxwoods were just waiting for you. Your landscaping is looking great.

  45. Susan, as everyone else has stated, the boxwoods are a great choice for your planters and look perfct. There are so many varieties, these look like they may be Dee Runk boxwoods one of my favorites. I put two in planters on the patio several years ago, and they have done beautifully with just a tiny prune early each Spring to keep them in shape. As also suggested, we too, put a layer of small stone in our planters before adding the soil to help with drainage. All these beautiful changes must bring a smile to your face everytime you come home! MM

  46. Hi Susan, The new planters are the perfect size for their new home and they are gorgeous. Love the classic boxwood choice for your front entrance. I love the look and your walkway is on my wish list!
    Enjoy your week……….

    The French Hutch

  47. Thanks so much for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  48. Susan,
    The boxwoods are fantastic. What type are they?

    • Hi Lee, I looked at several while there and once home, I couldn’t remember which these were. One I saw was Green Velvet and another was Winter Gem. I looked on the receipt when I got home since I couldn’t remember and it just said, Boxwood. I’m going to call tomorrow when they are open and ask because I do want to know, as well. I’ll leave another comment after I find out.

    • Hi Lee,
      The boxwoods I put out front in the planters are Green Mountain Boxwoods. As I looked them up online today I remembered the nursery associate telling me they are good about retaining their green color all winter without a lot of bronzing, I really like that!

  49. Susan, your boxwoods look great, just the right touch. A classy addition to your PORCH. Keep up the good work.

  50. Great job! Everything looks wonderful. I am impressed with your ability to get so much done in such a short amount of time. I want you on my team. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have a couple questions. What is professional formula? What does it do that regular mix does not? Also, your responses used to appear in a green color – did you change that on purpose?
    Oh, I almost forgot, thank you for hosting such a lovely party.

    • I’m not really sure what’s in the professional formula but when I got home and started filling up the containers, I realized two bags wasn’t quite enough. Almost, but not quite. So I stopped and drove over to Home Depot and bought a small bag of the brand they carry. Once back home, I did like the feel of the Fafard brand better. The Fafard was $22 a bag which seemed kind of high at the time I was buying it, but it really isn’t much more than the “leading brand” we all see in the stores. Here’s a link to some info about it: It has this in it: Bark, Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Perlite, Vermiculite, Dolomitic Limestone, Wetting Agent

  51. Never mind about the green color – when I hit send they turned green.

  52. Hi SuSan!

    Your planters look WonderFul !! I have always wanted to do that with Boxwoods, which are my favorite! but I wonder if they need watered in the winter, and here in northern Indiana would they freeze ?? I guess I should ask , right !!?!
    Again, they look wonderful !

    • Paula, I aksed the landscaper who helped me at the nursery (her name was Cindy) about that. Winters in GA aren’t that bad but we occasionally have an ice storm or extreme temps. You never know with the weather here. She said the most important thing to do during the winter is to keep them watered. She said folks think the opposite, but that isn’t true. I sort of already knew this from when I planted a bunch of Leyland Cypress one fall. I was told the same thing by a garden professional back then. So they just need to stay hydrated during the winter. I’m not sure how they do in your area, though. You know, P. Allen Smith, one of my VERY favorite gardeners, has containers all around his property and he lives where it gets really cold in the winter. I wonder if he brings them into a greenhouse? I just got his book about container gardening since I am excited about doing more of it. Hopefully I’ll learn more about it in his book. If I do, I’ll share. ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. SharonFromMichigan says

    You made a great choice with the boxwoods, they look gorgeous! Will you put small Christmas lights on them in the winter? They look wonderful with the trailing flowers at their feet. I would think quarter size drainage holes would be sufficient. You certainly have a green thumb!!! Thank you for sharing.

  54. Love your boxwoods. They are one of my favorite plants. Thanks for hosting another fun party!

  55. Susan, your boxwoods looks great and definitely the 4 holes should be sufficient… BTW, after trying many combinations on my front stoop, boxwoods is what I planted earlier this season and they’re doing great, and would be perfect for Christmas lights. We know boxwoods are soooo hardy and slow growing, so a perfect solution to a front entryway.
    Thanks for posting this for your followers…. Love, โ™ฅ Sandy

  56. Susan, Your landscaping looks gorgeous. You have a beautiful home and I have learned so much from you. You are one of my very favorites, and I think a lot of people would agree with me. I don’t know how you ever manage to read all your comments. I always look forward to reading your blog first.

  57. ~Susan~
    Thank you for letting me know about watering the container plants in the winter, and I too will really have to check for my northern area. I can see me watering them and it becomes one big ice cube ! hehee.

    I agree with Debby!! I think you really do a great job !! I know you can not reply to everyone , I”m sure we all realize that. You go beyond the call of duty ,I can tell you are truly a thoughtful, kind, and sweet lady!
    God Bless,

  58. Love the look – so pretty! You made the perfect choice. The holes are probably not to big, but hope you put some rock or pieces of broken clay pot in the bottom to promote drainage. I have a concrete planter I did not plant annuals in this year as the drainage holes are clogged up and dread redoing it as it is so heavy.
    Hope you have enjoyed the holiday weekend.

  59. Love the new boxwoods! They look great in their new home. Thanks for hosting! Have a happy week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  60. Anna Starner says

    Love your boxwoods. If you need more drainage you can just lay the pots on their sides and drill up from the bottom . No need to remove your plants. I had to do that to my tomatoes this year, they were fine the past two years.

  61. Thank you for hosting!

  62. Hi…..they look Great…it actually looks like…spring =^)

  63. Thanks for hosting, Susan! The boxwoods are perfect!!! I’m glad to be joining in! ~Zuni

  64. Oh, the boxwoods in the beautiful planters are stunning! Adding the Calibrachoas was a great idea–so pretty. All of your lovely design and hard work has enhanced your beautiful home!

  65. Hi Susan – They just look beautiful. Are the planters concrete? Just wondering. Enjoy!!!

  66. A match made in….match heaven! franki

  67. Hi Susan, As a long time lover of all things georgian, including boxwood, I heartily approve of your choice! Those are beautiful. Up here in CT we put boxwood and other evergreens in our planters for the winter months because nothing else will live, so I know yours can flourish in a pot. Be sure to keep them watered as suggested. Also, IF by some chance you do get a snow or ice storm, brush off the branches carefully as soon as you can, as the branches can break from ice and weight of wet snow. And we do underplant the boxwood with annuals in the summer and I have never had a problem with the flowers adversely affecting the boxwood. I just love this look for your house! Your yard and front porch are better than ever! I always enjoy my visits to your blog. Linda

  68. Susan, what an absolutely gorgeous classic entry you have! Even “nekkid” it would be stunning.
    LOVE the new pots — they have great presence, and are a good size.
    The boxwoods will thrive in them! 4 quarter sized holes are plenty for drainage — water away!
    Thanks for hosting.
    As always, beautiful images.

  69. I love the after….especially that it doesn’t look like an after. It looks timeless, like they’ve always been there!

  70. Hi! I also live in Ga, Sao was wondering where you bought the plat ice planters! They look great!!

    • Thanks, Natalie, I purchased those last summer and I’m pretty sure I found them in Lowes. It was either Lowes or Home Depot, and I’m thinking it was Lowes.

  71. Hi, i love the trellis pots with the boxwood, how many bags of soil you used for each planter? And what is the size of the boxwood?

    • Thanks! It took about 1 1/2 bags for each planter if I’m remembering correctly. I know I definitely used more than one bag in each planter. I don’t remember now what size the Green Mountain boxwoods were but they were ball and burlap plants, so pretty big.

  72. Hello, I just purchased Green Mountain boxwood for the same reason that is stays green longer, butI am in Illinois and I wonder how big of a planter I should put it in to make it though the winter?

    • Mine are huge now and are still doing well. I don’t remember the size of the containers I purchased at Lowes. I would call the nursery where you purchased them and ask what size they recommend. If you know gallon size of the Green Mountain boxwood, you could probably ask any nursery. I def bought planters that were a good bit bigger than the GM boxwood to allow for future growth.

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