December 8, 2018
With holiday decorating in full swing it is tempting to reach for beautiful boxwood clippings to augment fir and hemlock greens inside and outside our homes. The fragrance and vibrant green of boxwood are wonderful additions to swags and garlands, table trees and wreaths. Unfortunately, the current spread of boxwood blight is putting currently healthy plants at risk, and using diseased cuttings can endanger your entire garden.
We at All Hallows Guild are guided by the design watchwords of Florence Brown Bratenahl — Boxwood, Yew, and Stone. These timeless design features of our landscape are at risk. We have replaced the declining English Boxwood with American varieties and these seem somewhat more resistant to the current blight. Boxwood are one of the glories of our gardens and we practice extreme vigilance to keep them disease free.
For holiday decorating, it is good practice to verify that greens you are considering are free from blight – many growers are providing this certification from state departments of agriculture or from universities. We provide the following links to help you understand the severity of this condition and to know what measures you should take to protect both your own garden and those of your neighbors.
We wish you happy, safe and blight-free holidays!
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight – from the Virginia Cooperative Extension
Boxwood Blight Update – Saunders Brothers, October 2018