Greensboro Landscapes Cursed with Azalea/Boxwood Voodoo

07 Mar


There must have been a sale on azaleas and boxwoods in the 80’s that landscape companies  just flocked to. Most of the varieties installed are too large, a safety issue, blocking windows, and need to be removed. Greensboro, NC is blessed to be in Zone 7, in English, many plant varieties are available.


What do these foundation plantings look like after the azalea shrubs have finished blooming? They look like every other home planted with only boxwoods and azaleas, ordinary and outdated. Think about adding other plants to provide interest all through the year. A new azalea called “Encore” is compact in size and blooms twice a year, yes 2 times, summer and fall. The colors are fabulous too. Red, salmon, white, peach, pink, purple, and magenta. Some varieties have strips, speckles or semi-double blooms (a fuller flower). Below is “Autumn Sweetheart” Encore Azalea. It is touched with white and pink growing 4 feet by 4 feet blooming in spring and autumn.


If you have azaleas and boxwoods growing, the area most likely receives shade. Good foundation plants also loving these conditions are aucuba, pieris, gardenia, laurels, dwarf hollies, leucothoe, and nandinas. The typical rule is incorporating 75% evergreen (green for 365 days) in your front foundation plantings. The side of the home facing the public road is visible throughout the year and needs to be interesting for all seasons.

The home below is beautifully landscaped. There are taller, evergreen plants where height is needed. There is variety among the plant choices. Plant material is low and very inviting or safe. 75% or more of the plant material is evergreen. A deciduous tree is planted in the correct location. One thing I would change is the size of plant bed at the steps entering from the walkway. This is an area to create a splash of color and interest.


I am praying everyday for rain and hoping Greensboro’s water supply will be plentiful again.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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One response to “Greensboro Landscapes Cursed with Azalea/Boxwood Voodoo

  1. Jeffrey Sykes

    March 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Diana: Great blog. Very interesting perspective. I am in my fourth spring as a homeowner and always on the lookout for landscaping ideas. Thanks for sharing.


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