Today’s post offers a possible solution to those who cannot grow Box Buxus sempervirens in their gardens anymore because of the spread of box blight. Read more about the disease here.
When out walking in the countryside here I have often noticed a very attractive shrub that most often grows in woodland but sometimes even just in the hedgerows by the side of the lanes. It has a strange common name in Italian than means “prick the mouse” its Latin name is Ruscus aculeatus, a native of Europe, North Africa and West Asia. One of its common names in English is Box holly or prickly Box, so you can see that it isn’t a new idea to think of it as having similar characteristics to Buxus species.
We saw some on our walk on 12th January and I resolved to return to take some cuttings.
I also saw it growing in the Hillier Gardens near Southampton just before Christmas on a bleak day that wasn’t ideal for garden visiting but that I enjoyed very much.
I’ll let you know if this proves an easy plant to cultivate; one obvious disadvantage is that it is slightly prickly as its common names in Italian and English suggest.
Do you know of any plants native in your area that are good for pruning into tight shapes?
If you would like to join GBFD please just leave a comment with your link and a link back to me in your post. I look forward to reading them.