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Upgrade Buxus, Laurus nobilis and Chamaecyparis

Festive plants: December Garden Plants of the Month

December is an atmospheric month where we spend a lot of time indoors, but we can also make the garden Christmassy with the Garden Plant of the Month for December. As well as the familiar Christmas tree, there are three attractive evergreen plants that we can transform into a festive plant: Buxus, Laurus nobilis and Chamaecyparis.

Buxus is commonly known as Box. The evergreen branches symbolize life, which is very appropriate at Christmas. This evergreen shrub lends structure to a garden, balcony or patio, particularly in winter. Buxus’ leaves also remove fine particulates from the air. Boxwood is very heavy and was used in the past to make musical instruments and sculptures. Buxus plants can be pruned to virtually any required shape - they’re almost ‘kneadable’ products.

The best-known festive conifer is Lawson Cypress, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ’Ellwoodii’. This plant, which reaches a height of around 1.25 m, is very suitable for pots or containers and for ‘dressing’ beautifully. ‘Ellwoodii’ has a vertical pyramid shape, and is greyish blue. The juvenile form of the plant has upright twigs and narrow blue needles. Older plants have more tips, and the adult form has scales. It is often used as a decorated Christmas tree during the festive season.

Laurus nobilis or Laurel is also very suitable for use in an attractive pot or container beside the front door, enhancing the foliage and trunk with Christmas decorations. The globe or pyramid shapes are best suited to this. The evergreen Laurus nobilis has a stately and eminent appearance, which is referenced in the word ‘nobilis’.

All three festive plants are very suitable for topiary, and are often offered in unusual shapes. Buxus and Laurus nobilis in particular can be turned into spheres, pyramids or cylinders.

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