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Boxwoods at Sweet Briar

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some boxwood varieties if left alone grow to their mature size developing  a cloud like appearance with natural undulations. I grew up hearing about the boxwood clouds at the highly regarded school for women, Sweet Briar College in Virginia, where perhaps thousands of these plants which embody elegance and grace grow.   Don’t let the magnificent campus, with its clouding boxwoods and red-brick colonial architecture fool you into thinking that the students are like clouds. This school that almost closed in 2015 produces graduates to be leaders in Stem fields, human and environmental sustainability and creativity. It is a tribute to their resilience that  boxwoods have been enjoyed in such large ambitious landscapes as that Virginia college campus and also  in small modest gardens. The future of the school is healthy. Sadly, an imported fungal disease, boxwood blight, now threatens many boxwood plantings. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.