The miracle of dried boxwood


January 8, 2016: When I spotted a huge bunch of cut boxwood at the Giant food store on Arlington last week, I immediately grabbed one of the last two and tossed it in my cart. At checkout, the cashier’s eyes nearly bugged out when she saw the price.

“$8.99?!!! So expensive!”

I smiled back and told her “I know. But these can be dried and can last forever.”

And its true for the most part. Especially if you help it along by treating it is glycerin and food coloring. This tutorial from Crafting Rebellion shows you how to preserve boxwood (and make them into pretty green wreaths).

So that was my plan. I put in an Amazon order for vegetable glycerin and placed my boxwood bunch aside. I planned to follow the same steps and have beautifully preserved (and pliable) boxwood leaves and branches.

A couple of days ago, I changed my mind. After seeing how green and vibrant the boxwood continued to be for days without water, I decided to go ahead and use them. I want to now see  how long they will last without the glycerin treatment. Call it an experiment.

I used wire snips to but the bunch up into smaller groupings of sprigs (floral snips are being added to my supply wishlist).

The first place I will put boxwoods is in my DIY wall hanging planters. No soil. No water. I will just stuff boxwood in the box and see how long they will last.

Adding fresh flowers and plants to these wall hangers have been especially challenging over the last few months. I would cover the bottom of the planter box with coconut liner, fill it with soil, and plant flowers and tropical plants directly in the box.

They would last for a couple of weeks, but no matter how much I water them, planted items eventually dry out and wither. They are mounted in a spot that directly faces our balcony, so they get plenty of sun.

Well, until I figure out this floral puzzle, I will use boxwood in the wall planters and see how they do.

I cleaned out the soil and liner and just stuffed the entire box with sprigs of boxwood.

No glycerin treatment. No preserving. Just the boxwood as cut, on their own.

I’ll keep you posted about how long it these last in the wall planters.

After using boxwood there, I had a lot of cut sprigs left over. I decided to use the rest in ornament balls and small vases and place them throughout the condo.

For the ornament balls, I used:

I filled the ornament ball with boxwood and strung some leather cording through the ornament ball hoop.

Using the crimper, I added a gold loop crimp at each end of the cord.

Added the jump loops.

And, last, the lobster claw closure.

To hang it from the ceiling vent (which hangs over the balcony side of the condo), I hooked the ornament cord loop over an 8 inch wood embroidery hoop closure. I then hang the hoops from the ceiling vent using clear Command hooks.

The boxwood adds instant color and vibrancy to the space. We’ll see how long they will last in their unpreserved state.  I have a big bottle of glycerin ready to go for when it comes time to preserve a batch in the spring. V-