The crème de la crème of natural topiary, boxwood hedging is dense and slow growing (10-15cm per annum) and your creations will require minimal maintenance, often needing to be pruned once per year. Perfect for lining pathways, boxwood is frost resistant and can be made even denser with regular clipping. Other species such as sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' grow even slower (3-5cm per annum) and are perfect for dwarf hedges.
Both microphylla 'Faulkner' and sempervirens 'Elegantissima' are similar to common box, but are even more reliable. The former was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit and can be viewed as the buxus of choice.
Native to the UK, box was used in traditional medicine as a treatment for fever, due to the presence of quinine in its leaves. But, be warned its leaves poisonous and are unsuitable for consumption. The plant has been cultivated since at least Roman times, when it was associated with mourning with the bereaved given cuttings at funerals.