A: Your boxwoods were improperly pruned. The key to keeping a shrub full and leafy from bottom to top is to never cut the bottom limbs to be narrower than the top. When the top shades out the bottom of a shrub, it looks awful. Honestly, I think the best advice for you would be to pull out the shrubs, dig the soil thoroughly, add organic matter, and plant new ones. Meanwhile, I have great pruning instructions with photos and diagrams at bit.ly/GApruning.
Q: I have a steep hill in my backyard with cotoneaster on the top and Drift roses at the bottom. The weeds in the cotoneaster are terrible so last year I used a preemergent. That didn’t help and I am concerned that the preemergent ran down into the roses because they didn’t perform too good this year. Jimmy Glenn, Sandy Springs