Dr. Stephen Southall and Diane Dukes
Stephen Southall grew up on a farm in Deltaville, Virginia, where from a very young age he developed an appreciation and love for the land and the plants that thrived there. He also discovered that he derived great satisfaction from operating and maintaining the equipment that was used to run the family business. The foundation for his future ventures with English boxwood was set.
Diane Dukes grew up in Connecticut, taught special education upon graduation, and moved to Virginia Beach in 1981. When she and Stephen met in the fall of 2005 she did not know much about either Lynchburg or an English boxwood. It was not long before she and Stephen integrated their lives and she became very familiar with both Lynchburg and boxwood and an integral part of English Boxwoods of VA. Although Stephen has not been able to get her into the fields to plant or dig boxwood, her talents in the areas of customer relations and office management are much more important and appreciated by him.
Following his graduation from The University of Richmond, he earned his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 1974 he accepted a position in the Psychology Department at Lynchburg College where he continues to enjoy the teaching experience.
After several years of teaching, Stephen realized that he wanted to pursue an avocation which would be productive and enjoyable and related to his early upbringing on the farm. As an aside, he also wanted an “excuse” to be able to get a tractor or two. Following the suggestion of a friend, he tried his hand at growing English boxwood by planting a few cuttings in his 6 year old daughter’s sandbox. And so it all began!
Always one to integrate various dimensions of interests, Stephen began English Boxwoods of Virginia in 1982. In keeping with the previous honor of serving as President of The American Boxwood Society, Dr. Southall is very comfortable working in both an academic environment as well as in planting and maintaining boxwood at his home place in Hartfield, Virginia. His teaching experience and expertise in front of a classroom has led him to expand the role of English Boxwoods of Virginia from solely a grower of boxwood to the areas of consultations and speaking engagements. Foremost and always a teacher at heart, Dr. Southall has spoken and carried out hands-on seminars at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University, Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, Berry College in Rome, GA, and numerous garden clubs in and around Virginia. His consultation services have taken him to some very beautiful homes, estates, and colleges in various parts of Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Whether your needs are as a homeowner seeking a source of quality boxwood, a landscape designer seeking a professional consultation on boxwood, or a garden club seeking an energetic and knowledgeable speaker who is able to discuss all dimensions of raising and maintaining boxwood, Dr. Stephen Southall provides the full spectrum of boxwood supply and services.
Stephen’s personalized approach within English Boxwoods of Virginia includes selecting the very best boxwood to meet your landscaping needs, filling orders in a timely fashion, and giving expertise advice both before and after the sale on their planting and care.
Our parents taught us not to put all of our eggs in one basket, and Stephen has extended this philosophy to growing English boxwood. In order to supply you with quality specimens when you need them, our plants are grown in two separate locations in Virginia. Even within the same location, there are always slight differences in soils, exposures, and light/shade combinations. Our various growing locations help to insure that anomalies of nature and other phenomena which may adversely affect one area will not affect other areas.