Weed control around hedges (English boxwoods?)

Hi all,
hoping for advice from someone with a green thumb here... friend of mine has a house that was vacant for a while before he bought it so all the landscaping went to heck. One thing that still looks promising is some thick hedges between his driveway and his neighbor's driveway. I suspect that they are English boxwood but am not knowledgeable enough to say for sure.) Unfortunately, there were all sorts of weeds and such growing right up through them and choking them. Last fall he and I did some serious weeding in there and literally removed a truckload of undesirable plant matter as well as dead branches from the area, then hit it again in the early spring, yielding much less mess. Unfortunately, both times I broke out with what I believe now is a rash caused by some nasty viney stuff... doesn't look like the poison ivy I'm familiar with but now that it's late spring I can see it coming back again and this time the new leaves are shiny making me hesitant to touch it. There's some other stuff coming up in there as well that shouldn't be there. The good news is that after all that work, the hedges themselves are filling in nicely and I think after a couple years of letting them grow and shaping them they will be back to their former glory. Now that it's lawn-mowing season I've also been encouraging him to toss his grass clippings under there to keep down any non-established weeds, but apparently there's a few that we couldn't kill by pulling/digging that keep coming back.
So the question. Now that we've done the heavy lifting, is there any kind of herbicide that I could use that won't kill the boxwoods? I've tried to pull everything that I could but apparently there are some weeds with long-established, deep roots that might best be killed by other methods.
Oddly, I've searched and found others asking similar questions, but not getting any definitive answers. Is that because what I'm looking for doesn't exist?
thanks,
nate
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On 5/12/2012 6:31 PM, Nate Nagel wrote: ...

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Not if you get it on the foliage of the boxwoods, no.
2,4-D or hyphosate (Roundup) if _carefully_ applied only to the leaves of the undesirables won't hurt the boxwood as it won't be taken up through the soil in enough concentration to hurt (as long as you don't just drown stuff, anyway).
But there's no broadleaf herbicide that will get ivy or poison oak or whatever it is you've got in there that won't also get the shrubs if overspray.
Do not use anything that claims to be ground or root-acting; they'll be the ones that are taken up through the soil and really hurt badly.
If careful you may burn a few leaves but likely will not do any significant damage; there's so much foliage there that unless you really cover a significant fraction of it the damage will be pretty well localized.
I'd still suggest actually identifying the weed species as well as the shrub; contact a nursery or local county extension office and ask for advice. Sight unseen diagnoses are risky despite generalities that are so in general.
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On 5/12/2012 7:31 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

I did the same kind of clean-up with hedges, but in Florida. One nasty, nasty plant that got loose in Florida is asparagus fern. Not a fern, and it is used a lot in planters and cemeteries. Got dense tuberous roots, impossible to dig up. Pruned truckloads from the hedges, pulled all the weeds that I could. Crawled on my belly to cut all the a.f. down to the ground....when it sprouted a good little new growth I took Roundup and a paintbrush to kill it. A couple of applications, but it did the trick. Then mulch like mad...shredded leaves, if the owner has a lot, are very good. Shredded cypress mulch was my favorite in Florida. Grass clippings are also good, but don't last long.
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