I thought I would show you photos of one my clipping projects, to take a break from my slightly pessimistic pest and disease posts I have recently been sharing.
I actually took these photos in May. The parterres currently have a less defined shape but lots of lovely new growth. This will start to slow down ready for the next clipping in September, to keep the design looking good all through winter. The new growth has been helped by favourable weather conditions and a new feeding regime of Topbuxus ‘Health Mix’ every 4-6 weeks. The Topbuxus encourages strong, healthy new growth that clips really well and also helps the plant fight off box blight infections naturally.
This is my second year of trimming this design. The first year I found evidence of box tree caterpillar damage and one living in the central dome. Any further damage has been managed with an application of a biological insecticide similar to Xentari and regular monitoring. So far I have not found any box tree caterpillars or nibbled leaves, although I did find a young box tree moth in a nearby pheromone trap. The garden has a very healthy population of birds including blackbirds, blue tits and finches. I have a theory they have discovered the caterpillars (and moths) are a tasty food source and are managing the pest population naturally. I will write another blog post about this soon.
The design itself is relatively simple with a leaf motive and domes in the centre, bordered with parterres on the outside. The right angle corners of the parterres are curved with box balls. At the moment the space in the parterres is grassed but there are plans to change this soon. The design is located in the centre of a gravel driveway with enough space to manoeuvre a car around the outside.
Two more simple parterres are either side of the path leading to the front door. Again there are plans to make these a more interesting design, which hopefully I will be able to share with you next year.