Categories
Advice

My shear sharpening routine before clipping

I thought sharing my pre-clipping routine maybe of interest. I always sharpen my shears before clipping. Sharp blades achieve a cleaner cut, which helps the topiary recover quicker. I start by dipping the shears in a bucket of water with a splash of bleach. The water is frothy in the video but I don’t know […]

Categories
Advice

Spotting early signs of box blight

The weather recently has been quite humid so I was not surprised to spot the first indications of box blight. When clipping I noticed the blackening of a few leaves on top of the box plant. This is an early sign of a box blight outbreak. If ignored the blackening would spread across the top […]

Categories
Advice

Best Biological Insecticides to Beat the Box Tree Caterpillar

The box tree caterpillar has been causing havoc since arriving here in the UK around 2007. Box tree moths lay their eggs on Buxus and the resulting caterpillars will feast voraciously on the leaves (and sometimes the stems) until the plant is stripped bare. Look out for the caterpillar between March and October. The box […]

Categories
Advice

Job Suggestions for Box in Spring

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. Bulbs are coming into flower, fat buds on the trees are about to burst and herbaceous perennials are tentatively nudging their way out of the soil. Box (Buxus) is also one of the early risers and new growth may already be appearing if the weather warms. But […]

Categories
Inspiration

Yew Topiary Birds at Hidcote After 110 Years of Clipping

The gardens at Hidcote Manor are now open over the weekends during the winter. I’m so pleased the National Trust has decided to do this as it gives the opportunity to appreciate the bare bones of the garden without the distraction of the beautiful flowering borders and leafy trees. Lawrence Johnston was the man responsible […]

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My Work

The Changing Colours of Beech Topiary

Finished my last clipping job of 2019 – a large, very long and awkward beech hedge. I started out doing a lot of hedge work. It’s a great way to train the eye and practice cutting straight lines. Most of my work now is with topiary. The only hedge work would be a low box […]

Categories
My Work

Reshaping An Avenue of Irish Yew

Finished a project last week reshaping an avenue of Irish Yew. The yews had grown too large and were starting to dominate the space. The original plan was to undertake a major renovation by cutting the yews back to a solid framework of branches. This would have reduced the size of the yews but is […]