Improve the Health of Box Topiary and Hedging with Regular Mulching

Spring is the perfect time to mulch underneath box hedging and topiary. Mulching is an excellent way to improve the health of box and encourage thicker, bushier growth. Buxus sempervirens has a very shallow, wide-spreading root system. Soil around the base of box will be disturbed and removed overtime by weeding, watering and Winter weather conditions. This may leave the root system exposed and at risk of drying out, which will affect the health of the box. A regular application of mulch every Spring is a good way to protect the roots and help retain moisture in the soil during…

Discount Code for Box Tree Moth Pheromone Traps

Box tree moths will be on the move soon. They are active between May and October and can have up to three life cycles in a year, usually lasting six to eight weeks. Breeding can sometimes occur earlier if the weather warms up. So I usually put my box tree moth pheromone traps out by the end of March. The traps act an early warning system revealing when the male box tree moths are moving around and a new life cycle is about to begin. It’s a good time to spray box hedging and topiary with a biological insecticide when…

Simple Plastic Bag Test to Diagnose Box Blight

Correct diagnosis of box blight is important in order to know how to respond to this potentially devastating disease. Box blight can be treated with a combination of fungicides and improvements in gardening practices if diagnosed quickly before the infection has spread. Symptoms of box blight include browning of the leaves and patches of defoliation. Black streaks maybe visible on the stems and small white spores on the underside of the leaves. Discoloration of box leaves and defoliation could also be the result of nutrient deficiency. This is why a correct diagnosis is important as the box plants may just…

Beat Box Blight with Curved Tops on Box Hedging

I have noticed box blight affects the top part of hedges and topiary more than the base. The top is where the fungal infection seems to thrive, causing the most defoliation and stem damage. My approach with box blight infections is to treat the hedge twice a year with a commercial grade fungicide and encourage the gardener or homeowner to adopt good gardening practices such as watering from the base, regularly sterilising clipping tools and clearing up as much fallen box leaf litter as possible. So far this approach has had good success. The fungicide helps stop the infection getting…

Restoring Old Yew Topiary

As I was working in Dorset the other weekend, I took the opportunity to visit the beautiful Mapperton House gardens. Their ‘Pool Garden’ is lined with large, cone-shaped yew topiary. Some of the yew topiary has become misshapen over time and I was pleased to see the brave decision has been taken to restore a few to their original shape. This type of restoration is not for the faint hearted. It involves hard cutting the yew back into the old wood. The beauty of yew is that it will regrow from old wood. But this does take time. Probably two…

box blight

Fungicides And Good Gardening Practices Are Ways To Beat Box Blight

One of my services is fungicide treatments for the disease called box blight. The fungal disease attacks Box (Buxus sempervirens) and can result in large, twiggy bare patches and dieback. Box blight was first recognised in the mid 1990’s and has now become a real problem in many gardens all over the UK, especially with the warm and damp weather. If you suspect box blight in your garden then please feel free to contact me for advice or to discuss our fungicide treatments to help prevent the disease. So what is Box Blight? Box blight is a fungal disease that…

Be Ready for the Box Tree Moth in 2018

Reports of box tree caterpillar damage were on the increase in 2017, mostly in the South East of England and London Thankfully the risk is still very small where I’m living in the Cotswolds. But I feel it is just a matter of time before for the box tree moths start to travel West. The Box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is native to East Asia and became established in the UK in 2011. Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire has the unfortunate label of being the location of the invasion after a local took a caterpillar to the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show to…