Supporting Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ with Box Hedging

Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ is a beautiful shrub. Large white balls of flowers on long stems from the end of July and into August. But this variety of hydrangea has a reputation for flopping due to the size of the flower heads. Wire supports help but they don’t look great. A natural support is box hedging. I was inspired by the photos of Gina’s garden on Instagram to plant Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ in a front garden that has borders edged with tall box hedging. Two years on, the hydrangeas have established and look stunning. Billowing clouds of white flowers contrast beautifully with the…

Mature Beech Topiary with Personality

I use the social media network Instagram to share photos of my work. I enjoy the feedback and interaction with other topiary enthusiasts from all over the world. Photos of a project that always have a good response is six mature standard beech balls. They form a visual barrier between a garden and the neighbouring paddock. The history of the beech balls is not fully known. The beech trees existed when the current garden owner purchased the property 30 years ago. I would guess the intention was to create a pleached beech hedge. But the creative flair of the current…

Success with a Stubborn Wisteria

Nothing more satisfying as a gardener than having success with a plant that is being awkward. These two wisteria had stopped flowering and the owner was contemplating cutting them down. The wisterias had flowered in the past so there wasn’t a defect with the plants. I gave them a hard prune so all the wisterias energy was directed into fattening up the flower buds. I also gave them a good feed with a slow fertiliser and made sure they were well watered. Thankfully this spring we have been treated to a magnificent display. Now the challenge is to keep the…

Planting a new box parterre

Work on the new parterre is continuing well. The site was cleared last autumn of all the existing planting and shrubs. I had to remove two large Spirea, which was a shame but they did not fit in with the formal look I am trying to achieve in this area. I have now planted a large, square box parterre with a small, square box parterre in the centre around the sculpture of the contemplative boy. Fortunately I had four 25cm box balls left over from another planting job in the garden so I’ve used these on the corners on the…