beech topiary

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 hedge as part of a parterre or knot garden. But I do keep in touch with this long awkward beech hedge because it is in a garden that has the six topiary beech (Fagus Sylvatica) trees that I have become very fond of. I like…

Irish yew topiary

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 a long term solution as they would have taken at least five years to recover. Also many of the yews were missing their central stems after previous renovations so cutting back to a framework would have been difficult. So instead it was decided to give…

Looking at Box Topiary Designs from a Different Perspective

As I had my tall tripod ladder with me the other day, I thought it would be interesting to see what a couple of designs I work on look like from above. Symmetry is important with this first box topiary design. The last couple of years I have been working on developing the curves and leaf shapes to match up as closely as possible. The domes have required some careful clipping to achieve consistency with their sizes. Still requires more work but starting to make progress. Unfortunately blight is a constant issue with these box plants. But with the help…

box deer damage

Oh Deer – What’s Happened to the Box Topiary

I’m bit of a perfectionist when it comes to topiary and enjoy achieving beautiful curves and straight lines with my work. I thought I had nearly achieved this with one of the designs I clip every year. The box has always battled with blight outbreaks so it was a challenge. But with the support of the excellent on-site gardening team, who have been treating the blight and feeding the box, there was enough healthy growth to create some satisfying curves and straight lines. Sadly the local wildlife don’t seem to share my love of topiary. Every time I return to…

Leaf Motive Box Design with Parterres

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…