Box Beehives in the Cotswolds

I visit a private residence in the Cotswolds every year to trim their box topiary, which includes a wonderful geometric design of large box beehives on the main lawn. Really simple but very effective at breaking up a large area of green grass. Also adds perspective to the garden and frames the stunning countryside view when looking out from the house. I’m not sure of the specific variety of box but it is a tougher type with leaves and stems thicker than common Buxus sempervirens. This helps the large box beehives to hold their shape, even with adverse weather conditions…

Box and Yew Topiary in a Beautifully Designed London Garden

This year I enjoyed trimming and shaping box balls, box domes, cloud pruned ilex crenata and yew squares in a lovey, urban garden in Notting Hill, London. The garden was cleverly designed by Butter Wakefield, to make the most of a small, lightly shaded space. Overhanging trees and a stunning multi stem Betula nigra (River Birch) create wonderful dappled light under which the topiary thrives. I also shaped the Viburnum tinus hedging at the end of the garden with curves and undulations to create a simple cloud pruned design that links the space with communal gardens beyond. Herbaceous perennials and…

Restoring Yew Topiary Back From Tunnels to Triangles

Last week I worked on restoring some yew to their original triangular design. The yew had been allowed to grow to create two tunnels. Although a lovely idea, the yew never really knitted together sufficiently to create solid tunnels. This probably could have been achieved but it would have taken many years of careful trimming, thinning and tying in. On a practical level it was very difficult to trim the tops of the tunnels using a long reach hedge trimmer and ladders. Taking the time to set up platforms was not cost effective and this would have been difficult with…

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…