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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…